June 14, 2024

Skyhook Jump

The Skyhook contact mat is a wi-fi soar mat that can be utilized to evaluate an assortment of jumps. The mat connects to a free coaching software that captures and tracks information over time, permitting you to add your group rosters and monitor your jumps by indicators reminiscent of soar peak, airtime, and floor contact time. It may well additionally calculate a person’s reactive power index (RSI). There’s actually no restrict on the assessments that may be carried out because it means that you can create your individual leaping assessments in a customized protocols choice.

The target of this overview is to provide my private expertise with the product, clarify what it’s and the way it works, and study three main elements when evaluating it to comparable merchandise:

  1. Performance
  2. Sturdiness
  3. Pricing

This product has vastly improved our testing effectivity and saved us treasured quantities of time in doing so. This text is supposed to assist different coaches higher determine if the Skyhook contact mat is true for them and whether or not it may equally profit these they work with.

What Is the Skyhook Contact Mat?

The Skyhook mat resembles a battle protect, with a leaping floor space of 31 inches by 31 inches and a weight of virtually 30 kilos. Its solidity stood out to me instantly after I first obtained the mat. I’m advised the mat is created from a secret, proprietary polyurethane mix, and I’ve little doubt that this mat will final, seeing as how I’ve tried to interrupt it a number of occasions with no success. The package deal additionally consists of the charger and battery to energy the mat, together with a digital setup information.

I’m told the Skyhook contact mat is made from a proprietary polyurethane blend, and I have no doubt this mat will last, seeing as I’ve tried to break it multiple times with no success. Click To Tweet

Whereas not a tangible piece of kit, the coaching software that comes with the mat takes the product up a stage. The flexibility to connect with the mat by way of Bluetooth and use it to judge an array of assessments on-line or offline is a strong functionality. The info will get saved right into a cloud-based storage system you can entry to indicate tendencies in coaching, enhancements, averages, and extra.

Skyhook Jump Mat
Picture 1. The Skyhook contact mat.


Video 1: Skyhook app walkthrough.

How you can Set Up the Skyhook Contact Mat

When establishing the Skyhook mat, the very first thing you’ll have to do is obtain the Skyhook software in your cellphone or pill. The app is appropriate with each iPhone and Android and comes with the acquisition of the mat. There isn’t a subscription price, which was good to see and uncommon with a cloud-based coaching software program.

As soon as the app is downloaded, it is going to stroll you thru making a profile by way of e mail to log in, and you may then start using the mat to its full capabilities. This whole course of will take you a couple of minutes at most.

When logged in, you first want to begin utilizing the mat to connect with Bluetooth by way of your cellphone or pill. The mat does disconnect and go into sleep mode if there’s a lengthy break throughout its use.

The sleep mode helps protect battery life (and it took a whole week of use till I wanted to cost my mat for the primary time). The charging pointers from Skyhook state that the battery will final 2–4 hours with constant use over a number of hours and may last as long as 7–10 hours for much less constant use over 1–2 days. I can vouch for this with my sporadic use matching the latter sample.

The battery takes 12 hours to cost absolutely—whereas that’s fairly a very long time, I like to recommend simply charging it after every use, and you need to by no means have a lifeless battery in your fingers.

Skyhook Mat Coaching Use

When starting to undergo the app, it might initially appear to be rather a lot—I like to recommend simply taking part in round with the app and discovering choices for your self. The app even has a setting referred to as “Playground,” which is basically a demo-mode choice for this actual objective and doesn’t save any of the collected data.

The Skyhook’s app has a customization option that walks you through creating your own jump assessments specific to your athletes. Click To Tweet

The Skyhook contact mat can be utilized to check a number of preprogrammed soar assessments, and it additionally has a customization choice the place it is going to stroll you thru creating your individual soar assessments particular to your athletes.


Video 2. How you can create customized soar protocols within the Skyhook app.

The app does briefly clarify the assessments to the person, giving a brief description of how you can carry out the take a look at and what it’s testing. I believe this could possibly be improved by together with extra info, reminiscent of why you’ll wish to carry out the evaluation and, if attainable, even a short video of the evaluation.

To some extent, having so many choices is usually a unhealthy factor because it floods coaches with info and assessments that is probably not related to their state of affairs. Giving the why and movies may doubtlessly make it clearer to the person what soar assessments can be most applicable for his or her athletes and state of affairs.

Exercise Description
Picture 2. Train description.

How the Skyhook Mat Has Labored for Me

The Skyhook mat has saved me appreciable time when performing vertical soar assessments and accumulating the info. I primarily work on the tactical facet of power and conditioning, often working inside athletics on a small scale. I used to be initially involved that the Skyhook mat can be overkill for my state of affairs—like attempting to kill a fly with a shotgun—since I don’t and can’t carry out most of the soar assessments with the cops I work with.

I’ve nonetheless discovered important worth within the product, and it makes the leaping assessments that we use with our police recruits simpler to execute. A lot of my job isn’t at a set location, so I really feel comfy shifting the mat and utilizing it with quite a lot of areas and surfaces, and even outdoors!

