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Why is Balance Important in Basketball?
If you’ve been trying to improve your game, you may have heard someone tell you that everyone at the next level is “bigger, faster, stronger.” This means physically, your opponents will be bigger, and more mature, their speed and explosiveness will keep getting better, and their strength in all aspects of the game is greater. What isn’t abundantly clear when hearing a statement like this is the role of balance when it comes to getting “bigger, faster, and stronger.”
By definition, balance means an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. Already, we can see the role balance plays in basketball. Something or someone without balance will not remain upright and steady, a necessity to play the game.
Balance is important in basketball
So first and foremost, good balance is going to support a solid, upright, and steady foundation to play. A player's foundation is describing the feet, legs, hips, and core muscles on both the front and back sides of the body. A solid foundation will support all aspects of the game, such as running, defending, shooting, dribbling, passing, and rebounding.
On offense, balance is important for skill execution. For example, off-balance shots are low-percentage shots to take. In rebounding, the player with the stronger foundation will have better balance in their explosion toward the basketball. In order to effectively move the ball around, each player needs to be on balance when passing the ball and receiving the ball. The balanced stance in basketball is coined as the “triple threat position,” which means the player is in the position to pass, shoot or dribble the basketball.
On defense, balance is the single most important factor in being able to execute properly. A defensive stance is made up of a solid foundation, as mentioned above. Balance, however, is not the only factor in play. This is where the center of gravity comes in. To have an effective defensive stance, you not only want a balanced foundation but a low center of gravity. Objects with low centers of gravity are able to stay upright easier against force, like the bump of an offensive opponent.
If you are looking to become a more well-rounded player; move with ease, absorb contact, and explode toward the hoop; look into how balanced and strong your foundation is, and if there is anywhere to improve in that area. And keep in mind as you’re on your way: Bigger, Faster, Stronger.