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Why is Speed Important in Basketball?

Speed is important in most athletic sports. Same as other sports, basketball is also the fastest pace game. If you have great speed with good skills then obviously, you will produce 100 percent positive results.  Speed is important in basketball because it determines how well you play and how athletic you are. In basketball games, actions like high jump, fast handle, fast-break run, cut and run, pick and roll and so on depending upon the speed. The more speed and good skills, the better to beat the team. However, Speed in basketball doesn’t mean running like a 40-yard dash like Usain Bolt. Speed in basketball includes not only mean straight run. It also includes a zig-zag, spin, back forth, side runs, and so on.

How to Improve Your Speed in Basketball?

According to USA Basketball and many other Official Basketball Coaches like FIBA have divided speed improvement workouts into three categories.

Building Strength

 An athlete has to be enough strength for speed work out. Without adequate strength, you can’t perform good results.  Most of the studies have shown that weight training can improve the speed of basketball. However, this does not mean you have to build heavy muscle. We are discussing the muscle that helps in producing speed.

There are different ways to strengthen your legs like dumbbell (bench) press, shoulder raise, hamstring, quads, crunches, and so on. With these exercises, you can develop your strength to build speed. Workouts like calf raises, leg curls, squats improve your lower body part strength to produce speed. Workouts like bench press, bicep curls, triceps extension plus seated row improve your upper body part strength. Combining all these exercises, you can develop the necessary strength in your body to improve speed.

Acceleration and Quickness

You need to produce acceleration to increase more velocity for the quickness of your game. In basketball, you need to have the ability to accelerate your position very quickly whenever necessary. You need to be quick and understand when to sprint like a rebound, leading a fast break, and so on.

When you are about to sprint, always remember that your body is in a 45-degree position so that you can quickly pick up your acceleration. You can also use an arm position to accelerate your body. Work on quick pick-up acceleration for several reps to increase the strength of improving speed.

Deceleration

Like Quickness, deceleration is equally important in the basketball game. Of course, athletes need speed, but also need to control the speed, or else they may miss fast breaks and layups or perhaps get injured.  In some cases, the athlete must be able to decelerate or slow down and re-accelerate to other movements such as sprint cuts or jumps. An athlete who is very fast but can’t decelerate properly is not very effective in a basketball game.

However, the deceleration technique is complex, many basketball experts suggest keeping nice flex or bent knees when you slow down. Low down your hips and bend your knees during the deceleration when you are landing or slowing down from sprint.

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