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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Clyde Drexler Explains How He Developed His Jumping Ability

The April 2008 issue of Dime had an interesting quote from Clyde Drexler. This is what the "Glide" says about his legendary hops:

"There was nothing natural about my jumping ability; it was 'natural' after I spent six hours a day working on it (laughs). I had so many exercises to improve the strength of my legs: sprinting, jump rope, squats, wearing ankle weights two or three days at a time and jumping rope with those ankle weights. I did all that for a 10-year period of time, and during that time I became a pretty good jumper."

It is interesting that Drexler mentions that he put in a decade of work to become a great leaper, because--as I mentioned in a July 27, 2006 post titled Basketball, Chess and Boxing, Part II--there is a significant body of research that suggests that it takes 10 years of "effortful study" to become an elite performer in a wide range of fields, from chess to music to soccer. A lot of achievements that are assumed to be the result of "natural" talent are in fact the product of years of hard work that honed whatever "natural" ability that particular individual had in his given field. Hard work may not guarantee success--particularly at the elite level--but no one gets to the elite level without putting in a lot of hard work over a long period of time.

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posted by David Friedman @ 2:01 AM



At Sunday, July 06, 2008 8:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post David.

At Sunday, July 06, 2008 10:51:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The myth of genius really holds people back from reaching their full potential.

I always cringe when I hear someone say that an athlete or performer just has "it", as if they were blessed by the gods. "It" is something that takes hard work.

At Monday, July 07, 2008 8:57:00 AM, Blogger madnice said...

I used to walk around with ankle weights on for years. My knees are killing me now. It definitely does help your jumping ability.

Im not the biggest fan of Drexler (hes a terrible playbyplay commentator) but his assessment of improved jumping is true and can add to what leaping ability you already have.


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