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Basketball Skills Training: Breakaway Sprint Speed

Smoke your defense on the court by maximizing your breakaway speed.

As the saying goes, speed kills. Many coaches also say you can’t teach speed, but we respectfully disagree. When talking about improving speed in sports, such as basketball, we are really talking about improving acceleration. In the game of basketball there's not enough time to develop top-end speed, so it's more important to improve your ability to increase velocity as quickly as possible. Similar to improving the vertical jump, an athlete will become faster when they are able to produce more force, call upon that potential force faster, and perform the movement more efficiently. The fastest way to get faster is to improve the efficiency. Below are three tips to improve that breakaway speed.

THE BIG THREE - Sprinter's Workout

Learn To Extend

Sprinting is a complex movement. To master any complicated movement it is beneficial to break it down into a simpler movement in order to understand the mechanics. It is imperative when learning how to sprint that you grasp the concept of triple extension. Triple extension is a simultaneous extending of the hip, knee and ankle joint. When triple extension is achieved the muscles responsible for extending these joints give a coordinated contraction that powerfully moves an athlete in the desired direction. Below is a fundamental drill to teach you how to achieve triple extension similar to it’s application in the sprint. Wall Marches 3 sets x 5 reps each – 60 Seconds Rest Between Sets Find an open wall and stand an arms length + one foot from the wall. From that distance extend your arm and get on the balls of your foot (heels slightly off the floor) and fall into the wall (hands against the wall) Your hand position should be shoulder-width and chest-height. From that position you should have a forward body lean that’s at a 45-degree angle with your chin tucked. Drive one knee up and above the belly button, your heel should be up and under the hips. With your chin remaining tucked, back arched, torso braced, and glute engaged (leg that’s on the floor), hold this position for 5 seconds and then explosively drive your leg back to the start position (extend hip and knee). Alternate to the other leg. NEXT: Get moving! >>

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