Originally Posted by pauk
Just work hard and you will quickly see what you are gifted with.
^Good stuff right there. I say do not be discouraged by what your genetics may or may not have given you. Amongst all humans, the thing most holding them back (when it comes to jumping higher - those wishing to do so) has to do with things under their control.
It sounds reasonable to be true that one person working as hard as possible may have a different ceiling from another person working as hard as possible, but both ceilings are probably going to be impressive in their own right.
I don't know if I did everything humanly possible to maximize my hops. At my peak, I was around a 35'' max vert (off the run, one foot takeoff). I don't really know what was helping and maximizing and what wasn't doing much, but starting in middle school, I had a pile of things I gave a shot:
1. I'd jump in place a lot (sometimes just in my room, haha, so my brother couldn't make fun of me.
2. I jumped a lot of rope
3. I ran, stayed generally active (even if it was just playing football in my front yard) and tried to stay in good cardio-shape.
Post-high school, I'd continue doing whatever I could - even what some deem lightweight work (running a mile or two multiple times a week outside of basketball) seemed to be worthwhile.
4. I was constantly reaching for a higher area to reach. In sixth grade, it was grabbing the net, then as I got older, higher on the net, then backboard, then slapping board, then touching the spring box to the rim, then up and up.
Perhaps most importantly, I was jumping a lot and trying to get higher a lot.
5. Rode my bike a lot
6. Played a ton of basketball
7. I did calf raises and jump lunges but again, don't know how much they did or did not help
8. Concentrated on lock down defense and fundamental defensive form. I felt the leg muscles used to play good defense were largely similar to the ones needed for strong jumping. Moreover, strong defense often seemed to get me to my second wind quicker, which allowed for higher maximum leaps.
9. I pushed to continue jumping higher even when tired. I reasoned that's probably where the biggest increases were coming, pushing beyond my normal limit.
There were a lot of times where I'd find myself in the open floor - gassed from a previous sequence and there would be nothing more I wanted to do than to just lay the ball in gently, jumping lightly. But oddly enough, when I fully exerted (even if I felt like my body was only 50% responding) I'd still be able to rise up well on many occasions. I think that's the body telling you something but your mind overcoming, or something.