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Basketball Skill Training: Defensive Lateral Speed

Prepare for March Madness by beefing up your basketball skills. Three training protocols to make you the ultimate defender.

Tie It All Together

During competition, very little is predictable. Learning the fundamentals and becoming comfortable with the correct movements through activation will lead to the realization of the proper mechanics when things are put into a full speed scenario. The “pro agility” drill is a great way to work on improving an athlete’s change of direction and lateral movement skills. Below is a description of how to perform the drill correctly.

5-10-5 Shuffle “Pro Agility”

Sets: 3-5 Rest: 2–3 min. Stance: 1. 3-point stance with one hand (Right hand) on the line, feet on opposite side of the line, make sure your on the balls of your feet (heel about 2-3 inches off the ground) 2. Going to the right side, so stagger the right foot back 3. Slight knee flexion and more flexion at the hips 4. No weight on the front hand (Right hand) because the movement is lateral (Left hand or opposite hand 90 degree at hip) 5. All pressure on inside left foot (big toe) and on outside right foot (little toe) First 5 yards: 1. Cross over with left foot over right foot (Make sure the hand is the last to move) 2. Pressure on right foot (Push off) 3. Then shuffle and then turn your heels to the line (Hockey stop, with pressure in inside foot) 4. Touch the line with right hand (Feet do not have to touch the line, just your hand has to) 5. From the initial movement from the stance think about coming down to the line 10- yard sprint: 1. Horizontal body lean 2. Turn the heels towards the line and all the weight on the inside foot (hockey stop) 3. Touch the line with the left hand Final 5 yards: 1. Excessive horizontal body lean 2. Run through the line (Time will stop when full body is passed the line) Greg Robins NASM-CPT, RKC & Jamie Smith C.S.C.S. are trainers with Total Performance Sports in Everett, MA.

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