In a previous article we looked at proper warm-up from a theoretical viewpoint answering the questions of how to properly warm-up and the benefits of proper warm-up. In this article I would like to continue to take a closer look at warm-up and give you some concrete examples of actual warm-up activities.
When implementing a warm-up routine for your players always keep two principles in mind:
1. Warm-up should be gradual. The warm-up session should start with general low intensity activities and progress to more movement specific and intense activities.
2. Warm-up should be specific. In most circumstances a practice session would include the entire range of movements for basketball. If however, you are planning a practice session that focuses on defense then your warm-up activities should carry the emphasis of those activities. Try not to make the mistake of looking at the warm-up session as being a separate part of your practice. Warm-up, it is performed correctly, has residual effects of increasing athletic performance (balance, agility etc.), conditioning and injury prevention.
1. Low intensity aerobic activity such as jogging a few laps around the court or even jump rope. The key is low intensity.
2. Leg Swings/Pendulum Swings Standing sideways by a wall place one hand on the wall allowing one leg to swing forward and backward. Start with small swings and working to larger swings allowing the foot to rise higher each time. Complete 10-12 swings than switch legs. Always swing the leg closest to the wall. Then, facing the wall allow one leg to swing across the front of the body than out to the side of the body the same as front to back. Repeat with the opposite leg.
3. Agility Exercises Agilities are the core of the warm-up and are usually performed at a distance from about the baseline to the opposite free-throw line. I usually have athletes divide into about 4-5 even lines along the baseline and have them perform about 2 repetitions of each activity, once down and once back. The following is a list of agility exercises (in order) that would be performed at the beginning of a typical session. Ive also given a few coaching points to stress while the players are performing them.
Skipping Stay tall and relax the arms. Dont skip too high.
Shuffle With the Arms Stay tall and as you shuffle swing the arms up to the side in a steady but relaxed manner.
Cross Overs, Long and Low these are basically cariocas but they are performed slowly with large exaggerated steps. STAY LOW!
Quick Cross Overs Regular cariocas with shorter quicker steps.
Shuffle With Change of Direction Stay low and shuffle changing direction very two steps.
High Knee Skip Skip with an exaggerated motion driving the knee and the opposite arm toward the sky. Get some air! OPPOSITE ARM OPPOSITE LEG!
Backpedal Turn and Go On a whistle command backpedal out 5-10 yards than turn and run into a strait ahead run.
Forward Run to a Backpedal - The opposite of backpedal turn and go. Focus on balance after changing directions.
Today's airborne exploits and backboard-shattering jams of NBA stars like Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal obviously mark significant changes in the game since that first experiment (when only one basket was scored and the ball retrieved with a step ladder). But basketball's essential elements of running, jumping, cutting, stopping, and shooting on a hard floor remain the same.
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