Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Passing Plyometrics

When people talk about plyometrics, most of us think about working on a basketball player's vertical jump or lateral speed, but did you know that plyometrics can also improve your (team's) passing?

This article in the most recent edition of the National Strength and Conditioning Association's Performance Journal discussed plyometric training of the upper body.
The author recommends throwing a medicine ball upwards while lying on a bench (make sure someone is spotting you!) and performing clapping push-ups (where you clap your hands together at the height of your pushup and catch yourself before your hands hit the floor).

While he doesn't mention it, the thought occurred to me that these exercises might be useful in improving basketball passing velocity (chest pass).

A little research led me to a 2006 article from the Japanese Journal of Physical Fitness and Sports Medicine which concludes that "plyometrics, by using the drop jump and medicine ball throw, are effective training methods for improving jump, footwork and chest pass ability in competitive basketball players".

While I can't comment on the accuracy of these findings (anybody out there able to translate Japanese?), it shouldn't be too hard to add these two plyometric exercises to the routine of an older teenager.
It just might improve their passing ability.

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