When it comes to training for basketball, plyometrics can play a significant role. In short, plyometric exercises and drills contribute to an athlete’s explosiveness – that includes vertical jump gains and quickness.
Plyometrics are often referred to as “jump training” or “plyos”…exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed-strength).
Youth athletes that that are training with the intent of significantly progressing towards an elite level will be incorporating drills that involve plyometrics – whether the term is used or not (and whether they know it or not). As parents, however, it’s important to monitor your child athlete’s training and ask, “What’s the purpose of this drill”? Yes, some drills and routines in basketball don’t really involve plyometric aspects – like shooting form – but many do and if they’re largely absent, then there’s a significant gap in the training.
At IBSA, we see that Athletic Development is often the missing ingredient in an athlete’s training program. Our focus is on basketball-specific strength and power training to ensure not only on-court physicality and explosiveness, but also movement efficiency, proper stance, and athletic longevity.
Popular Plyometric Exercises
Listed here are some common plyometric exercises, however, there are many more. Note that most of them revolve around your ability to leap – up and long. Strength training with plyometrics for a basketball player means better rebounding, a higher jump shot, faster speed (frontwards, backwards and laterally); and importantly, balance greatly improves.
A simple search for each will provide examples on how to execute them with proper technique (be sure you’re looking at experts).
- Box jumps
- Depth jumps
- Tuck Jumps
- Lateral jumps
- Bound jumps
- Broad jumps
- Plyometric push-ups
- Scissor jumps
- Lunge jumps
- Frog jumps
Technique in Plyometrics Matters – A Lot!
Athletes committed to jumping higher, further and running faster need an athletic development program that incorporates plyometrics. However, particularly for youth athletes, plyometric training should be taught by qualified instructors and supervised to ensure proper execution. As the athlete progresses, they can incrementally perform some of the exercises independently.
The benefits of supervised training for youth basketball players extends to injury prevention. Proper technique is important, but so is the length and duration of the program. Qualified trainers will know how to assess youth athletes and work with them through a progression. As noted, most of the exercises are fast yet intense – and very high impact.
Youth Basketball Players + Plyometrics = Elite Performance
The highest performing basketball players are those that possess ultra elevated levels of athleticism. Great athletes often seem naturally gifted and, in some cases, that’s true to an extent. The reality is that there is a lot of hard work behind feats of amazing performance. The good news for most youth with dreams of playing high-level basketball is that that proper training – that incorporates plyometrics – will allow them to achieve levels of performance they might not think possible. Working hard and training with purpose is the only way to find your true potential.
At IBSA Basketball we encourage our youth players – novice or experienced – to focus on continuous improvement of their basketball skills and achieving their highest levels of athletic performance. If you’re in the Halton, Hamilton, Niagara or Kitchener-Waterloo Regions find training sessions near you!