We had carried out most of our earlier vertical soar testing with a Simply Bounce mat, so there was an preliminary concern in regards to the change in information because the Skyhook mat doesn’t perform off the Simply Bounce formulation. This may render our earlier info nugatory if the Skyhook mat had been used sooner or later; it wasn’t a serious concern however a big inconvenience. Skyhook, nonetheless, created a Simply Bounce Adjustment you can allow within the settings to make your information factors corresponding to these examined up to now with a Simply Bounce mat.

Skyhook created a Just Jump Adjustment that you can enable in the settings to make your data points comparable to those tested in the past with a Just Jump mat. Click To Tweet

One thing that I haven’t completed but with the Skyhook mat, however that I’ve completed up to now with different merchandise and plan to do shifting ahead, is use the vertical soar as an evaluation for readiness. (I talk about this in a previous article, “4 Low-Value Athlete Readiness Instruments  to Improve Your Program.”) Having the app present tendencies all through the soar and having the ability to establish particular factors—reminiscent of the typical, median, max, and minimal of assorted jumps and metrics—would make it simpler to rapidly gauge the vertical soar as a readiness evaluation inside any dimension group.

How It Compares

When evaluating the Skyhook mat to different merchandise that assess leaping, there are two that instantly come to thoughts: the Simply Bounce mat and stick-based alternate options, such because the Bounce USA Vertec (and clearly, the Simply Bounce mat is what coaches will discover most corresponding to Skyhook).

I thought-about three main elements when evaluating these merchandise: performance, sturdiness, and value.

1. Performance

I discover the Skyhook mat to be superior in performance for a couple of causes, the primary being that it might carry out a number of soar assessments and consists of the power to create your individual assessments with little to no limitations.

I perceive that the opposite choices permit you to carry out extra than simply a normal vertical soar, however the Vertec and comparable stick choices solely provide the peak jumped. They don’t embrace issues reminiscent of cling time, floor contact time, and RSI.

The Skyhook coaching app lets you monitor and save all of your athlete’s info, which reinforces the person’s expertise and may support within the coaching course of by providing info to make higher programming selections. Neither comparable product can do that.

2. Sturdiness

The sturdiness of the Skyhook mat is one thing that I discover to be of utmost worth. I’ve used comparable merchandise in each different location I’ve labored, and people haven’t all the time stood the take a look at of time when put by the wringer.

I’ve used comparable products (to the Skyhook contact mat) in every other location I’ve worked, and those haven’t always stood the test of time when put through the wringer. Click To Tweet

Whether or not it’s the cords of the mats getting stepped on and torn by highschool college students or sticks breaking off from faculty athletes swatting too arduous, the sturdiness of those items has created complications over prolonged intervals. I favor to buy coaching gear one time solely, then use and abuse it for its lifetime.

My main concern with the Skyhook mat was its charging wire, which connects the battery. That is its weak level and the one factor more likely to break or put on on the product. It additionally isn’t very simple to suit the battery into the mat except you get the wire to push it in good.

Diving deeper into the product, although, I found that Skyhook lately corrected this on their latest technology mannequin. (I’ve an older mannequin.) The newly upgraded mannequin eliminated the wire and is now related by a magnet on the port and battery as an alternative.

Charging Port
Picture 3. New charging port.

That is vital, not solely as a result of SkyHook corrected a possible weak spot on the product but additionally as a result of it reveals the corporate continues to enhance upon its product, one thing that we must always have the ability to count on from all corporations.

3. Value

With all of that stated, the value level on the Skyhook mat matches its high quality. The Skyhook contact mat prices $1,389. That is larger than comparable merchandise, with the Simply Bounce mat priced between $790 and $893 and the Vertec at $925. (And different comparable corporations promote their stick vertical soar testers for even much less.) These costs don’t embrace transport, taxes, and many others.

Whereas the value for Skyhook is larger, I discover the product to be price the additional value when you plan to make the most of soar assessments on even a semi-routine foundation. That is as a result of beforehand mentioned elevated performance and sturdiness.

Finally, coaches should make this choice primarily based on what’s greatest for them and their state of affairs.

Workout routines, Setting, and Demos

Free Bounce

The Free Bounce setting will not be essentially meant to be the Vertical Bounce setting, though I’m positive many, like me, will use it as such. As an alternative, the Free Bounce is described as “leaping with no limits”—principally, you are able to do no matter on the mat, and it’ll measure the soar peak.

You possibly can go into the soar settings and edit this perform, which can assist stop widespread double soar mishaps, and even change its identify, or you’ll be able to create your individual vertical soar testing evaluation.


Video 3. Vertical soar on Skyhook.

Single Depth Bounce – Peak

This evaluation begins with the athlete off the Skyhook mat—they are going to basically carry out a hop, drop onto the mat and use it as a springboard to leap as excessive as attainable, after which land again on the mat. It is a extra superior take a look at for lower-body energy and leaping capacity because the particular person lands and rebounds into the soar.

The evaluation measures peak from the only soar, and this may be made extra particular by utilizing the customized creator and performing it off particular field heights.


Video 4. Single-depth soar for peak.


Video 5. Single-depth soar from a 6-inch field.

