Resistance Work for Speed with the New Jersey Nets

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Being the fastest sprinter on the track doesn't mean you'll be the fastest player on the court.

"Speed in basketball is not linear," says Rich Dalatri, New Jersey Nets strength and conditioning coach. "It's first- and second-step speed. It's very rare that we take more than three steps in any direction without coming down, accelerating, stopping or going into a slide. It's speed in all different movement patterns."

From a training perspective, this means you need to work lateral speed. Your ability to move side-to-side is crucial for defensive success. "If you can't guard in this league, you can't play," Dalatri says.

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Being the fastest sprinter on the track doesn't mean you'll be the fastest player on the court.

"Speed in basketball is not linear," says Rich Dalatri, New Jersey Nets strength and conditioning coach. "It's first- and second-step speed. It's very rare that we take more than three steps in any direction without coming down, accelerating, stopping or going into a slide. It's speed in all different movement patterns."

From a training perspective, this means you need to work lateral speed. Your ability to move side-to-side is crucial for defensive success. "If you can't guard in this league, you can't play," Dalatri says.

To improve his players' quickness on D, Dalatri uses the following lateral resistance drills, in conjunction with resistance band and med ball work during practice:

Lateral Resistance [with band]
•    Start at free throw line
•    Slide to baseline in 3-4 slide-steps
•    Return to free throw line using same motion

Lateral Resistance [with med ball]
•    Start at free throw line
•    Holding med ball at knees, slide to baseline and return

Sets/Reps/Rest: 2-3/3-6/2:1, 3:1

Coaching Points:
1. To achieve overspeed training, make sure you take your final rep without the band or the med ball. This stimulates your muscle system to move more quickly.
2. Though standing upright is more comfortable, stay low. Bend your knees, keep your butt low to the ground and maintain your center of gravity.
3. For intensified resistance, increase the number of bands or the weight of the ball.
4. This works conditioning more than power or speed development, so it's okay if you get fatigued.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock