Whether it’s to have a quicker crossover, get hands in the passing lanes, or the ability to rip ball handlers like Chris Paul, you HAVE to have quick hands. But not everyone has a Mr. Miyagi to help them wax on and wax off those hands for greater quickness and reaction time, so what do you do?
Here’s three great principles, along with some performance solutions you can do AT HOME, that will help you get crazy fast, coordinated hand speed! All you need is a tennis ball, some creativity, and consistent effort!
- Speed of ROM [Range of Motion]
- Hand-Sense Coordination
- Multiple Sensory Coordination
So, here’s an explanation of those principles as well as some exercise ideas that will help improve those traits!
Speed of ROM [Range of Motion] – Furthest distance needed to be traveled divided by the speed it took to get there and come back to a starting position
If you’re looking to increase that speed of ROM, then performing short bursts (less than 12 seconds) of All-Out Speed hand movements where full flexion and extension of the arm is required will be most beneficial to the process.
A great exercise to try is called “Tennis Ball Jab-Catches”
Place a tennis Ball in one hand, that arm fully extended while the other arm is tucked tight to the body. Without letting the ball hit the ground, quickly switch hands by jabbing out to catch the ball in mid air and tuck the opposite arm.
Perform this sequence back and forth, trying to get as many catches as possible without dropping in under 10 seconds!
Hand-Sense Coordination – the ability to react to the stimulus [sight, sound, touch, spatial awareness] precisely and quickly
There are lots of great exercise options here, but a simple yet humbling one to perform is the
“Two Tennis Ball Single Arm Dribble”
Begin first with performing this with a ball that has a larger surface area, like a basketball. Then, progress you’re way down to using two tennis balls, and finishing with a basketball and a tennis ball!
The mechanics of this drill are not complicated, but the execution is! Begin with one hand only, drop both balls, and alternate back forth which ball gets dribbled for 30 seconds – that’s it! However, you’ll notice the difficulty lies in maintaining equal height and coordination of the balls while dribbling with the pads of your fingertips to ensure maximum control!
Multiple Sensory Coordination – the ability to perform quick movements with the hands while reacting to multiple stimuli and performing numerous actions simultaneously [multiple hands, feet and hand reaction, verbal actions, etc]
This last drill is the most basketball specific, but is also the most challenging! You’ll need a basketball and a tennis ball.
“Go by Tennis Ball Snatches”
Begin dribbling the basketball with one hand, tennis ball in the other. Throw tennis ball up to where it will bounce up about waist height, 3-6 feet in front of you. As soon as the ball hits the ground, perform a single crossover move of your choice, attack the ball suspended in mid-air, catch it out of the air, and sprint another two steps.
This can be performed by having the tennis ball drop lower, performing multiple moves, or attacking multiple tennis balls!
So there you have it – increase the speed through range of motion, focus on your ability to react from multiple sense and to multiple stimuli, and you’ll have lighting quick hands in no time!
Performance Specialist | Basketball Skills Trainer