Tip of the Day 10/23/14 – Balance matters in basketball

By Jay Ramos

The game of basketball is an artform as much as it is a sport.

The team game can look like an orchestrated performance in ball movement and beautiful offense, and the human body in synch can perform pretty moves in the post or off the dribble that display the delicate footwork of a ballet.

One of the absolute beauties of this game is footwork. At Next Level Basketball and in our upcoming ‘Speed, Agility, and Quickness’ program, I will give you insight into how I prepare my NBA players’ bodies for the game nearly as much as I teach and repeat the skills.

A key and often ignored ingredient than can unlock some sudden body control is balance training. You do so much off of one leg in basketball, you would think it be emphasized some more.

Know what else is cool? It serves as a light core stabilizer and helps prevent injury by providing dynamic joint stabilization.

Balance Training Miami Basketball

Pro Trainer Jay Ramos with an athlete working on balance and posture.

It helps stabilize your core because it forces your body to recruit muscles to align in the way they were meant to, without inbalances and hunches.

It supports joint stabilization, for instance, the hip adductors and gluteus medius are forced to stabilize the hip, which is crucial to have strong in the game of basketball.

In more simple words, your body will be more prepared for impact and your body control will advance itself! Think of the way Derrick Rose or Dwyane Wade keep their body under control in a tough finish in the lane and imagine that they probably have very good balance at more than a stable level.

My balance circuits vary depending on the level, but you can do a few exercises on your own after your warm up and it only takes a few minutes. I will always say you need to look for every slight advantage you can get, and this is one of them.

Want to start balance training? Try this: Begin by standing straight on one leg. DO NOT lean forward or backward, and keep your core in line. Try to stand without moving for 20 seconds. Once you can do that, begin moving the leg that is up behind you, as pictured above, while keeping your body straight, slightly bending your knee and not leaning forward. Hold for a second and repeat.

We will have more on balance going forward, and to see my introduction to basketball balance training as a preview into our ‘Speed, Agility and Quickness’ program in the making, visit NLBTraining.com for our free workout.

Jay Ramos is a professional basketball trainer 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 NLBTraining.com.

Tip of the Day (10-22-14) – Benefits of jump roping for basketball players

By Jay Ramos
Jump ropes are a popular tool we have been introduced to as early as elementary school. It’s a cheap, familiar tool we can use anywhere. And that’s great. You know what else? It serves a basketball specific purpose and should be a part of every basketball players took box! Jump roping has obvious cardiovascular benefits and can be used as part of a circuit training workout to condition the body, and it can also be used as a part of a warm up routine. In addition, it works to develop crucial speed, agility and quickess (SAQ) components that translate to the basketball court. Here at Next Level Basketball, we are currently putting the finishing touches on our ‘SPEED, AGILITY AND QUICKNESS’ program, where I put together the same drills and framework my NBA clients do, and you better believe the jump rope is a part of how we warm up, every…single….session. You can too.

Scotty Hopson NBA Basketball Training Miami


NBA Guard Scotty Hopson warming up with the jump rope.


The jump rope develops coordination and rhythm, first of all. It also promotes agility in the sense that it forces an action within a small amount of time. It can even be considered a beginners plyometric as it develops bounce with your feet in a plantar flexed position (Bent downwards). Although there are some intriguing workouts and combinations that can be done on the jump rope, in this post i’ll give you insight on a warm up routine I use for all my high end players before we progress into our workout and after we motion stretch. My athletes will go through a 120 rep jump rope routine (Depending on the athlete, within 45 seconds, one minute, or more), where they begin with 30 single leg hops with one leg at a time, before doing 60 on both legs. The jump rope is an affordable, simple tool that every player can put to use. I like to focus on developing athletes while I develop basketball skills, and the jump rope is one thing I won’t do without that can help you today.

Jay Ramos is a professional basketball trainer 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 NLBTraining.com.

Tip of the Day: Motion stretching

By Jay Ramos

Be honest. Do you usually stretch before your workout routine?

It’s very easy to overlook, and it’s in our nature to want to jump right into our workouts or games without properly going through a stretching circuit.

The fact is stretching, or flexibility training, helps avoid muscle imbalances and overuse injuries. The potential of your kinetic chain (How you are moving your body) is decreased by limited flexibility as well.

But not only is stretching important overall, how you stretch is just as important.

Before your workout, motion stretching is the way to go. These stretches use force production to take joints though a full range of motion, and double up as a good warm up! Such stretches include walking toes touches, lunges, and tube walking with a mini band.

Miami Basketball Training

Pro Trainer Jay Ramos with an athlete using a mini band to dynamically warm up.














Just a minor tip, but motion stretching before your workouts and games can give you a slight advantage, and every advantage counts!

Training Diary: Summer experience training NBA player Michael Beasley

By Jay Ramos

In my young career as a performance enhancement specialist and basketball skills trainer in Miami, I’ve been very fortunate to work with several top college and high school athletes in the area, as well as professional basketball players from the overseas ranks. All have had impressive strengths and have accomplished a lot.

But this summer (2014) I had an opportunity to work with the type of athlete who just doesn’t come around very often, Michael Beasley. The six-year NBA veteran was the second overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, and can literally do it all on the court. My goal and focus was to put Michael in positions on the court where he could be most efficient, and rediscover his efficiency in the post, where he wreaked havoc in the Big-10 at Kansas State University. As good as many of my athletes are, few have his combination of size and length to go along with his shooting touch and post acumen. He shot 39 percent from beyond the 3-point arc in 2013-14 with the Miami Heat and is a terror facing up opposing bigs 15 feet from the basket.

Any time I have an athlete for an extended period of time, the progression of SAQ Training (Speed, Agility, Quickness) meet my basketball specific circuits where a player can apply improved basketball athleticism to the court. Through a series of progressions, we figure out which particular moves we teach best fit the player, and repeat them. Despite Mike’s versatility, he was challenged with some new footwork and moves, but proved capable of picking them up fairly quickly. Specifically his face-up post game, his spin moves and counters out of that, and his touch on his fade away jumpers are unstoppable things.

Where his career takes him, it was a fun experience to work with Michael, and I look forward to applying that to the basketball training what we do at our Hollywood facility.

The ironic thing about all this is, although I’m the ‘teacher’ and trainer to these athletes, I feel like I learn just as much from them, whether it be picking up a move they inadvertently try off instincts, or gain insight from their experience, I know this newfound knowledge can help our South Florida basketball training client base.