How I helped my daughter increase her vertical 4 inches in 4 weeks – Part 1

For those of you who don’t know, I have bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Nutrition, Kinesiology and Health Promotion. I have physically trained, coached and given nutrition plans for everyone from high school athletes to collegiate, professional, and Olympic athletes to senior citizens wanting to improve their pickle ball game. So when my oldest daughter came to me about a week before high school two-a-days and said “Mom, can you give me jump training and help me improve my vertical jump by next month? I’ve got to improve it so I can get recruited for college!” I said “Alright, sure, can do.”

Read on in this multi-part series for insights to learn how I increased my daughter’s vertical, without changing her workouts.

I told my daughter, “Okay, you want my help to increase your vertical jump? Sure. BUT, no more physical training.”

You can imagine the response from her: “What?! Mom, are you crazy? Why? How in the world am I supposed to improve my vertical if we don’t train?! All of my other teammates are doing jump training and are getting better! What am I supposed to do?!” Great question kiddo. Let’s break it down.

Why as a trainer would I ever tell my child we aren’t going to train any more to improve her vertical?  Simple:

  • She was already working out 5-6 days a week, several hours a day in the weight room and at the track.
  • She was already playing sand volleyball and local games with her friends.
  • She was already tired from her packed and physically demanding schedule.

So, why in the world would I want to over-train her and increase her risk of injury from more training? I knew she was physically strong from all that lifting. I knew she already did plyometrics and sprint training. I knew she was flexible and core-strong because we also spent the whole summer doing hot yoga together.

Her training regimen was not the problem. So what was?

Diet, nutrition and eating habits were the problem.

Because of what I do, the value and importance I place on a healthy diet is extremely high, and my daughter comes from an incredibly healthy home. I cook all the time! We eat organic as much as possible. We eat at home more than 75% of the time so I know what is going into my kids’ bodies.

But, there is always room for improvement, so I told my daughter she was going to change her diet. We would get rid of any and all starchy carbs, sugar, and then some. She wasn’t going to cheat once in 30 days. And as a bonus, I would do most of the work to prep for her (this was NOT a bonus for me.) My question was, could she actually do it?  Her question and disbeliefs were ”there is no way in the WORLD this will ever work!”

Stay tuned in this series to learn what happened and for a few sample meal ideas!

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