Written on October 16, 2014
This one is for all the guys who firmly believe that their entire lives would have been completely different—wealthier, happier, sexier—if only they had been given the rare and awesome ability to jump.
Let me make you feel better: I don’t test my players’ vertical jump. I’ll test it if someone asks me to, if a player or team really wants to know, but to me, it’s a shallow prediction of what an individual can actually accomplish as a competitive athlete, a measure of talent, not skill. Talent and skill aren’t the same thing; the world is full of talented people who have never achieved anything.
When I started working with Michael Jordan in 1989, his vertical jump was 38 inches. By today’s standards, that might not even get you drafted in the top ten; Andrew Wiggins reportedly had a 44” vertical jump before he was drafted #1 in 2014. Eventually we got MJ up to 42”, and then 48”, using the training program which later became my book JUMP ATTACK. But we weren’t specifically training for vertical jump; we trained for overall explosiveness and skill, and the vertical increase was just a by-product of the training.
It’s just a number. You know those people in school who always got good grades but were complete dunces in real life? Same principle here: If you train for a one-dimensional test, you’ll be a one-dimensional athlete. The truth is, the ability to jump straight up into the air one time in a completely controlled situation doesn’t indicate what you can do during a game. Can you do it with two guys in your face and another waiting to clock you when you come down? With the game on the line and lights in your eyes? Falling backwards? What about the second or third jump? That’s what I want to see. Game results, not test results. MJ and Kobe have scored more than 30,000 points in their careers; I’m not a stat guy but I’m pretty sure most of those points didn’t come from dunks. Read more at SI.com…..
Written on September 3, 2014
As the NFL season opens, you can go through every roster and point to the “You Gotta Be Kidding Me” injuries: Hamstring issues, quad strains, calf strains, groin pulls…you gotta be kidding me. The NFL season ended last January, you had five months before training camp in July. What were you doing? If you trained efficiently and effectively, there’s not a reason in the world you should be dealing with a calf strain or sore hamstring. Unless you took off the offseason.
There is no offseason.
At the end of every sports season, there should be a sign over the locker room door for every player to see as he or she exits:
“OFFSEASON DOESN’T MEAN TAKE THE SEASON OFF. IT MEANS YOU’RE OFF ON YOUR OWN UNTIL NEXT SEASON.”
My new Sports Illustrated column runs today. As always, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read it: http://www.si.com/edge/2014/09/03/tim-grover-there-is-no-offseason
Written on August 11, 2014
“In the wake of the devastating Paul George injury, there will be much discussion over next days and weeks over whether NBA superstars should be playing USA Basketball. You’ll hear about the position of the basket, whether the risks outweigh the rewards, whether the IOC and FIBA have more control than the owners over NBA players, and the undeniable fact that injury can happen anywhere from the driveway hoop to the greatest arenas in the world.
To me, it’s a short discussion. Read my column on SI.com for more:”
My first column in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED appears now on SI.com: How the Greats Attack Longevity. All about how champions like MJ and Jeter and others attacked their game with the same relentless intensity and focus at 40 as they did at 18. Never satisfied. They don’t want the retirement ceremonies and long farewells…they just want to play.
“The greats find ways to beat you. Even as their physical dominance begins to wane, their mental weaponry becomes sharper. The battle shifts from the neck down to the neck up. Their skills are so superior that they can “lose” their athletic edge and still find ways to dominate, by the sheer force of the killer competitive drive that made them great in the first place.”
Or as my friend Charles Barkley said near the end of his career: “What I might be losing, you never had.”
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read it: http://www.si.com/edge/2014/07/28/tim-grover-attacks-longevity
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For more than two decades, from MJ to Kobe to DWade and hundreds more in between, I’ve seen the greats become greater, through hard work and mental toughness and the relentless drive for excellence. ATTACK is about never being satisfied, always striving to be the best, and then finding that extra gear that gets you to the next level, even when that level doesn’t yet exist. It’s about achieving the impossible, and demanding more of yourself than anyone else could ever ask of you.
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