While basketball can be a wonderful sport for boy s and girls to get involved, it is one that places a lot of physical demands on the body. It can also add pressure on the feet that can affect ankles, knees and the lower back.
Experts believe that if a player experiences foot pain, ankle turns or sprains, pain or pressure in and around the knee, or complains of lower back pain, it’s possible his or her sneakers could be the culprit.
Foot blisters can also be a clue that a player’s shoes are perhaps too big, too small or don’t have the right support around the foot and ankle to begin with.
It’s important to explain to your young player if they work on their bodies off the court and in the real world, it could help them on the court in the long run. How? Exercises are one way that can help. When done the right way they are considered safe, fun and may help a basketball player develop quickness, speed, agility, and of course, jumping.
Often referred to as “plyometric exercises,” they are used to increase a player’s power. These exercises are easy to do and usually require little equipment. When performing these drills, have the player concentrate on speed and quickness instead of how high they are jumping. Here’s a few exercises to help get your child started.
Jump Rope — Skipping rope is a low impact plyometric and a good way to introduce muscles to the quickness required when doing the drills correctly. Jump rope for about 5-7 minutes to get loose. Have them stay on their toes.
Towel Hop — Spread a towel on the floor, forming a rectangle. Start at one corner of the towel and perform a double leg jump around the towel’s edges touching all four corners of the rectangle. Perform 3-8 complete hops, then repeat in the opposite direction for 3-8 times. Rest 1-2 minutes. Do this drill 3-5 times. This drill may help improve agility.
Lateral Jumps – Using the same towel, roll it into a tube shape. Put a piece of tape around it to hold it in place. Lay the rolled up towel on the floor and stand sideways to the towel. Jump ‘laterally’ (sideways) over the towel. Just as the feet touch the ground on the other side of the towel, immediately jump back to the starting position. Repeat back and forth jumping until performing 6-10 times.