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Vertical Jump is an Innate Talent, Right?

It’s funny, really. The basketball public generally believes that skills like jumping ability and quickness are innate skills – you are either born a great leaper or not. Basketball people generally believe that the best athletes make the best players. Therefore, basketball talent is born, not made. However, every day, millions of players play basketball and train to be basketball players. Seems foolhardy if players are born, not made, right?

The greatest myth is jumping ability. People look at a player who is an explosive leaper like Russell Westbrook and believe that he was born that way. After all, some of the best leapers brag about their 7th grade dunks. Not Westbrook:

To be honest, I was never really jumping that high when I was younger. I had to work on it. I didn’t dunk for the first time until the last game of my senior year in high school. I didn’t really start dunking regularly until college. I just work on my legs and my core: Running the stairs, squats, working my hamstrings and quads. Then just sit-ups for my core.

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