John Celestand ( former NBA player), Mars Mellish (former Division 1 standout), and Rich Stoner (owner and operator of Elite Basketball Training), for 6 hours of PROFESSIONAL instruction at the Salvation Army Gym in Red Bank, NJ.
Each three hour workout will aid in the development of skills, team concepts, and speed and agility all through hard work along with fun games and contests.
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Grip strength is extremely important for basketball players and should be a focal point of a player’s basketball training. As a former basketball coach and avid basketball fan, I have witnessed countless occasions when a player coming down with a rebound only to have it ripped right from his hands. This is very frustrating to watch and can be easily avoided by adding grip development exercises to your programming. Having strong hands is not only important for holding on to the basketball, but also for becoming a better ball handler. Simply stated, the stronger your hands are the better you are going to be at handling the basketball because stronger hands will give you a better feel for the ball and more control over it. It is for these reasons that I am a huge advocate of using sandbags, medicine balls, and fat gripz in your basketball strength training programs. Doing so will guarantee that your hands and forearms are developing along with the rest of your body and you will see gains not only in your exercises, such and deadlifts and pull ups but also on the court where your handle will be much improved and you will be less likely to lose the basketball because of weak hands.
Basketball Hand Strength & Sandbags
Training with sandbags is a fantastic way to increase your overall body strength as well as build tremendous grip strength. The shifting weight of the sand in the bag forces players to stabilize their core and use muscles that they would not necessarily use when lifting with a barbell. This type of odd object lifting is a great supplement to a basketball player’s regular training regimen and the odd nature of the object will create a much stronger more athletic basketball player. One that is less likely to get injured when the game forces your body to work in a way that is not as linear as it would like. Beyond the overall strength and athletic benefits of sandbag training it provides an abundance of grip strength development. When training with a sandbag, there is no easy way to grip the bag (providing you don’t cheat and use the pre fab handles). Once again, due to the shifting nature of the sand it forces your hands to adjust throughout the lifts thereby making them stronger.
Basketball Grip Strength and Small Sandbags
Sandbag training is not the only way to develop grip strength. Another great way to build stronger hands is to incorporate smaller medicine balls (4 or 6 pounds) into your basketball skill development workouts. Start by just tossing the medicine ball up and catching it with your elbow and forearm horizontal to the floor (like you would have your guard arm up while handling a basketball) and palm facing down and out. This will challenge your hands to really grip the medicine ball as you catch it and force you to keep your guard arm up (another common mistake that novice ball handlers make). Do not catch the medicine ball underhand! This is too easy and defeats the two main purposes of the drill: building grip strength and getting your guard arm up. As you progress through this drill, the next step in this series would be to pound the basketball while executing the toss and catch with your opposite hand. Once again, make sure that you are catching the ball with your arm up and palm facing out.
You could also have a partner toss you the medicine ball while you are dribbling the basketball. This is a little more challenging since the medicine ball is now travelling a greater distance towards you for you to catch. Finally, execute a change of direction move such as a crossover, a between the legs move, or a behind the back move while the medicine ball is in flight. This will make the drill even more of a challenge because you now have to focus on the change of direction move as well as the medicine ball catch. (These last two progressions that I mentioned are viewable in the video below).
Finally, you can also build grip strength by incorporating the use of Fat Gripz into your weight training. Fat Gripz are fat blue pads the slide over the bar that make gripping the bar in pulling situations, like the deadlift, more challenging because it makes the gripping area of the bar thicker and difficult to hold on to. This are a less expensive option to the chubby bars that many manufacturers are making these days and equally effective. Other exercises players can use to improve their overall grip strength include plate pinches, dumbbell grips, or even the use of a towel when doing pull ups or rows. Overall, incorporating grip strength work into your basketball training regimen on and off the basketball court will provide the player with tremendous benefits that include improved ball handling and dribbling as well as fewer turnovers as a result of the ball getting ripped from your hands.
Learn The Best Basketball Grip Strength Tips In Your Next Workout!
“Rich Stoner is one of the nation’s leaders on basketball strength and speed and agility training. I particularly recommend his course on basketball speed and agility.”
The game of basketball when played properly is played from low to high. While playing, basketball players should be in a low, balanced position. This shoud be the norm througout the game whether they are on defense or offense. Good players with the basketball, handle the ball low to the ground and then finish high at the rim or on their jump shot. Good defenders will be in a low athletic stance in order to move affectively with the man that they are guarding. Basketball players who are constantly standing up only make themselves less efficient, slower players. By standing straight up during the course of play, the player is now forced to drop back down in order to elevate for a jumper, layup, or rebound. This extra movement, makes them a slower player. Despite this, many young players today refuse to get low while playing the game. The reasons could vary from laziness, to a lack of strength, to not ever practicing staying low. Whatever the reason is, it needs to be fixed! Staying low is one of the most fundamental aspects of basketball that needs to be worked on, and it needs to be worked on in all facets of the game. Getting low defensively, getting low while handling the ball, and getting low while beating your defender which is the subject of the video below.
In this basketball training video, the player is executing a drill which emphasizes the low position that is necessary as a player goes by their defender. In this case, the player will make a move at the cone (the defender) in a low enough position that she can knock down the cone, then she must hold that position for a two count, and then push off the back leg for one dribble and finish high into her jump shot. Holding the position will help her body understand the low, explosive position that she needs to get to in order to explode past the defender low and stay low until she elevates up into her jump shot.
Yesterday’s Elite Basketball Skills and Drills Clinics at The Salvation Army Gym in Red Bank, was my first clinic back into the area that I grew up playing basketball in, and boy was it exciting! Thanks to local shooting instructor, Scott Byrne, the turnout for the clinic was great and the energy that the young players brought was even better. For two hours, the players and coaches worked hard on skill development as well as speed, agility, footwork, and balance. The atmosphere was fun and exciting and promises to be even better for each of the next three Sundays in October (Elite Basketball Skills and Drills Clinics).
My wife was able to capture some great images of the players hard at work during some of their drills and they can be viewed on my Flickr account.
Thanks to all those who attended for making my return to the Monmouth County Area an exciting one and I look forward to working with all of you in the future.
Someone once told me that if you eliminate your weak hand, then you cut off 50% of your options. This could not be more true, yet many players do not or will not practice with their weak hand in order to make it better. In the game of basketball, you should go by the rule that whatever you can do with your right hand, you can do the same with your left hand (or vice versa). If that is not the case for you, then you need to start adding weak hand development drills into your basketball workouts, especially to your ball handling workouts.
A good way to start to develop your weak hand in ball handling is by working out with two basketballs at once. To start, keep it simple with some two ball pounds and then as you progress add some of the other dribbles that can be seen in the video below. Try to be creative with this and challenge yourself with new dribbles and moves, and if you come up with any others that are not seen in the video feel free to let me know in the comments section. Thanks and enjoy.