Get Low, Stay Low

I have a feeling you have heard your coach say many times, “bend your knees — get down lower!” There is a reason why your coach wants you to get down lower.  

In almost every aspect of basketball, your knees should be bent and you should  be down low because this position enables you to react to a variety of situations such as jumping, properly guarding your opponent, protecting the ball, while you dribble,  or to give you more leverage when passing or shooting. When you shoot, your knees should be bent. When you pass, your knees should also be bent and stay low. When you play defense, you are low so that you can move quicker and stay with your opponent.  When you dribble the ball, you are low. The lower your body is, the better balance your body maintains. And when your body is in balance you are much more likely to execute the fundamentals properly.

BUT, there is a big problem — bending our knees and getting lower requires more muscle strength and endurance.  Players do not like to stay low because their muscles fatigue and your muscles hurt or get that burning sensation..  That’s why we tend to avoid bending! If you want to be a complete player, you have to develop your leg muscles so you can bend your knees and stay low for extended periods of time.

Here is one exercise to build those leg muscles:


  • Lean your back against a wall and bend your knees.
  • Hold that position for approximately 15 seconds.
  • Stop and repeat 5 more times.
  • When that eventually becomes easy, increase the hold time to 30 seconds.

Also, when you are in practice, remind yourself that bending your knees another inch or two will benefit your game a lot. Convince yourself to get low and stay low.

If you need some help to see how hard work pays off in basketball and in life, grab a DVD copy of “Sandy Spin Slade: Beyond Basketball” an award-winning documentary film by director Lorre Fritchy.  A great stocking stuffer!  ORDERING INFORMATION