T Nation

Athletic Carry Over From Basketball


I was just wondering what some of your thoughts were on the carry over of basketball to football. For example, the lateral movement required to play defense carried over to the lateral movement of an offensive lineman pulling. In general just the quickness involved in basketball. I'm asking because I enjoy playing basketball and was just wondering how much it would help to improve field speed and quickness that is involved in football.

P.S. I'm an offensive lineman.


Playing basketball could definatly help with your lateral quickness and footspeed, but it would be much more beneficial for someone like a Corner, Saftey, or linebacker, who has to cover someone and run fast, change direction, jump, run again...all in a short period of time. Where a lineman isnt really running that far and isnt having to do a series of movements, an offensive lineman has to focus on a much shorter sequence of movements. Im not at all saying that it wouldnt help, cause it will, but there are definatly other posistions that would benefit to a greater degree from an activity such as playing basketball.


Of course! Playing most sports will have some carry-over to other sports in terms of your general athleticism.

The younger you are, the more your motor skills will improve. For an older athlete, the benefit will be more in terms of general fitness and athleticism.

Many young athletes specialise too early. Over here in Japan, most youngsters choose one sport and only play that sport for their whole sporting life. And although they practise the same sport all year, they don't really progress any faster than athletes in the Anglo-Saxon countries with our tradition of 2 or more differing sports seasons a year.

Definitely you should play basketball. Even if it didn't really help your football, you said you enjoy it. There you go. And it will stop you becoming a fat whale in the football off season.


We had a 6'11" Offensive tackle that weighed 350lbs and was an okay fball player. Anyhow, for some strange reason, after never playing since Jr. High, he played and lost 50 lbs and low and behold, became a much better athlete. He ended up signing w/ a D1 school for basketball after only one year. Of course he was 6'11". I think wrestling is much better on average for a football player by the way. Look at Steven Neal. Never played college football but was picked up by the Patriots and started during their SB runs. Also Carlton Haselig was an all-pro Guard who never played college ball. He was a 3xNCAA Champ.