Basketball is a fast-paced game with tricks, turns, jumps and skill moves. Being agile is vital if you want to surprise your opponent and get in the position for a dunk.
Although biological factors such as height, the length of your arms and your body type all matter in becoming a better basketball player, most of the basketball skills and agility can be improved and perfected through training. Here are some tips for improving your basketball agility.
Train Basketball Agility
Being able to move quickly and unpredictably makes all the difference when you want to outmaneuver your opponent. A quick move to one side followed by a turn to the other. It looks easy when others are doing it, but it’s way harder when the ball is in your hands.
There are many ways to master your movement and body control, such as running through agility ladders, running around cones and practicing sudden turns. Running forwards, backward, shuffling and making quick turns will prepare you for any situation on the field. Remember, it’s important to work on your movement both with and without the ball.
It’s said that a great attack wins matches, but a good defense wins tournaments. While dribbling and showing off your sneaky moves can be both fun and effective, it certainly doesn’t win you the game single-handedly.
Essentially, basketball is about getting more balls than your opponent, meaning you need to score and prevent your opponent from scoring. Increasing your vertical jump height is an important part of training basketball agility. The better you bounce the better your opportunity is to influence the scoreboard by capturing rebounds and netting the ball.
To improve your jumping, start measuring your vertical jumping reach by seeing how far up you manage to tap the wall. Then practice doing bunny hops, lunge jumps, and tuck jumps. You will see improvement within only a few days or weeks of regular practice (3-4 days a week).
Dribbling the Ball
Another important part of training basketball agility is the dribbling practice. Being able to fully control the ball in different positions is vital. Whether you dribble left, right or bounce the ball between your legs it doesn’t take more than a minor mistake to drop the ball and cause a massive counter-play.
A great way of developing an amazing handle is doing wraps. Wrap the ball around your arms, legs and around your head. Another great exercise is the 3-dribble where you bounce the ball three times before doing a crossover or dribbling through the legs and repeating. Find a set of exercises that you like and some you’re particularly bad at.
Additionally, mixing it all up in freestyle practice is both fun and closer to the reality of a match. The heat of a game is rarely like dribbling through a set of cones.
Training basketball agility can be done in a set of different ways. Whether you want to become the next Michael Jordan, or you want to beat your friends on the court next summer, practicing intentionally will rapidly improve your technique and skill.
While most exercises can be done on your own, potentially supported by a basket and a few cones, playing and practicing with friends too will develop your agility. Find yourself some exercises and get out there. I believe you can reach any goal you set for yourself if you’re intentional.
Contributed by Webstertopper