I play basketball on most Saturdays. Today was pretty brutal with lots of running and jumping with a bunch of guys who are younger, faster and more skilled. It’s frustrating but always fun and a great workout.
I like to observe myself during the game. My skills are probably a little better than the average non-athlete kid in middle school. This gives me a unique perspective on what I need to work on, what kids need to work on and ways to incorporate those skills in PE or at practice.
One area, that I get beat on is jumping. My vertical jump isn’t very good but I’m ok with that. What gets me is that I can’t jump quickly, I can’t do repeated jumps and jumping from different positions makes things much worse.
I’ve been working on my jumping and it has improved. Typically, I jump in the mornings when I’m doing a strength or metabolic conditioning workout. It’s working but it isn’t carrying over enough to the game.
So here are some warm-up ideas I’m going to use to improve my basketball game. I think they will work for kids and youth sports as well. These warm-ups are designed to be done on a court or field ten to twenty yards wide. All the movements should be done with the knees bent, head up and body in an athletic stance.
1.Five steps and jump: Five easy steps then plant and jump. Odd numbers work best for the steps because you end up jumping off of opposite legs.
2. Five steps and hop: Take five steps and then hop off the single leg you landed on.
3. Four shuffles and jump: Moving to your left, take four shuffle steps and then jump. Switch direction on the way back.
4. 180 shuffle with a jump: Shuffle then rotate 180 degrees. Then jump. Repeat.
5. 180 Reverse shuffle with jump: Same as the previous drill, but turn back side instead of forward.
6. Five steps, jump and turn. Run 5 steps then jump for distance and turn 180 degrees.
7. Ground clappers wtih jump. On any of the previous drills, bend at the knees and clap both hands to the ground. Then jump.
There are lots of ways to develop jumping skills. Basketball and any sport that requires quickness, speed and jumping (most of them) use different types of jumps. Be sure to add these variations to the above drills.
1. Jump for height.
2. Jump for distance.
3. Jump for quickness. React and jump as quick as possible. Emphasize a quick drop and explosion off the ground.
4. Repeated jumps. Instead of doing one jump, add two or three more jumps.
5. Jump with a body action. Instead of just jumping up, add an arm, leg or body action. For instance: Arm claps, throwing/shooting motion, back scratch, split legs or knee tucks.
I’m going to be doing these jumping drills two to three times a week along with my regular workouts. I’m hoping that my rebounding, positioning and movement skills improve.
Having your team or class do them will help them as well.
Coach Ron Usher