Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tips To Improve Speed, Agility and Quickness for Basketball

Speed, agility and quickness (SAQ) are necessary components that all successful basketball players have. Fortunately, SAQ can be trained for and improved. You must be able to move fast, quick and efficiently while changing direction, shuffling or backpedaling. Here are some basic tips to improve the SAQ of basketball players:

1. Running mechanics in basketball must be mastered just like dribbling and free throw shooting.

2. Basketball drills designed to improve speed should be more than just "suicide drills." Game-time situations in basketball require the player to be quick and fast in many directions while controlling posture. They also have repeated short sprints following walking, running or jogging.

In order for you to be explosive, you must train for game-like situations. Drills such as cariocas, shuffles, lateral speed drills, back pedals, cone drills, etc. should be incorporated into the basketball player's training regimine.

3. Core strength is critical for basketball players too! A strong core will lessen risk of injury, allow you to have stronger limbs and allow the player to perform game moves with speed and explosion. The cross-over lunge (shown below) is a great leg and core exercise for basketball players.

4. Speed drills should be performed while you are still fresh. Performing speed drills at the end of practice will only serve to increase the player's endurance. You must train fast in order to be fast!

Now, get yourself ready to play basketball!

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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