Jump Science…

– Founded by athletic development coach, Daniel Back.

– Created to combat the sea of terrible 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 whatever sport you play.


– Jump Science is about getting results. We’re talking about specific measurable athletic improvement. This site is not about working out to feel good or to burn calories. Don’t just get really tired and pass it off as a great 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 bounce.

– 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 not specific. They are general. You use strength and explosiveness for a lot of different movements. Therefore, exercises for athletic development should not be sport-specific. Your sport in 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, strength helps people run faster. A sprinter will develop some level of strength just by sprinting. But a higher level can be developed through strength training. That is why lifting weights is useful for a sprinter.

– 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. The best example here 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 Jump Science 2.0, which features an evaluation to  classify athletes into levels and customized training programs for each level. Jump Science 2.0 is designed to help any athlete progress to a high level of athleticism over time.

Check out the Jump Science 2.0 Training Program

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 highly 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 extremely 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. I am currently an athletic development coach at Xceleration Sports Performance Lab in Austin, Texas. I also continue to consult and write training for  collegiate and professional athletes whom I worked with during college or have connected with 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 absolutely 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.

Considering that God created the universe and is all-knowing and all-powerful, I certainly want to follow His rules. “Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!” Psalm 33:8.

However, I am cursed by a sinful nature. “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.

I often completely fail to follow God’s commands, and thus deserve death according to God’s rules. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.

But God is loving and merciful, so he offers salvation through the sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ. “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.

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

My mental, physical, and personal gifts are given to me by God to use for his purpose. “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.

God wants to bless me in my service to him. “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God.” Deuteronomy 28:2.

But I struggle to serve God instead of sinning. “For I do not do the good I want; but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” Romans 7:19.

Because of God’s salvation, I am not sentenced to eternal suffering for my sin, but I do still experience consequences in this life. “The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.” Proverbs 5:22-23.

So I am stuck in a continual struggle to sin no more and serve God and be blessed by God. “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 3:13-14.