Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Basketball Speed and Agility

The basketball off season is virtually upon us here in New Jersey. With most middle school basketball teams finished up and the majority of the high school basketball teams finishing within the next week or two, many basketball players are looking for ways to improve. Satisfied or not with your season, there is always room to grow as a basketball player and that is what we are all about at Elite Basketball Training. One such way is to make yourself into a quicker and more agile basketball player. The old adage, speed kills, is not a lie. Quicker players are very difficult to guard and can reke havoc on a defense, forcing them into help situations while creating open opportunities for other players. With some help this off season, you can become one of those players that other teams fear because of your quickness. That is why we put together our top five basketball training tips for improving your speed and agility.

  1. Strengthen your body: There is no substitute, when it comes to basketball speed and agility, for being in great shape. Get in the weight room and develop you overall body. Focus on big lifts like squats, deadlifts and presses while adding in complimentary movements such as lunges, pullups and dips. Increase your overall power by training with bands and incorporating implements that force you to hit triple extension such as medicine ball throws, kettlebell swings and plyometrics. All of this will increase your overall athleticism, allow you to exert more force on the ground and become more powerful, a deadly combination that will lead to more speed. However, strength and power can only get you to a point. That is where the rest comes in.
  2. Incorporate Speed, Agility and Quickness training into your basketball skill development: With limited time due to multiple commitments such as school activities, other sports and AAU basketball, during the off season it is a must that your training regimen be as efficient as possible. Combining your speed and agility training with your basketball skill development will not only solve your time issue but also ensure that you are training in a way that is game like. Being fast while running a straight line is one thing. However, having the ability to be quick with or without the ball in your hands while changing directions in ways that mimic those on a basketball court is another. To achieve these skills, you need to develop them through training which should be done on the court while merging skill development drills with speed and agility drills.  
  3. Improve your footwork: Building on the topic of basketball efficiency, improved footwork on the court will absolutely translate into becoming a quicker player. Proper footwork is the difference between being a good player or a great player. There are basketball players that are naturally gifted, athletic and physically quick but their poor footwork makes them look average. There are also basketball players out there that are not as naturally athletically gifted who make up for this with great footwork. Having efficient footwork puts your body in the correct positions no matter what the situation, shooting the ball, driving, defending. As a result of this, they can appear quicker than they actually are because these players are always in the right positions at the right time.
  4. Improve your basketball IQ: Another simple way to make yourself quicker on the basketball court is to have a higher understanding of the game. The more you understand the game, the better you will be at reading situations as they emerge. Reading the defense and being able to make the right cuts, the right moves, the right finishes based on what the defense presents is the sign of a great player. It can also make up for a lack of physical speed by once again increasing your efficiency on the court. Study the game by watching it, reading about it and playing it and you will be sure to increase your basketball IQ and your basketball speed as well. 
  5. Improve your jump shot:  A Better jump shot will most certainly translate into improved overall quickness. If you can shoot the lights out, you’ll appear even quicker because it will force defenders to have to guard you tighter and once they do, it is easier to go by them. Take Klay Thompson for example. He’s a good athlete that is made to look like a great athlete because of his phenomenal jump shot. Being able to shoot like he does, forces defenders to have to guard him closer, and the closer the defender gets to him, the harder he becomes to guard. Using this crowding defense to his advantage, Thompson appears quicker going by players than he actually is all thanks to his superior jump shot.  

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