Basketball speed and quickness…why do some players have it and others don’t?
This is an easy one….Genetics!
Is that the only way basketball players can have an explosive, quick first step?
Not at all!
A Key to Basketball Speed and Quickness.
The unique part of having basketball speed and quickness has to do with timing, fakes, body position, and ball position. Many times a player may look extremely quick, but it’s just that he or she is great at timing and fakes. They understand getting the defense to freeze or lunge and then they step by or through. When you see it live it looks like they used a quick move. Other times players use great body position and ball position to pull the defense out of position; it’s called getting the defense on your hip.
Quickness in offensive basketball has to do with how well a player can change direction, react to the defenses move, ball and body fake, and create separation. There have been many players over the years that were not the quickest most natural athlete on the court, but they could always get open, could always blow by defenders, and could always create separation from the defense. It is because they have great body control and know how to take advantage of fakes.
What Makes a Quick Basketball Player?
Important components of basketball speed and quickness are body balance, stance, reaction, acceleration, and body posture. Let me give you an example of how important it is to have great body posture as an offensive player. Let’s say a player gives a great shot fake and gets the defensive player to react, but the offensive player’s stance and posture is poor. They end up not being able to take advantage of the fake.
Players that have great reaction ability are able to make quick moves. Let’s compare great offensive movers to a prize fighter. Great boxers have the ability to counter punch and take advantage of a move by the opponent. In basketball great offensive players take advantage of a reach, over-hedge, or closeout. But, in order for the offensive player to take advantage of the defensive mistake, he must have great body balance and posture.
What Makes a Good Acceleration Move as an Offensive Player?
Players must have shoulders forward, drive down and back, and use length in their steps. Many coaches don’t teach their players to take long first steps because they feel they will over stride. The bottom line is if the players lean forward with the shoulders, create high force down and back with the back leg, and punch the lead knee out, then they will be able to increase acceleration with the second and third steps. If the players take a short first step, then they didn’t take advantage of all the force the back leg had to give. Plus, the short step gives the defender a chance to cut off or redirect the move.
Let’s face it, if an offensive player was born with lightning quickness and has great body control, fakes, reactive ability, and ball position, they are nearly impossible to guard. If you are not one of the athletes born with extreme quickness, then it can easily be overcome with an understanding and training to use the ball and your body to defeat the defender.
If you are looking to make defensive players quicker take a look at Basketball Speed and learn the basketball speed techniques that have helped coaches and players for years improve on court speed and quickness.