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 basketball speed and quickness is 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. It looks like they used a quick move when you see it live. 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 depends on how well a player can change direction, react to the defensive moves, ball and body fake, and create separation. There have been many players over the years who were not the quickest, most natural athlete on the court, but they could always get open, blow by defenders, and 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 fighters. 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 overstride. 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 can increase acceleration with the second and third steps. If the players take a short first step, they don’t take advantage of all the force the back leg has to give. Plus, the short step allows the defender 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 want to make defensive players quicker, take a look at the Certified Basketball Speed Specialist course and learn the basketball speed techniques that have helped coaches and players improve on-court speed and quickness for years.