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Why the Long Slide?

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

The next drill in Cringe Week is the strive for harder, longer, tougher. The drills that make players slide the full distance of the court or every line on the court or a slide suicide. These are coaches who are valuing stamina in a defensive slide over explosiveness.

Unfortunately stamina won’t help our players stay in front of anyone, unless that player is dead tired. Explosiveness is the key. Explosive slides will allow our players to stay in front and move more agile.

Again, I need to clarify my stance more precisely. Stamina is important, it is important for every aspect of basketball; shooting, ball handling and defense. But there are much more effective ways to train stamina. And I would even suggest, training defensive slides through a stamina approach can have a negative effect.

In this case we are training our players to slide for the long term and neglecting two of the most important aspects of defensive movement: first slide explosiveness and change of direction agility.

We don’t need our players to slide 100 times in a row. We need them to explode once, twice maybe three times max in a game before changing directions or changing to a turn and run. If you are after stamina, I would prefer the drill below. It’s not perfect, but it is an intense duration of time that constantly works on first step explosive and change of direction. Timed and scored on number of touches.

However I believe that the quickest way to defensive improvement in explosiveness and agility is in footwork training. Isolating the footwork, adding resistance - just like we would develop a muscle in the weight room or train an athlete on the track. The drill below is the basic footwork pattern of a slide.

There are several other movement patterns I like to train in my footwork sessions. If you are interested in learning more about those 10 drills and the importance of them, you can check out the Defensive Footwork Training Video on my website:

See you next time!

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