“Okay, kids. Today we’re going to learn about jumping.” *Groans and eye rolls from everyone*
Very rarely, when I introduce jumping into a practice, am I met with excited cheers (except for junior derby skaters who’ve done it before). We get so married to keeping all eight wheels firmly on the ground that, unless you’re a jammer, you can easily neglect jump training. But jumping is important to every player on the track. Aside from the obvious benefit of it helping you avoid a downed skater, it also makes you a more agile player.
I found this video breaking down how to properly jump by lifting both legs.
A lot of skaters will initially try to jump from one foot to the other like they’re trying to jump a puddle. Unless you’ve been doing a lot of leg strength training, you won’t get enough height or distance to clear anything. Concentrate on jumps lifting both legs first. If you find it difficult to bring both knees to your chest, you need to start working on your core. Booty Quake has a great workout to help you get started.
Once that gets easier, you can start training to jump from one foot to the other. Kamikaze Kitten has a great video showing how to use one leg to get more height. You really want to concentrate on getting height rather than distance. If you’re going fast enough before the jump, the distance will take care of itself.
(I used this video as a guide for my juniors recently because it’s hard to see the importance of the leg swing in real time.)
Jumping will help you avoid hits, get around walls, and score points. Even if you never really jump during a game, your balance will be better to avoid falls or recover more quickly when you do.