Want to know how to improve your speed on the court?
I just read the June 2007 edition of the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Performance Training Journal which focuses on Speed Development.
How important is speed in basketball? While it may not be as important during a half-court game, the ability to get up and down the court quickly during a full-court run can significantly affect fast break points (scored and allowed) and mean the difference between winning and losing the game.
Here are 4 take-home points from this issue.
1) TRAIN SPECIFICALLY FOR SPEED
To get the most out of a training session, perform speed drills before you get tired (try to perform them at the beginning of practice (but after a dynamic warmup!) or prior to weight training workouts) so that you can practice high-quality movements at top speed. Use a stop watch to record sprint times to motivate yourself to improve, as well as let you know when you’re getting stale. When your sprint times start going up, it means you're getting tired/stale and it’s time to stop this session and move on to something else.
2) TRAIN FOR COURT (LENGTH) SPEED
Some of the more popular speed training programs focus on straight-line sprints run over 50-100 yards, but if you want to increase speed for basketball, the author suggests training at distances commonly run during play.
Think about it…. when was the last time you saw a basketball player run 100 yards in a straight line during a game? So when you train for speed, limit your sprint conditioning drills to the distance between the end lines on the court.
3) TRAIN FOR SPEED IN MULTIPLE DIRECTIONS
Training for basketball should also focus on the footwork and agility needed to turn linear (forwards/backwards) speed into lateral (side-to-side) and diagonal speed.
4) USE RESISTANCE TO HELP YOU TRAIN
Once you’re comfortable running sprints using high-quality movements at top speed, you can progress your training to include sprints (forward, lateral, diagonal) against resistance. Resisted sprinting can be used not only to increase speed but to also to improve acceleration, an important trait to possess in a sport with so many starts and stops. You can find some suggestions about different ways to add resistance to your sprints by reading the article on page 12 of this issue.
To read the articles in this issue, click here .
To learn more about the National Strength and Conditioning Association, click here.