Even if you’re the quickest guy on the court, if you’re slow to react, it will negate how quick you really are. You want and need to improve both reaction time and quickness.
My personal philosophy on quickness and agility for basketball players deals with their ability to read and react. The quicker their reaction time, the quicker their movement will seem, regardless of whether it is actually performed quicker.
To accomplish this, we incorporate reaction into our agility drills through verbal or visual cues. These help to stimulate the athlete to initiate the movement. For any drill we do, we’ll either number or color code the cones, or I’ll give the athlete verbal commands. As they go through the drill they have to react to the color, number or verbal cue.
Alan Stein is a strength and conditioning coach at Montrose Christian High School in Rockville, Md.