About Jump Science

Jump Science was...

•Founded by athletic development coach, Daniel Back.

•Created to bring some clarity to the sea of 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 any sport.


•Jump Science is about getting results, specific measurable athletic improvement. This site is not concerned with looking cool or just getting a “good 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 elasticity.

•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 less specific to some degree. They have some generality. You use strength, flexibility, explosiveness, etc for a lot of different movements. Therefore much of athletic development does not need to be sport-specific. Your sport 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 barbell squatting is not specific to any one sport, but increasing squat strength can help people accelerate faster, change direction faster, jump higher, throw farther, do pretty much any athletic movement better.

•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. Again a great example 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.

•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 a 12-inch vertical should not be doing the same training as a collegiate high jumper. This is what spurned the development of the various Jump Science training programs. They are designed for athletes with vastly different abilities. There are tests used to identify which program is best for you. The collection of programs as a whole aims to help any athlete progress to a high level of athleticism over time.

Check out the Jump Science programs.

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 the Jump Science University articles. People find this content extremely helpful and easy to understand. There is a lot of great information here, so please take advantage. Thanks for visiting.

About Coach Back

As 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 the rest of my high school basketball career touching at least the top of the box on the backboard. 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 just training a few friends of mine that wanted to dunk. As people saw good results, more got interested, and it grew from there. Soon 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. Rather than supervising the weight room, observing a coach, or assisting a coach, I was the coach.

That experience allowed me to become skilled at training athletes before even graduating college. My formal education played a big role as well. UWL 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 highly 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 before finding a position in 2014 as an athletic development coach at Xceleration Sports Performance Lab in Austin, Texas. My time there has helped me continue to learn and grow and refine my ability to help any athlete train for any goal.

Jump Science has also grown and given me opportunity to consult and write training for athletes of all levels. I am a thought leader in the speed and jump training communities and have been able to have lots of positive impact. One example of this is Dunk Camp, a yearly gathering of professional and aspiring dunkers. I am invited every year to deliver educational presentations and act as a consultant for the athletes there.