Jump Science…

– Founded by athletic development coach, Daniel Back.

– Created to bring some clarity to the sea of information found online and help people in their quest for greater athleticism. Over time it has developed into one of the best sources of sports training information on the internet, free or otherwise.

– Originally founded to help people with vertical jump training, but all the information can be applied to improving any athletic movement you desire. Jump Science can help you become a better athlete in any sport.


– Jump Science is about getting results, specific measurable athletic improvement. This site is not concerned with looking cool or just getting a “good workout.” The goal is improving performance.

– It is critical to understand the physical abilities that contribute to athleticism.  These are skill, mechanics (how you move), strength, explosiveness, flexibility, and elasticity.

– Skill is specific, meaning one skill does not carry over to other skills. Thus skill training should be specific. Practice the skills you need for your sport.

– But the other abilities are less specific to some degree. They have some generality. You use strength, flexibility, explosiveness, etc for a lot of different movements. Therefore much of athletic development does not need to be sport-specific. Your sport itself is sport-specific training. If you need more of that, just play/practice your sport. The whole purpose of doing training outside your sport is to get a stimulus that your sport does not provide. For example barbell squatting is not specific to any one sport, but increasing squat strength can help people accelerate faster, change direction faster, jump higher, throw farther, do pretty much any athletic movement better.

– Use correct training that directly targets a specific physical ability. Don’t complicate things and take away from the focus of the training. For example lunges are a solid strength exercise. Don’t mess them up by using an unstable surface to try to train balance. Keep it simple.

– Execute the training to perfection. Again a great example is squatting. Just about everybody squats, because it’s an extremely valuable exercise. But few athletes actually squat well, so few get maximum benefit from the movement.

– Do not waste time and energy on things you don’t need. For example, you do not need general fitness training, because your sport already provides general fitness. And you don’t need to balance on an exercise ball, because that is a specific skill that does not carryover to anything else.

– Fundamentals need to come first.  Establishing basic movement competency and good flexibility allows you to safely and effectively pursue high levels of strength and explosiveness. Athletic development is a process. You can’t decorate the house before the foundation is laid.

– Athletes vary greatly in the physical abilities that determine athleticism. That variation requires that training be customized to the athlete. An untrained 13-year old basketball player with an 18-inch vertical should not be doing the same training as a collegiate high jumper. This is what spurned the development of the Jump Science programs, which feature an evaluation used to classify athletes into levels and customized training programs for each level. The collection of programs as a whole is designed to help any athlete progress to a high level of athleticism over time.

Check out the Jump Science Training Programs

My ultimate goal is to develop incredible athletes and help educate people on how to train for their sport intelligently. So I just want to encourage you to explore the site. There are a lot of important topics covered in Jump Science University. People find the articles and videos highly informative and easy to understand. Also check out the exercise and stretching videos. People generally appreciate the clear instruction and attention to detail put into those. There is a lot of great information here, so please take advantage. Thanks for visiting.

Questions? Comments? Testimonials? Email daniel@jump-science.com.

About Coach Back

Coach Daniel Back Jump ScienceAs a young kid in Milwaukee, WI, I played a variety of sports casually. But at 12 years old I developed an obsession with basketball. That pursuit drove me to begin weight training at age 13. I got on a routine of frequent calf raises and half squats and soon noticed an increase in my jumping ability. This excited me, so I kept on my routine religiously. About 8 months later I had grown 4 inches to an even 6’0″ and had added about 12 inches to my vertical. I dunked for the first time at 14 years old. During another growth spurt when I was 15, I gained another chunk of jumping ability and spent most of my high school basketball career touching the top of the box on the backboard with a 38-inch approach vertical jump. Later I walked on and played D3 basketball for one season at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Prior to my second season, I was broke and decided to get a job instead of playing ball. That freed me up to start working on my vertical again. Having learned a lot more about training by then, I saw great results.

I first started training other people in January 2009. I started out training recreational athletes. As people saw good results, more got interested, and it grew from there. Before I knew it, I was training some of the university basketball players, training a D1 basketball recruit from a local high school, and even running the university basketball team’s preseason conditioning class as an undergraduate student. Toward the end of college I started training some track athletes from the university as well and had great success. I never had a job in the weight room or worked under another coach. I just met up with people and trained them. I evaluated each one, wrote their training, and coached them through every workout. And I did it for free. Rather than supervising the weight room, observing a coach, or assisting a coach, I was the coach.

That experience allowed me to become skilled at training athletes before even graduating college. My formal education played a big role as well. UW-L is one of the top schools in the country for exercise science. I was privileged to earn my degree there and be able to learn from some highly knowledgeable professors and coaches.

I finished my exercise science degree in 2012. Following that, I continued to train track athletes. (Track had become my new favorite sport.) I ended up spending a season as a high school high jump coach and strength coach for the track team and basketball team before finding my current position as an athletic development coach at Xceleration Sports Performance Lab in Austin, Texas. I also continue to consult and write training for athletes of all levels through this site.

As for what’s most important to me…

I believe the universe and everything in it exists to glorify the one true God who created it.

  • Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded, and they were created. (Psalm 148:5)

I am sure of this, because God reveals himself through creation, the Holy Bible, the life of Jesus Christ, and the daily work of the Holy Spirit on earth.

  • That they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. (Isaiah 41:20)
  • For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20-21)

Considering that God created the universe and is all-knowing and all-powerful, it only makes sense to follow his rules and do what he says is best for me.

  • Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him! (Psalm 33:8)
  • You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”? (Isaiah 29:16)
  • For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (1 Corinthians 1:19-20)
  • Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice and taught him knowledge and showed him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. (Isaiah 40:12-15)
  • When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:3-4)

However, I am cursed by a sinful nature and a heart drawn toward my own desires. In spite of any moral efforts, I am hopelessly incapable of living up to God’s standard of perfect holiness.

  • The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)
  • For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
  • Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Psalm 51:5)
  • The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
  • For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want; but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. (Romans 7:18-19)
  • Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24)
  • How then can man be in the right before God? How can he who is born of woman be pure? Behold, even the moon is not bright, and the stars are not pure in his eyes; how much less man, who is a maggot, and the son of man, who is a worm! (Job 25:4-6)
  • I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:5-6)

God is just and true, so sin must be punished. But God is also loving and merciful, so he placed the penalty for my sin on his perfect son, Jesus Christ, so that I may live.

  • But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5-6)
  • but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
  • For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
  • Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)
  • But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ –by grace you have been saved– (Ephesians 2:4-5)

Upon attempting to contemplate the magnitude of God’s gift of salvation, I am overwhelmed by his grace and power and filled with joy.

  • Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, (1 Peter 1:8)
  • O LORD, in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults! (Psalm 21:1)

Thus, it is out of joyful thanksgiving that I try to serve the Lord with my life.

  • And you shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mark 12:30) 
  • who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works, but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began. (2 Timothy 1:9)
  • I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, (Ephesians 4:1-2)