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Speed and Agility Training
Speed and agility training is very important in any sports training, especially basketball. But even though this site is for basketball training, these drills are great for any sports agility training.
These particular basketball drills are more geared toward lateral quickness. Why? Because both basketball offense and basketball defense require quick changes of direction to be played effectively.
Other sports also require changes of direction like football and hockey, so pay attention to your sports agility training!
As with every other aspect of basketball, remember to stay low. Staying low increases your muscle efficiency and overall speed and agility.
Yet another regret from my younger training years is that I only focused on my vertical. I wish they would have had these lateral power boxes when I was younger. They are great as an overall workout because not only can they help improve your cross-over and defensive quickness, but they provide a great cardiovascular workout as well.
I think that using the plyometric lateral power boxes may be one of the best lateral quickness training exercises I've found. Get the Lateral Power Boxes Here. (under "Speed/Power")
Speed & Agility Training Exercises
As noted in other sections of this site, a great exercise for helping you to stay low is the wall sit:
You should basically be in a position similar to sitting in a chair, but without the chair. You will feel it mostly in the quads, but other areas such as the hips, will feel some strain as well.
Depending on your routine and abilities, you may shoot for holding the position for a certain period of time. An example may be 60 seconds when you first begin. As you develop more endurance, though, you will want to extend this time a great deal.
This exercise is a great start to your speed and agility training, but only that, a start. Continue on!
These drills should also be included in your speed and agility training:
You will need enough space on a floor or exercise mat to have a hexagon with sides of approximately 24" each. It is not recommended that you do this on a cement court without additional support as there is no give. Exercise mats can be helpful in reducing the strain on your knees, back, and other joints. You can also use them in a number of ways.
Start in the center of the hexagon and jump to one side of the hexagon, then immediately jump back to the center. Proceed to all other sides of the hexagon. You can do this in order around clockwise, then counter-clockwise and either for a specific number of trips around the hexagon or for a specified amount of time.
For added difficulty:
How can jumping rope be added to your speed and agility training? Simple, modify it so that you're not staying in one place. Jump side to side, in a square, and whatever other creative way you can think of that isn't just up and down.
Use a jump rope on the ground (preferably not cement), the lines on the court, or the fold on an exercise mat as a line to jump across for each of the line jump exercises.
Stand with your feet together, pointing parallell along the line. Jump quickly sideways over the line and, upon landing, jump back across sideways. Repeat this at as fast as you can for a specified number of jumps or amount of time.
For Added Difficulty: Jump with just one foot, but remember to repeat the exercise with each foot.
Of course, not all gyms have this available, so if they don't, you may need to find a dot drill mat or make one of your own using an exercise mat (perhaps the other side of your hexagon drill mat thay you've made). Two dots on the top, one in the middle, and two on the bottom. Basically make a rectangle with the two top and two bottom circles and place another circle in the center.
It may sound strange, but if you're into video games, get yourself Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) as well. It can really help with your footwork. I think I saw a preview for a football movie where the coach has a player using it to improve footwork.
Eastbay.com also has some great speed and agility training products, like the Agility Webs on the right. And Amazon has a number of different products that can help improve your speed & agility (some of my suggestions highlighted below). But, I know not everyone can afford something like that. Take a look, though, these can be very effective when used with some of the drills above or with the training DVDs some come with.
If you can't afford some of these speed and agility training aids, don't worry, use the free or inexpensive speed and agility training exercises I've provided for you above...there will be more coming soon!
Top Basketball Exercises
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