The netball community was abuzz with the ANZ Championship’s Northern Mystics’ repeated execution of the Chairlift manoeuvre, where Anna Harrison was lifted into the air to successfully block the Melbourne Vixens’ shots. This helped lead to a compelling victory for the Mystics, handing the 1st-placed Vixens their 2nd loss for the season.

While there are advantages in implementing the Chairlift in your own team, there are disadvantages too. The difficulty in executing this manoeuvre is very high and requires a lot of skill and practise. It is believed the Vixens and the Australian Netball Diamonds have been practising the move, but are yet to implement it in a game. Requiring two players and time to setup the play, the Chairlift also leaves an offensive shooter open and unmarked with an opportunity for a comfortable shot at goal.

As a defender, a fundamental skill is the ability to jump high. Without the assistance of another player to lift you up, you can ensure maximum height in your standing jumps by practising the following:

  1. Start with both arms overhead and your feet just shy of hip-width apart.
  2. Using your upper-body strength, throw your arms down by your side as fast as you can to descend into a fast half-squat then immediately recoil upwards. The faster your descent and recoil, the higher you will be able to jump. Keep your back as straight as possible during this process.
  3. On the way back up, extend your dominant arm from a retracted position to ensure it is fully extended at the time you reach your maximum height.

Dynamic stretches are the best way to warm up for netball games and also important for you to get the most out of your training. The following warm up routine will properly prepare the correct muscles for your training to jump higher.

If you’re after some extra motivation to jump higher, take a look at Australian Darren Jackson’s world record vertical jump, or for further reading here’s American performance coach Joe DeFranco’s Dirty Tricks for Higher Vertical Jumps.