3 Drills to Improve Your Footwork on the Court
Do you want to improve your basketball game by a significant amount? If so, then we need to address speed. Height can be pretty advantageous on the court, of course, but nothing can have more impact than speed. Not only will it help you make your way from one side of the court to the other, but most importantly, it will gain you valuable time and space over those first five yards. With this in mind, here are a few speed drills that will improve your game.
Focus on Your Core Strength
Don’t make the mistake of going straight into sprint exercises. The reality is that your core strength is going to have one of the biggest impacts on your ability to get faster. The stronger your core, the faster you will be able to run, jump, twist and turn - it’s the central ingredient to improving your all-around game.
There are, of course, a vast array of core exercises out there, each one of them targeted on a specific area. However, the plank is likely to be a perfect starting point, as it is fondly known as the ultimate core exercise. You should include exercises that focus on a smaller muscle group, too, so consider the Greek God Press to stop you getting pushed back, the Side Plank or Weighted Side Plank to prevent you from side-bending at speed, and the Landmine with Rotation which can help you resist twisting.
Speed and Agility
Foot speed plays an incredibly important role in basketball. Put it simply, the faster you can dance, the less you leave to chance. Focusing on simple, foot-speed increasing activities is going to do you a world of good and improve your game significantly.
Jump rope is the perfect starting point, and you should aim to learn the Ali Shuffle. Playing ladder - and even hopscotch - can help, too. Finally, try prancing - it’s much like the pogo except you have one foot in front of the other. Then, you jump as high as you can, and switch your legs around, before springing back up and alternating. Keep going and increase the number of reps as you progress.
Recovery and Changing Position
Finally, a large part of basketball is about getting your body back into position. With the speed of the game being so fast, it’s not unusual to find yourself sent the wrong way, caught completely flat-footed. You can improve your performance significantly by practicing your transitions in several different ways.
First, this is all about changing stances, so think like a dancer and try moving from a split stance to staggered. Rinse and repeat until you start to get quicker, then increase your reps. Next, go from the split position to balancing on a single leg - and back again. This will help you build some explosive power in your muscles, and spring back to the position in double quick time. Finally, try the 4-squarer rotational U-Drill. It’s a tough workout, but it will teach you to move at speed and with balance.
Good luck with the training and have a great season on the court!!!