Basketball Stretches That Make Players Better Scorers and More Athletic
There are a lot of footwork drills and workout
programs that help player’s increase their speed and quickness, but the easiest
and possibly most productive method is simply proper stretching. It is a vital part of the development of your
player’s physical development. If your
players are more flexible then they will be faster, quicker, and have better
jumping ability. The purpose of
stretching is to increase the range of motion in all of the major muscle groups
and help prevent injuries. The problem
with a lot of stretching programs is they don’t incorporate stretches that
“fire” the muscles. A program should
include stretches that warm-up the muscles and prepare them for the movements
they will be making. The following are
some guidelines to follow and a brief stretching program that will make your
players better and you better at coaching kids basketball.
Basketball Stretching Guidelines
- Warm-up before you stretch by increasing the blood flow to every major muscle group
- It’s not a race. Take it serious and don’t rush through it. Stretching is an important part of preparing the player’s body and should be taken seriously.
- Players should concentrate on each stretch and extend each stretch to help increase the range of motion of each muscle.
- Breathe normally and don’t hold your breath
- Have stretches that warm-up the hamstrings, lower back, groin area, quads, and Achilles area
Dynamic Flexibility Program
Each of the following stretches are performed on the move by starting on a baseline and stretching while walking to half-court. After stretching to half-court the players will jog to the other baseline and come back doing the same stretch.
1. High Knees (Hamstrings)
This is basic running form while bringing the knees up around the waistline. Keep your feet moving as fast as possible and your ankles, knees, hips and shoulders facing forwards.
2. Butt Kicks (Quads)
Similar to high knees except you keep your thighs perpendicular to the ground while kicking your heels up towards your butt. Be quick and keep ankles, knees, hips and shoulders in alignment.
3. Pointers (Hamstring / Lower Back)
Keeping your left leg straight (and right leg bent) and left foot pointed upwards, reach down with your right hand to try to touch your left toe. Then take a step and repeat on the other side.
4. Knee Hugs (Hamstrings / Lower Back)
While walking forward, hug your left knee into your chest, then step and repeat on the right leg, continuing with alternate legs.
5. Lunges Twist (Hamstrings / Lower Back)
Step forward with your left leg into a lunge position (ankles, knees, hips and shoulders facing forward, torso upright) twist your torso and touch your right elbow to the left knee. Repeat with a right leg lunge, twist, and touch left elbow to the right knee. Continue with alternating legs.
6. Carioca (Hips / Lower Back)
Moving laterally to your left, cross your right foot in front of your left, then step with your left, then cross your right foot behind the left and repeat. Aim for as much hip rotation as possible and keep those feet moving fast.
7. Straight Leg March (Hamstrings / Lower Back)
Keeping your left leg straight, kick it up in front of you as high as you can, trying to touch the fingertips of the opposite arm then repeat with the right leg.
8. Over The Fence (Groin)
Facing half-court, raise your left knee as high as possible and rotate it behind you as if you were trying step over an imaginary fence. Repeat on the right leg and continue with alternate legs.
9. Alternating Side Lunges (Groin)
Face the sideline with your left foot on the baseline. Lunge out with the right leg, stretch toward the floor, and pivot on the right foot. Bring left leg around and repeat with the left leg. Continue with alternate legs.
Face half-court and take a step with the right foot and jump with arms stretched up like shooting a lay-up. Come down and step with left foot and repeat. Be sure to jump upwards and not skip.
11. Wall Pushes (Achilles / Calf)
Face the wall and position your right foot ahead of the left and lean towards the wall. Place your forearms against the wall and keep the left heel on the ground and pull your torso toward the wall. Repeat with the left leg forward.
More by this Author
Basketball is a 5-on-5 game played in a series of 1-on-1 situations. You always tell your players it’s not a 1-on-1 game but in reality it is. Every time a player tries to get open to catch a pass or rebound a...