As the new basketball season approaches, coaches and players are designing their exercise regimens. Players want to jump higher, be quicker on turns, and throw harder but with more accuracy than in previous seasons and still avoid injury by doing all of this safely. Exercises for basketball players focus on a lot of jumping, turning, hand-eye coordination, and shock absorption.
Like No Other Sport
Many sports involve plenty of running, throwing, and catching and basketball is no different. Players cover a lot of miles during a game and they have to be strong. Precision is important: following play all around and knowing your position in the game. Unlike soccer or football, however, basketball involves a lot of jumping. The best players have to be able to jump high: literally launch their bodies from a standing or squatting position without a running start. Even soccer players can at least leap to head the ball while in motion, but in basketball, players not only jump all the time; they move vertically.
Exercises for Jumping Higher
Coaches will combine weight bearing and repetition in a series of exercises which involve a ball, a medicine ball, or basketball. A medicine ball replicates the feel of a basketball but is much heavier, thereby putting more strain on the athlete’s arms and legs to develop muscle and stamina. Experts recommend squatting and leaping while throwing the ball up and out as with a basketball, but over and over. It sounds boring, but repetition is the key to success and adding inches to one’s vertical jump.
Exercises for Handling Shock
During jumping moves, the player learns to absorb shock in his knees, ankles, and hips or he suffers injury. He cannot land hard: his body has to automatically release itself to the ground in a fluid movement which, in slow motion, would appear gradual. In real life this release is happening quickly. Movements such as jumping and landing repeatedly create muscle memory. Arms also take a lot of shock as they catch and throw. Push ups where one has to clap and then put his hands down without jarring his wrists are excellent for teaching control.
Better Pivoting with the Ball
A player can use a basketball or medicine ball to improve speed on the turn. Stand with one hip facing the wall then swing the ball towards the wall, turning or jumping to face this obstacle as you release. Throw the ball and catch on the rebound. You will learn to move speedily, turn accurately, and catch accurately. It might sound easy, but in a game situation things are happening outside of the player’s direct vision all the time and he has to react quickly without losing the ball or failing to notice and respond to a player at his shoulder.