The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a ballistic resistance training program of Olympic lifts with those of a traditional resistance training program of power lifts on vertical jump improvement in male high school athletes. Twenty-seven male student athletes were recruited from a high school football program at a small, rural school in the Southeast. The subjects were divided into an Olympic training group (OT, n = 11), a power training group (PT, n = 10), and a control group (n = 6). Analysis of variance was used to determine whether a significant mean difference existed among groups on vertical jump improvement after 8 weeks of group-specific training. Effect size of vertical jump improvement between groups, and correlations between strength and vertical jump performance, were also examined. There was no significant mean difference (p >or= 0.05) among OT, PT, and control groups, but large effect sizes between OT and control (d = 1.06) and PT and control (d = 0.94) demonstrate that both OT and PT are effective in improving vertical jump performance in male high school athletes. Moderate to high correlations were noted between squat score and vertical jump after adjusting for body weight (r = 0.42) and between power clean and vertical jump after adjusting for body weight (r = 0.75). Findings from the current study indicate that Olympic lifts as well as power lifts provide improvement in vertical jump performance and that Olympic lifts may provide a modest advantage over power lifts for vertical jump improvement in high school athletes.