First Step Quickness for Basketball Players
The other day, I spoke to a basketball athlete who told me he does calf raises to improve his first step quickness… I was baffled. But, this is just one misconception in a sea of misconceptions about quickness. In truth, basketball players make many wrong moves on their quest to get a quick first step, like:
- Using a Vertimax to become more explosive
- Performing dribbling drills with an elastic band around their waist
- Jump rope in hopes of putting some pop in their step
And there’s a landslide more fruitless ways athletes try to improve quickness…
It’s pretty clear… Athletes are confused when it comes to first step quickness.
Luckily… it can be improved.
It’s not genetic.
And you can actually improve your first step quickness in one day… Provided you use the right formula.
I’m here to give you that formula that will put more pop in your step.
If you want to blow past defenders… Focus on THIS:
Horizontal Force Production
1. Staggered Stance Broad Jump
The staggered stance broad jump is exactly what it sounds like… You have your feet hip width, the toe of one foot in line with the heel of the foot in front. Then, you load the hips, bring your arms down, and jump out. Then switch feet.
This is a good movement for hoopers, as it can mimic your three point stance, and your explosion out of this position.
2. Single Leg Broad Jump
This next move for first step quickness is an simple one. Simple stand on one leg, load the hip and the knee, and jump out as far as you can. You can progress this to a single leg double broad, or even a triple broad.
3. Power Skips for Distance
Finally, another simple, but effective move is a power skip for distance. You can go 20 yards here. All you do is jump out, dragging the floor behind you. When you do this you should have one knee popped up and the opposite hand at your cheek, like you’re sprinting.
Body Position (Mechanics)
1. Short Suicide Sprint
This drill forces the athlete to learn how to accelerate and decelerate quickly and efficiently. For this drill, you’ll need three cones. Each one should be spaced 2.5 yards from each other. Start at one cone, then sprint to the first cone, touch the line with your right hand, then go back to the original cone. Once you reach the original cone, turn again and sprint to the line that’s five yards away, touch the line, and sprint back. Repeat by touching each line with your left hand.
2. Wall Drill
For this drill, find a wall and place your hands shoulder height, arms extended. Take a step back and lean into the wall. Pop one knee up slightly above the hips. Make sure that toe is flexed. On “GO”, drive that raised leg into the ground and pop the other thigh up quickly like your running. Then drive that thigh into the ground and bring the original knee up. Repeat this for desired reps.
3. Jump back starts
For this acceleration drill, stand tall, feet hip width. Jump back about a foot and land with your feet staggered. Land with a forward body angle and sprint forward. Repeat for desired reps.
4. Falling starts
Here, you’re going to start by standing tall. Get onto your tip toes and start to lean forward. When you lean, keep the body in line. Don’t let the hips shoot back, and don’t bend at the waist. When you’re about to fall, catch yourself and sprint forward.
5. 10 yard dash
This one’s simple. Just get in a 40 yard dash stance, and sprint 10 yards as fast as you can. This is more of an indicator of your first step quickness, but it’s a good measurement to keep track of.