Last month, I promised to continue my discussion about the use of plyometrics in youth basketball.
In this entry, I offer some suggestions about appropriate times to train, amount of training, length of training, and some useful and credible resources.
Like most pre-season programs that cause neuromuscular changes, you should start plyometric training at least 6 weeks before the start of practice.
A good youth plyometrics program is based upon these 5 principles:
1) Sufficient warmup – Any good workout should start with a dynamic warm-up to get the muscles ready for training.
2) Appropriate overload – Work first with simple body weight exercises that are enough to challenge you. Don't use heavy weights or deep jumps.
3) Gradual progression – Don’t try to do too much too soon. If you do, you’re just asking for a good case of Osgood-Schlatter Disease or Sever’s Disease. Start with less intense exercises and then gradually progress to more advanced ones.
4) Cool-down Period and
5) Adequate Rest- Most experts recommend 2 or 3 days of rest between plyometric training to enable your muscles to recover and grow from the previous workout. This usually works out to twice each week on non-consecutive days.
Make sure that when you do plyometric exercises, you:
Use soft training surfaces.(Jumping on concrete or asphalt can lead to knee, ankle, and hip damage).
Use non-skid training surfaces.
Use jumping boxes that will not move.
Wear proper shoes.
Keep the jumping area free of clutter.
Learn and practice proper landing form on all jumps because landing with stiff, straight legs puts pressure on the ligaments and bones and not the muscles. This can cause injury and reduces the effectiveness of your training.
Plyometric drills should be performed when your legs are fresh and before lifting weights.
When it comes to plyometric drills, more is not necessarily better.
For more information about plyometrics, read Progressive Plyometrics for Kids by Faigenbaum, Falkel and Chu and Jumping into Plyometrics by Donald Chu, PhD.
Jump to it!