Next Level SAQ: What is Speed?

By Jay Ramos

Speed. Agility. Quickness.

You’ve heard about SAQ for months from us at Next Level Basketball. It’s because as a basketball player, in this century, sport specific training is becoming more advanced, and the way we go about performance enhancement is very particular to basketball players in this case.

Performance enhancement is about overall athleticism, in this case ‘basketball athleticism.’ It’s not just jumping high. It’s not just about being quick. It’s not just agility, or dexterity. Or ‘explosion’ synonyms like ‘burst.’

It’s everything.

And being the best athlete you can be is about a program that delivers on everything as a foundation for your athletic performance in this sport.

Supplemented with proper strength training in nutrition, which we will delve into soon, Next Level Speed, Agility, and Quickness *(Our upcoming program) is a guide to basketball athleticism, so every cut you make off the ball, every sprint back in transition, every crossover dribble, every defensive slide, and every blow by wow’s the opponent with unsuspecting athleticism.

It’s important to understand why ‘Speed,’ ‘Agility’ and ‘Quickness’ are the pillars we begin with though. Let’s cover speed for now.

What is SPEED?

Speed, Basketball

You know what speed is, right? A self explanatory term you’ve heard about for years! But there’s more to it.

For the purpose of basketball, we aren’t only training you for intermediate distance speed, where say, you might need to sprint up the floor in transition. We’re training you for short distance speed. That ONE step you need to beat an opponent off the dribble. That ONE lateral shuffle you need to be in position to help on defense.

Running isn’t as simple as just running. Technique matters. Stride length matters. Stride rate matters. Starting ability is essential, and of course, endurance comes in handy.

Every one of these points is touched upon on our program. In fact, in one of our three progressions, the ‘ladder progression’ we specifically pound on stride rate, stride length and starting ability as a basis to running before we do anything else.

We don’t long sprint. Not because it won’t help your’e endurance, but we prefer to train you for what will happen in a basketball game. It will come in bursts. There will be starting. There will be stopping. And you will never have to run 100 yards on a possession straight. Know what we do? We have our athletes run with the ball after specifically doing several exercises at different stride lengths to condition you to adapt to multiple situations and move with the ball in your hands.

You may be running 50 sprints and be making endurance gains and even speed gains, but how smart is it to train that way? If you play basketball, getting speed isn’t about training like a track athlete!

In my next post I will cover ‘Agility’ and what it truly means for a basketball player, and our program, ‘Next Level Speed, Agility, and Quickness’ will be available shortly. See you inside.

Jay Ramos is a professional basketball trainer and performance enhancement specialist with Next Level Basketball. He is currently constructing a basketball athleticism program called ‘Speed, Agility, and Quickness’ that will be out in 2014. Check out the preview at

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