Just so everyone knows… this is MY blog and MY opinion after years of experience in training and learning from the best in the business.
Our ankles are what we call “mobile” joints which means that they need as much MOBILITY as possible. The shoes today are made for as much “stability” as possible. They are very rigid and tough to support the ankle and it’s movements.
Not only do players wear these, they also strap on thick rigid ankle braces and I am just like, WHOA!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
By wearing ankle braces and our already rigid super-expensive footwear, we are turning a strong mobile joint into a weaker stable joint. Why would we do that?
Because our parents said we should? Because our coaches? We saw one at the store and remembered that ONE TIME we rolled our ankle and thought it would be nice to buy one and prevent that from happening?
Think of when you get a cast taken off of the arm or leg, notice how small and weak it looks? That’s what you are doing to the muscles in the ankle by wearing ankle braces. The muscles experience atrophy (they shrink) because they cannot complete the range of motion they were intended for.
What should you do then?
You should work on strengthening your ankle instead of compensating for the lack of strength. Basketball begins from the ground up, but everyone tends to forget to work on strengthening your feet.
For more by Coach L and his work with basketball players and performance training, check out the STRONGER TEAM NATION HERE
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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