F.I.T. Blog

Build Up Your Brakes After Lacing Up Your Kicks!

If your training place (the 3rd place) is the gym: meaning you love basketball, racquetball, pickleball, volleyball, basically anything with a ball, read on!

Often times practice that used to happen, doesn’t anymore. And warm ups that used to be extensive and sweat inducing are short and maybe involve some toe touches and side bends (you know that guy in the gym…)

Don’t worry if that guy is you because I have you covered 🙂

Athleticism is necessary for all court sports and there is a common denominator of athleticism that when done poorly, frequently results in injury and at best, poor sport performance.

And who goes out on a court with the intention of losing?

So, what is that common denominator: brakes!

The ability to stop yourself from going one direction and change to a different direction is called deceleration and re-acceleration. If you cannot decelerate (brake), your body will not allow you to re-accelerate well. The brain is constantly attempting to keep us safe. If the brain recognizes you suck at stopping, it will not let you go that fast seeing as the likely result will be injury.

On the flip side, we are all quicker than we express and that agility can be quickly found if you can decelerate better. The brain will let down it’s guard of your quickness and all the sudden you can be the 45 year old burning the 30 year olds.

I’m not saying you can’t be quicker than the 25 year old, but that might take more than just some deceleration training 🙂

So, here are some simple deceleration drills you can do anytime and MUST do prior to going out on the court next time.


  1. Start on your toes with your arms up overhead
  2. Snap the arms down as you aggressively drive your feet into the floor
  3. Finish with the chest up, arms back and knees over toes (think defensive stance)
  4. Repeat 6-20 times (depending how long it takes you to really make this explosive!)

Lateral Lunge with Pop!

  1. Lunge straight out to the side, sitting into the out leg’s hip while lengthening the grounded leg
  2. As you step back towards the starting position, drive aggressively through the out leg’s foot and POP back to the start
  3. Repeat 5-10 times per side, alternating throughout

Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat plus Single Leg Jump

  1. Elevate one foot on a bench or a box (height no greater than 18” or typical chair height)
  2. Squat into the front leg that is grounded and drive through a flat foot up back to an upright position
  3. Repeat 5-10 times per side
  4. After one set, add a jump in as you are rising back up to the upright position
  5. Repeat 5-10 times per side attempting to jump higher with each rep

And after doing this, if you win your next game, I don’t want the credit, but I want to know who you beat and how badly!

Coach Jared