Posted by Steve Bzomowski on November 6, 2011
Balance isn’t a word that gets used much by coaches, players, or commentators, but it is a crucial concept in an individual’s development and performance. To be blunt: you can never be “off-balance” when playing basketball. In other words, you need to always be “on-balance”. What does that mean? Well, simply put, it means that you never feel like you are about to fall down or feel uncomfortable or physically compromised. If you are off-balance, you will rush, make bad decisions, commit turnovers (giving the ball to the other team, and what could be worse than that?), probably even get injured more often. All the precepts of good individual basketball point to and aid good balance: staying low (keeping a good, low center of gravity) by bending your knees (and isn’t that what defines an athlete? bending the knees? Think about shortstops, defensive backs in football, golfers swinging a golf club; even chess players bend their knees!); feet spread comfortably wide; playing under control; good, effective pivoting (toes/feet always pointing in the same direction as your chest). The best athletes are the athletes who can do the most outrageous movements – and because of core strength – still stay on balance. Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls is the latest and best example of a basketball player who can accelerate and change speeds and change direction while maintaining perfect and devastating-to-the-opposition body control. Race cars go fast; their chassis keep them going where they intend to go. Someone gave Derrick Rose a really good chassis because that guy can go wherever he wants, whenever he wants. And with attention to balance and developing your core strength, you can add a dimension to your game that will never let you down.