Quickness is something all athletes wish they were just born with…then we wouldn’t have to put so much focus on it. The problem is many of us weren’t, including myself. It is so important to have a quick/powerful first step whether you are a basketball, football, soccer, or hockey player. Being able to go by someone in a short burst of energy could mean the difference between you being a good player and a great player. If you are ready to take the steps to become a great player read on!
If you want to develop a quick first step the first thing you are going to have to do is practice being explosive. You need to get used to going from zero to one hundred. The 40m sprint should be your best friend. The pylon or cones should be your buddies and the squat bar should be your girlfriend. If you want to be quick you need to have powerful legs and a strong core…it’s time to hit the gym.
Components of a Workout Regime Focused on Quickness
1) Weighted Squats, Lunges, and Powerlifts
2) Cone Drills
3) 40m Sprint Development
4) Core Strength Training
I believe with a good plan anyone can become quicker. Anyone can develop that first step if they put the time and effort into it. It takes just that, time and effort, to actually develop quickness.
Lets go over the components I have listed:
1) You need to start by developing your legs. Improve your power output in your quads and hamstrings. The stronger your legs are the more powerful your first step will be. Focus on heavy squats, heavy lunges, and powerlifting. Get a good leg workout in twice per week to start. Make sure to track your progress.
2) Cone drills are so important. Set up your cones in a 5m x 5m square and run patterns. Stay low to the ground and work on pushing off in every direction. Choose a pattern that involves running forward, backward, turning left, turning right. Do these drills for 10 minutes 3 times a week. Time yourself every time you run it. Track progress.
3) The 40m sprint is all about the start. How fast can you go from 0 to 100%? Run these over and over. Focus on being as quick as possible off the start. Try three different versions: start on your belly, start like a sprinter, and start in the standing position. Do 10 of each three times a week. Time yourself…track progress.
4) Finally, you need core strength! Weighted ab exercises…When you have a strong core you will have complete control over your entire body. You will be better at shifting momentum, changing direction, starting and stopping. All of these are important for quickness. Try decline situps, rotating ab exercises, and stability exercises. Track your progress and always try to improve on what you did the day before. Do these twice per week.
Try these components for 4 weeks and then get into a pickup game of basketball…you will see a difference in your first step.