Originally Posted by 3stat2
We've all seen players like Vince Carter go through the process of losing their vertical year by year, and it isn't too pretty watching a reknown dunker lose so much of his hops. Right now I'm 21 years old, 6'1, and my vert is about 37-38 inches. Now I know it's not a fundamental part of the game which is technically unnecessary, but I can't help but feel a little uneasy about the day I can no longer dunk.
The wear and tear you put on your legs probably has a lot to do with it, as well as the shape you keep your whole body in. But assuming they stay in shape, I've heard that players reach their athletic peaks around 22-24 - does that sound about right? I know Dwight Howard gained a tonne of vert between the age of 18 and 20, and he seems to have increased it even more this year.
Any other opinions on when people's jumping ability starts to decline?
I wonder if it ever does in terms of true vert.
They say later that you build the most muscle. I wonder, then, if you couldn't just build leg muscle.
I know my vert dropped, but I gained weight. I think that might be the larger reason. I weigh like 155 now and I was about 125 when my vert was best (at age 16/17 before I destroyed my ankle.) Obviously I'm not a big person, but that's what I would watch. Even in the NBA, it seems like dudes get heavier when they start to lose their vert.
Not to mention the NBA guys are just wearing their bodies out. I think you can keep your max vert past your 30s if you work on it, though. But that's just my opinion. You'll have have to work harder than you did when you were 21.