Knowing the mechanics of sprinting is beneficial for many aspects of basketball.
He saw me on the wing and made eye contact.
My defender was paying attention to a cutter; I was open for a three. He lobbed an overhead pass to me and I was ready to catch it.
But my defender picked up on what we were doing, intercepted the pass midway, and immediately took off on the fast break as I chased after him.
I trailed him the entire time but I had to bust my ass because he was all alone, running downhill.
I intended to either get in front of him to close off the lane or get close enough to where I could swipe the ball out of his hands.
I wasn’t able to achieve any option.
I wasn’t fast enough.
Instead, all I could do was an old trick from the book of Old Man Game: I loudly screamed “shot” to scare him into missing a wide-open lay-up.
It worked wonderfully, as the ball bounced off the backboard, onto the side of the rim, and into my teammate’s hands.
But if I were just a bit faster, I could’ve prevented my opponent from even getting the shot off. I gave him a chance and it could’ve been a costly one. He just happened to choke under pressure (or got scared by my loud scream).
And this is one of the reasons why it’s essential to know how to sprint and to practice it.
Why You Should Learn How to Sprint
Basketball is a dynamic game and requires you to do a lot.
On the defensive end, knowing the mechanics of sprinting and improving your speed and acceleration will help you chase down defenders more efficiently and effectively. It will also help you close out on open shooters and chase down the loose ball.
And on the offensive end, it will help you run fastbreaks and do cuts.
So, here are the best drills to help you learn and practice the mechanics of sprinting:
The A-Skip is a track-and-field drill that teaches you how to strike your foot correctly by showing you the correct running form. It also builds lower-body strength and power.
The B-Skip will teach you the same things as the A-Skip and will develop the same skills, but it is a progression exercise. This means it has additional steps to help you master sprinting mechanics.
The C-Skip is similar to the A-Skip and B-Skip.
The C-Skip starts off like the A-Skip, but has an additional movement that improves hip mobility, thus developing more flexibility for knee drive. The extra mobility can improve your speed.
To master these track movements, you have to focus on improving your form and developing speed and power.
You can practice these drills by doing 3 sets of each exercise (to the halfcourt line and back) once or twice a week.
Additionally, you should use these movements to warm up before you play basketball.
These exercises will warm up your lower body (and you’ll also get a chance to practice the mechanics and improve your mobility).
Sprinting is great for basketball because you can do more things if you’re able to explode and run fast.
You’ll be a more effective defender -who can close out and deny shots- and scorer -who can run the fast break with a teammate.
So, if you want to move better on the court, learn how to sprint.