4/2 RSI

The RSI evaluation with the Skyhook mat begins with the person off the mat. From there, they are going to soar onto the mat and carry out 4 jumps. Whereas it is going to measure all 4 jumps, solely one of the best two might be evaluated.

Discovering an athlete’s RSI is helpful as a result of it demonstrates how effectively somebody can make the most of the stretch-shortening cycle, shifting from an eccentric to concentric muscle contraction—basically what we see on the earth of sport or when excessive operators have to execute their jobs at excessive outputs.


Video 6. Finishing 4 jumps for the RSI take a look at on Skyhook.

10-Second Floor Time

The ten-second floor time soar evaluation examines the full floor contact time through the interval. The flexibility to provide drive rapidly and reduce contact time is a vital trait for a lot of in athletics, and this evaluation is nice for educating athletes to be freer, extra fluid, and extra reactive relating to leaping. 


Video 7. Utilizing period to evaluate floor contact time.

5-Bounce Air Time

The five-jump evaluation is the one preprogrammed evaluation measuring air time. For this evaluation, you’ll do precisely because it sounds, performing 5 steady back-to-back jumps on the mat, and it’ll calculate your time spent within the air.

This take a look at could possibly be utilized with people who want to keep up their energy for a specific period of time, even when it doesn’t line up completely; a basketball participant would in all probability not get 5 back-to-back possibilities in the identical collection to get a rebound, however it nonetheless helps broaden their talents and offers a enjoyable problem.


Video 8. A five-jump take a look at measuring time within the air.

Single Hurdle Bounce

One other soar to evaluate floor contact time is the only hurdle soar. Beginning off the mat, with a hurdle between you and the mat, you’ll carry out a jump over the hurdle. Upon touchdown, you wish to explode again up such as you touched scorching lava and land off the mat.

I selected to make use of a smaller hurdle of 6 inches, however this could possibly be modified for extra superior people at bigger heights: 8 inches, 10 inches, 12 inches, and many others.


Video 9. Single hurdle soar take a look at to evaluate GCT.

Customized Choices

Weighted Jumps

One of many first customized soar choices I created was a weighted vertical soar. I discovered worth on this as a result of a lot of the people we work with could make the connection of performing duties with weight higher than their physique weight, and it’s nonetheless a legitimate take a look at to reveal the power to provide drive.

When using this protocol, I selected to make use of 10% of the person’s physique weight; for instance, a 200-pound particular person would maintain a pair of 10-pound dumbbells for 20 kilos whole.


Video 10. Utilizing Skyhook’s customized soar protocols, a weighted soar carried out with two dumbbells.

Paused Jumps

One may dive deep down the rabbit gap of vertical soar variations. Issues reminiscent of the place you place your fingers, the angled place of the hips, and different small particulars can all have an effect on the athlete’s vertical soar and be of worth to a coach in sure circumstances.

I like having a paused training option when working with athletes because it can give some information on whether an athlete is more force- or velocity-dominant. Click To Tweet

I like having a paused coaching choice when working with athletes as a result of it can provide some info on whether or not an athlete is extra force- or velocity-dominant. I do know there are different methods to search out this, and the coach’s eye can provide you an awesome thought, however that is an alternative choice that won’t value you loads of time.

Have athletes maintain the underside place of the soar for a three-count earlier than taking off—simply be conscious of them dropping down too rapidly and the mat attributing that because the soar. You possibly can edit the soar recorded by the customized choices to forestall this.


Video 11. Holding the underside place in a pause soar.

Single-Leg Vertical Bounce

Whereas not as widespread, performing single-leg vertical jumps will be nice in sports activities the place leaping is a most important aspect, reminiscent of basketball, volleyball, and monitor. Additionally it is useful to indicate any giant imbalances between limbs that might present some worth and simply get your athletes extra comfy performing max effort jumps from a single leg.

I’ve personally used the single-leg vertical soar exams up to now with monitor athletes and packages. It may well create loads of muddle when monitoring, one thing the Skyhook would have helped with all these years in the past.


Video 12. Single-leg vertical soar to two-footed touchdown.

Be Inventive, Have Enjoyable

The power of the Skyhook mat is that the customized choices are solely restricted by the coach’s capacity and creativity. I believe that is essential for a product designed to measure soar efficiency as a result of jumps actually don’t have any limitations.

The Skyhook mat’s custom options are only limited by the coach’s ability and creativity. This is crucial for a product designed to measure jump performance because jumps really have no limitations. Click To Tweet

Use assessments in warm-ups to carry out multidirectional jumps, use the mat to carry out jumps within the lateral airplane, and/or have leaping competitions of all completely different metrics—be inventive and have enjoyable.


Video 13. A variety of jumps will be carried out on the Skyhook and tracked within the customized protocols.

Closing Take

General, the Skyhook contact mat is a implausible product that may assist enhance a coach’s capacity to evaluate leaping metrics and acquire that info in an organized style. The addition of the coaching software enormously improves its performance, and the brute sturdiness of the product helps me justify its worth no matter its larger value level.

Coaches ought to assess the place their values lie with utilizing coaching tech, however I’ve no doubts that this product provides a major quantity of worth.

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