Ive read that developing calves does not increase vertical jump or sprinting speed and some other sources have contradicted this.
My Question is, what role do calves play with regard to athletic performance, if any at all ?
Everything serves a purpose.
Look up the "strengthshoe" on the web. It gives good information on calve strength and flexibility contribute to athletic performance. Also, those strengthshoes, if used as reccomended, work awesome.
You're body is integrated. Each muscle performs in harmony with others. In the case of calfs, their development may not increase vertical jumping directly, but calfs are still involved in jumping and running. The upper posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings)provide the greatest forward propulsion, but when your feet lift off the ground, your calfs are still involved.
calves protect your ankles, for people such a skiers or figure skaters and more or less any athlete that is going to be cutting(bball,football) and making sharp turns they need to develop their calves
The strength or size of your calves doesn't really affect your vertical leap height, but the flexibility and speed does. Focus on stretching the calves and achilles as often as possible, making sure to warm up first though. Also, try this warm up before your next lower body workout. Lock your knees and bounce quickly up and down on the balls of your feet. Do this for about thirty seconds. Rest for a minute and repeat twice more. Then, with your knees locked, bounce up as high as you can for three sets of thirty seconds. This little warm up will drastically help your calf explosiveness.
Calves play a part in jumping prowess, but not as much as you'd think. Jumping is a 90% glute function
Thank you for your answers. You've been very helpful
Big calves DOES NOT jump higher, HIGH calves jumps higher. long tendon lead to sa greater energy storage , the more you store the higher you fly.
So now I know, why I had good vertical jump when I was teen-age (I always had big glutes..)