The Essentials for Quicker Reaction Time 

 April 19, 2022

By  Melvin Kenny

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Do you want to have a quicker reaction time on the basketball court?

Here are four exercises that will help.

There’s a lot that goes into making a great basketball player. Skills like shooting, dribbling and passing are all essential. But one of the most important skills to have is a quick reaction time.

If you can react quickly to what’s happening on the court, you’ll be able to make more plays and help your team win. Here are four exercises that will help improve your game time reaction.

  1. Squat & Split Squat Jump
  2. Hurdle Hop
  3. Lateral Bound
  4. Pushup Clap

Squat & Split Squat Jump

Squat Jumps will increase your vertical jump and your ability to react quickly. It is going to give you an advantage when you want to:

  • Perform a Slam Dunk 
  • Go for a Layup
  • Be the first one for a rebound and finish at the rim
  • Jump quickly for a block

Split Squat Jumps will increase your vertical jump, your first step quickness & your acceleration whenever you are running on the court. This exercise simulates multiple scenarios in a basketball game, such as:

  • Beating your opponent off your first dribble to create space
  • Coming down with a rebound and taking off on a fast break
  • Running in transition from offence to defence to be prepared to shut down your opponent’s play

For both exercises, you need to stay upright, then bend & extend from your legs to develop power and prevent back injuries. Not only are they good plyometric exercises that complement acceleration drills, but they are useful as a contrast with heavy lunges & squats for explosive strength. 

Hurdle Hop

Plyo Single Leg Hurdle

The Hurdle Hop will increase your vertical jump and acceleration by improving your ability to come off the ground quickly & explosively. Since basketball is unpredictable, it will also enhance your resilience whenever you have to land off one leg. Your athletic development program must incorporate three directions to reduce the risk of injuries:

  • Linear
  • Lateral (away from the midline)
  • Medial (towards the midline)

Lateral Bound

To be proficient with the hurdle hops, you need to swing your arms, bend & extend from your hips, and drive your need up the same way you jump for a layup.

The Lateral Bound will improve your quickness and explosiveness in a change of direction. It will translate to:

  • Your offensive skills whenever you want to avoid your opponents and create space for an open shot.
  • Your defensive skills to move quickly laterally to close the gap between you and your opponents to lock him down.

Also, the Lateral Bound will develop your leg muscles to become resilient against knee injuries whenever you change directions. To perform it correctly, make sure you push off and land on the ground with the inside edge of your foot.

Plyometric Push Ups

The Push-Up Clap will help you explosively generate force to pass the ball on offence with your upper body. That will give you an edge by preventing the defender from intercepting the pass, and your teammate will have enough time to go for an open shot. Also, the Push-Up Clap will build some strength to handle contact whenever you want to finish under the rim or go for a rebound.

With the exercises presented above, you will become a quick and more explosive basketball player that can shift the game whenever you have to. To fully benefit so they can translate to your game, push off the ground as explosive as possible and react as fast as you can when you touch the ground.

So, if you want to take your basketball skills up a notch, start working on your reaction time. It’s one of the most important skills to have if you want to be successful on the court. And don’t worry – we can help! Our team of experts is here to help you improve your athleticism that will transfer to all aspects of your game, from shooting and dribbling to your reaction time.

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Melvin Kenny

Following improper rehab guidance after what came to be a career ending injury, I am now committed to helping my clients develop sound foundational movement mechanics - building resilient athletes.

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