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Basketball tips - How to harness potential for speed

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					Basketball tips - How to harness potential for speed

If you're too slow to heat your man, you'll never have a chance to showcase your skills.
And for those short on talent, speed can level the playing field. But sports speed isn’t
just about maximum velocity. It’s also about how fast you can accelerate and decelerate
- that is, go from standing still to your top speed, and vice versa. And because every
tenth of a second matters, even small improvements can make a major impact on your
performance.

Use the 36m dash to measure speed and acceleration. You’ll need a partner and a
stopwatch. Mark off 36m on a track or grass field. Get into a comfortable stance - a
four-point sprinter’s stance is typical - and instruct your timer to start the clock as soon
as you move. The clock stops when any part of your chest crosses the finish line.

4.49 seconds or less - World class athlete
4.5 to 4.99 seconds - Above average
5.0 seconds or longer - Average

Mark a starting line and a finish line 20m apart. Begin running about 20m behind the
starting line and progressively build up speed so you're at top speed as you pass it.
Maintain that intensity until you cross the finish line. Rest for three minutes, then repeat
for a total of two to four sets. “This drill reinforces the running mechanics and
acceleration you need to switch gears and pick up speed when you’re already in
motion,” says trainer Bill Hartman. Do this workout twice a week, resting at least a day
after each session.

To develop fast starts, try the ball-drop drill from speed coach Tom Shaw. Have a
workout partner stand on a hard surface, holding a tennis ball at eye level. Stand about
five metres away in a three-point stance. When he drops the ball, sprint and catch it
before it bounces a second time. Have him move back a metre or two and repeat the
drill until you can’t get to the ball in time. Biggest gap Shaw’s ever seen closed?
Fourteen metres. Abs are critical to speed.

Strengthen yours with this sit-up routine: lie on your back and rest your heels on a wall
so that your legs are straight and at a 45-degree angle to the floor; extend your arms
straight above your head. Lift your torso and touch your toes, then rotate to the right and
touch both hands to the floor. Now rotate to the left and touch the floor on that side.
That's one repetition. Do as many as you can in 30 seconds, rest 30 to 60 seconds, and
repeat. Stop when yon can’t match the reps of your previous set. Perform this workout
two or three times a week.

				
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George Chapungu George Chapungu
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