U. S. Women’s Soccer goalie Hope Solo uses the Depth Jump With Ball to help improve her explosiveness so she can block shots aimed just below the cross bar. With the drill, Solo improves her vertical jump, reaction time and hand-eye coordination. Dawn Scott, U.S. Women’s National Team fitness coach, likes to incorporate a medicine ball in the drill, saying, “We throw a ball up so it really motivates them to try to jump higher on their first jump.”
Depth Jump With Ball
- Start on box with feet shoulder width apart
- Step off box
- Land with feet shoulder-width apart and knees in line with toes
- Do not allow feet or knees to turn in
- Quickly explode up to catch ball tossed by partner
- Pass ball back to partner before landing
Since female athletes are more prone to ACL injuries than their male counterparts, Scott advises landing with feet shoulder-width apart, making sure neither the feet nor the knees turn in. Keep your knees soft, explode right away to catch the ball and pass it back to your partner.
Incorporating a med ball not only trains your reaction time, it also forces you explode up as high as you can, so you'll be able to save shots aimed at the top of the net, just like Solo.