3 Movements to Improve lateral quickness via StackBasketball



AUTHOR- Brandon Guarneri Twitter @BrandonGuarneri

The key to playing shut-down defense is lateral quickness. If you can move quickly side to side, you can stay in front of the ball handler and get more stops.

Too many players think moving laterally involves sliding or dragging. Instead, when thinking about defense or lateral movement, push into position. “Athletes should push through the spot and be the aggressor on defense,” says Michael Atkinson, Elite Pro Performance national consultant and A.C.E. certified personal trainer.

Here are three exercises that can help get you moving more efficiently to frustrate your opponents.

Three-Point Line Defensive Pushes

  • Start in athletic stance facing the hoop at the intersection of the baseline and the three-point line
  • Move laterally around the three-point line in a defensive stance
  • Keep hips and feet pointing toward rim while pushing laterally
  • Keep feet square; do not bring them together

Sets/Reps/Rest: 2×2 times around the three-point line, rest as needed after first set
Coaching Points: Keep knees inside feet to create an angle for greater force production // Keep majority of force production on inside foot

Lateral Lunge to Defensive Push

  • Start on baseline, facing sideline
  • Perform Lateral Lunge with leg closest to baseline
  • Push away from baseline leg toward the opposite baseline into a series of five lateral Defensive Pushes
  • Decelerate into Lateral Lunge with leg away from baseline for quick change of direction back towards baseline

Sets/Reps/Rest: 2×10 [five in each direction], rest as needed after first set
Coaching Points: Do not let knee go past toes // Keep knee inside big toe for power and change of direction

Two Lateral Pushes  to Crossover Step

  • Start in a defensive stance on baseline facing the sideline
  • Square feet no wider than shoulder-width apart
  • Take two Defensive Pushes toward the far hoop to simulate defensive containment
  • Cross with the back leg for a crossover step toward the far baseline
  • Return to defensive position for two more Lateral Pushes
  • Continue pattern for speed until you reach far baseline

Sets/Reps/Rest: 2x length of court, rest as needed after first set
Coaching Points: Think of crossover step as a turn and run movement

Source:  Eliteproperformance.com
Photo:  Michael Atkinson, Sierra Strength and Speed; bluedevilnation.net

About Michael Atkinson

Mike Atkinson,CSCS, is the owner of Elite Pro Performance and the on court performance director at Sierra Strength & Speed. Considered to be a specialist of Keiser performance equipment, Mike is known as a hybrid basketball performance trainer focusing on strength, movement, and basketball fundamentals. Atkinson’s experience and current work with NBA Player Development Specialist Aubrey McCreary has given him a unique set of skills to train players on sports specific patterns and positioning at a professional level. Atkinson’s training experience includes work with numerous NBA draftees, multiple Division 1 athletes, and other professional clients. He has also worked as a performance consultant in the NBA Development League and has directed basketball performance training camps and clinics for youth athletes on the West coast.
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