Why sprinting workouts are important for basketball skills, movement and speed: add speed and intensity to your basketball games.
As basketball players, very rarely do we think that an all-out sprint is important. When do we ever need or get to that speed and intensity? You’d be surprised by the truth. We are not world class sprinters who hit top end speed at 70 meters - for an average basketball player, chances are we are not going to go much faster by the time we have reached half court. The characteristics in sprinting can definitely be beneficial to skills like vertical jumps though, so let’s talk about that.
Top end speed running is one of the fastest movements a human being can possibly achieve. Sprinting teaches our body and feet how to minimise ground contact time. This then leads into a positive transfer of skills like one legged jumping during layups and dunks. In addition, sprinting teaches us how to rapidly relax and contract our muscles better than any other movement.
Application: How do we put this into practice? I love sprinting both off and on season.
For me, I like to go in 5 second bursts on a track, court or a curve treadmill. The intensity is at level as if I was a tiger’s prey. I would then take a 90 second break in between sets and work on form shooting or stationary ball handling before going into my next set. I do roughly 5-6 sets before any major workout/practice. This leaves me feeling immediately feel more awake and energized but should NOT be done before an important game.
The goal when developing speed is NEVER to get exhausted or fatigued. Believe it or not, you will more than likely get slower if you train fatigued. From here, add sprinting into your workouts and watch your open court speed and single leg vertical jumps go up!