Speed Can Be Taught
Basketball is a fast-paced sport. To be a successful athlete in this sport, one must be quick or he or she will quickly get left behind on the court. In order to spend more time in the game and less time on the bench, there are many speed and agility training exercises to help improve one’s speed and increase one’s stamina.
While some believe that speed can’t be taught, the truth is that with the right exercises and the right determination increasing one’s speed is most certainly within reach.
Athlete training is always evolving, which means that there are always a number of different ways to get to a similar end result. As such it’s important to find the speed and agility drills that will work best for you.
Key Components of Speed
There are many factors that go into play when determining the type of exercise to get you to where you want to be. Regardless of the program, the key components to increasing your speed and agility include:
- Foot quickness
- Lateral movements
When all of the above training components are developed and properly worked on, they will come together to make the basketball player faster, quicker and more explosive so that he/she is ready to score big while on the court.
Quickness Improves The Game
Some of the best basketball players who have excelled in the game are able to move with lightening-like speed. That said, it’s not necessarily the athlete who can run a quick 100 meter run that makes one the quickest player.
Much more important in basketball is one’s ability to rapidly switch between forward, backward, lateral and vertical movements. There are many drills out there that are very effective at increasing one’s speed and can have a dramatic impact on one’s game.
With these types of drills not only will a basketball player be able to move from one end of the court to another much more quickly, but one will be able to transfer much of that energy into other basketball-specific movements on the court.
Let’s take a dive into some of the most common and effective routines to increase speed and agility for basketball players.
The Super Shuttle
This drill has the athlete starting underneath the basketball with his/her back to the court as he/she holds the basketball over their head. Next one should shuffle backwards with hands in a defensive ready position to point.
Sprint backwards focusing on minimizing the time to change direction and then side step facing the court ending back at the start position again. The athlete should then jump to touch the net or backboard and then repeat the back shuffle from the start.
Sprint forward and side step with one’s back to court. Jump to touch the net or backboard and then repeat the exercise for 6-8 repetitions with a 60 – 90 second rest in-between.
This next popular agility drill starts by marking out a square approximately 6 yards by 6 yards. A cone should be placed in the center as well as in each corner. The center will act as the starting position for the exercise.
Each cone should be given a letter or number since the coach will call out the letter/number at random and this will force the player to sprint to the cone and shuffle back to the center as quickly as possible. As soon as the athlete arrives at the center, the coach then calls another number and letter.
This can be played on repeat for as long as the athletes can play.
Paramount to optimal speed and agility is sport-specific strength training. Basketball agility drills are a great way to combine physical and mental awareness. It is through the continued perseverance of basketball agility drills that one will be able to significantly increase his/her quickness and quality of movement around the court.
While different drills work for different people, the two discussed in this article should be helpful in getting one started
While reading the drills gives one an overall idea of what they entail, oftentimes seeing them in action helps provide a visual cue for how they work. As such, live examples of the above drills can also be found by doing a quick search on the Internet.
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