I get this question every single day from players, as well as coaches.
How can I get faster? How can I get quicker? How can I make my team quicker on the defensive end or how can I make them lighter on their feet?
I love getting these questions from young players because it shows me they are hungry to learn. I love getting this question from coaches because it shows they are looking to further their education and find new ways to advance their teams and their training.
The Keys To Speed And Agility are:
Proper stepping, cutting and foot placement are major aspects that play into your speed and agility in training, as well as transferring your skills onto the court. Knowing where and how to place your foot on the cut will determine how explosive and how quick you can change direction. Speed and Agility can help with players who have heavy feet, because the emphasis of light touches and quick movement will help with that.
Having a strong core (top of the knees to your chest is your core) will help you with body control. Whenever we change direction, sometimes not having a strong core will cause you to lean and not be able to push off explosively because we can’t control our own momentum. Doing daily core strengthening exercises will do wonders! No, not crunches and sit ups. Core training related to basketball such as cable anti-rotation or Medicine Ball Slams or Medicine Ball Lunges with the coach trying to pull the ball out of your hands. Those types of exercises focus more on core strength related to the game. You are getting balance, control, and stability in the core.
Biggest factor for basketball players of all ages is mobility and flexibility. If you aren’t mobile enough to get your body low in a defensive stance or in your drive to the basket on your first step past your defender, you are seriously limiting your game! As basketball players, the areas with the most need of mobility and flexibility are the ankles, hips and shoulders. Core strength will help with mobility as far as body control, but increasing the range of motion in our joints will allow our muscles to activate more efficiently, which will allow our muscles to be more explosive. Start low, finish high. That is how I best describe it. Starting low will make your first step longer and more explosive. It will allow your change of direction to be more direct because you have been control of your body when you are low. When you stand tall, YOU ARE OFF BALANCE!
I was blessed to be able to share some speed and agility drills with the players at the Becky Hammon Mother’s Day Clinic that we held a couple weekends ago. It demonstrates some fun and competitive speed and agility drills that can be implemented into team training as well as individual training.
You can check that out here in this video
Want to get started on you becoming faster?
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About the Author
Coach Layton is the Head Performance Coach for Spartan Basketball. Layton is a Certified Sports Performance Coach through USA Weightlifting and has trained athletes from the developmental stages to college level athletes.
I had the privilege to work with Tim Springer during the 2011 WNBA season.
While working with Tim I was able to improve my weaknesses and turn them into strengths. He was fully dedicated and passionate about making me a better player and giving me the tools I need to sharpen my game.
I look forward to working with him again next summer.
San Antonio Stars
WNBA All Star