Muscular power and reactive ability have long been thought to be indicators of sporting success. Vertical jump testing and determination of the eccentric utilization ratio (EUR) may provide strength and conditioning coaches with this useful information, and assist in the planning and evaluation of their athlete’s training program.
While strong athletes are in abundance, finding athletes with high levels of reactive power are less commonplace. Athletes exhibiting a high EUR may be able to achieve higher power outputs than their counterparts who can’t. Developing an athlete’s ability to produce force is less difficult to train than an athlete’s ability to utilize stored elastic energy. If coaches can identify and recruit those athletes who already have a highly efficient stretch shortening cycle (SSC), the potential for these athletes to become very powerful by increasing their strength levels is realistic. Athletes who already possess a great deal of strength but lack an efficient SSC may have a more difficult time developing the same degree of reactive power as their counterparts. This type of athlete’s efficiency improvements in the SSC may not be able to equal performance improvements seen by the highly reactive athletes who increase their strength levels.