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Developing Speed and Quickness for Basketball

November 7, 2017


My intentions in writing basketball training articles are not to encourage people to buy products but I have to mention some of them in this article because they played a large role in this area of development for me.


Science has proven that some people have the natural ability to be faster than other people. It's true in that they've identified 'speed' genes that determine whether your muscles are fast twitch or slow twitch. Fast twitch are your sprinters and slow twitch are your mile runners or your cross country types.


I bring this up because I believe in a very large gray area here in that we each have what is called potential and I want to fulfill that just like you do. Can I become faster or quicker by working at it? Of course I can. What happens if you work out? You get in shape. What happens if you don't? You loose muscle and get fat. Same thing applies with speed and quickness. If you take the time to apply the drills that I'll show you today you will get faster and quicker, it's that simple.


I'll express this next segment with a story. I'm 14 years old (34 now) and my dad pushed me like crazy to be good at basketball. He was very hard on me but I loved it. I loved everything about it until one day. My dad came home with  "The Strength Shoes". This wasn't the cool version that you see today. The original version was like a pair of Keds with the giant sole on it and it looked ridiculous.


I wasn't going to wear those shoes for anything, but my dad kept on me and I eventually started to exercise with them. I would wear them in pickup games with other players and it drove me crazy. As I played with them a few games I would do fine, but then take them off and I noticed that I was much faster and quicker than before. Sure, it could've been in my head like when you are a kid and you get some new shoes and you think you are faster but I actually was faster and quicker.


Then I started to run sprints in the shoes when I was alone in the gym. I would do all my ball handling with the shoes on. I would do the jump rope with the shoes on. Did it help my jumping? A little to be honest but my speed and quickness was noticeably better.


As I got older I still used the shoes and I would run hills with them. I would go back to the gym and shoot my jump shots with them on and it was amazing. I loved those shoes. I still have those shoes and the soles are trashed. My little girls will wear them around our house on occasion thinking they are funny and I try to tell them how those shoes and some hard work helped pay for my college.


I'm not a salesman but if you are serious about wanting to improve your speed then get the shoes because you'll see the results. As a college sophomore I ran a 4.45 in the forty and I attribute a lot of it to the work I did in those shoes.


Some of you have played against players that are fast without the ball, but once they have the ball they slow down. Don't be one of those guys. I used to practice as often as possible with kids my age and we weren't the type that would just go to the gym and shoot. We would work. We would do drills with one of us trailing the other player full speed. This taught control, positioning and speed. When I knew a player was behind me I wanted to go as fast as I could under control. I didn't want to lose the ball or dribble so fast that I went out of bounds. This helps more than you can believe.


Another drill I used was to see how many dribbles I could go the full length of the court in. Sometimes I would simply do drills to determine if I could go from foul line to foul line in 3 dribbles. Could I do this overnight? No and don't expect to. But when you learn how to do it you will see the benefits. Doing it in strength shoes was another story.


Lastly, please remember that when you are doing drills to do them full speed. Don't go into them casual. Take them serious if you want to see the results. Like my father always used to say to me "if you don't practice today someone else will and when you play against them they'll beat you."

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