Updated: Apr 20, 2020
The ability to jump explosively will benefit you as a soccer player in any position, but whether you are scoring goals, linking play, winning a challenge or catching the ball from a corner, you can introduce the same explosive power drills to your physical performance programs.
Jumping is without doubt my favourite physical action. It's a quick, sharp full body explosion of power that gives you an amazing feeling when you have executed a good one.
Let's take a look at the leaping icon - Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano has scored over 100 professional career goals from headers,
on average netting with his head once every 8 matches he plays.
These are staggering stats but it is no surprise when you see the beauty that is a Cristiano Ronaldo headed goal.
He leaps higher than any defender and sometimes he has been seen out-jumping a stretched goalkeepers arm towards the ball. But how does Cristiano Ronaldo get his feet off the ground so well?
Let’s see his physical performance stats from statbunker.com (at the time of writing March 2020):
Just look at those huge jump stats from Cristiano!
This is only 7cm below the average for an NBA basketball player, who has an average height of 201cm (16cm taller than Cristiano).
So what if Ronaldo was a basketball professional measuring 16cm taller, he would be out-jumping a typical opposing player by 9cm! Crazy, he'll be slamming dunks all game long.
So how does Cristiano generate such power to explode into a jump this impressive?
It is a combination of strength and power training for the key muscles used in the action along with using other key motor skills such as balance and coordination to create the full impact of the action. Short and explosive repetitive actions day in day out allow Cristiano to teach his muscles to act quickly and respond sharply to his desired movement outcomes.
Take a look at the Muscle Map below which identifies the key muscles used for generating such a jump. Remember when people say 'Don't skip leg day'? You really shouldn't and if you can catch a glimpse of the muscle definition seen on most professionals legs, you can understand why.
The key muscles used in a standing jump:
Cristiano as you know is a finely tuned athlete who strives for perfection and trains all day long to achieve the slightest of competitive edges on his rivals. But it is more than his physical ability that allows him to be so successful through his aerial battles.
His timing is impeccable, it often looks like he is hanging in the air but in fact he has just out-jumped his opponent with power and timing which gives the illusion that he has outjumped them by almost an entire body length.
Cristiano has perfected this skill with practice, repetition and experience. His desire to continually strive to be the best has really paid off.