Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Improve Stopping Speed For Basketball

If you don't have adequate stopping speed as a basketball player, then you won't play basketball past middle school age. You won't make your high school team.

Poor stopping speed will make you slow when you need to change directions quickly during a game.

Great stopping speed requires overall body strength, postural control, core strength, dynamic balance and speed strength.

Basketball players, in particular, have many stops, cuts and starts during a game. The best players (defensive and offensive) are able to decelerate quickly and then accelerate with power in a different direction.

Deceleration is required to stop, slow down, or cut. Deceleration becomes more complicated when you must dribble a ball. That’s why drills should be done with the ball. Your body must be aligned properly to decelerate and accelerate with quickness and power. Failure to align your body properly will subject you to injury.

I will use this example: The Side Shuffle

This is an athletic movement common to many sports. If you are moving to your left, your left leg must be in a position wide enough to stop momentum (just wider than the hips). This is commonly known as the athletic position. Your left foot should also be pointed straight ahead and your ankle should be pointed upward (with weight on balls of feet). Pointing your ankle upward will help avoid sprained/rolled ankles and make the push off powerful.

Your knee should be aligned inside the plant foot to avoid ankle rolls and to take pressure off your hip. One common mechanical breakdown is when the knees protrude far in front of the feet when decelerating. The hips need to remain level throughout the movement to avoid yo-yoing and inefficient movement.

Control your shoulders (no swaying, etc.) with a strong core. This way, you can decelerate and accelerate with power and efficiency. In the same way, your head should be still (no bobbing and weaving) to allow you to focus on the intended target (ball, goal, etc.).

A good strength foundation (including core strength) is needed to maximize power and speed. Now, hurry up and stop!

Be sure and download your Free Dumbbell and Medicine Ball Metabolic Fat Burner Workouts and start shaping your body faster!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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