Ndamukong Suh, Footwork, & Youth Athletic Development

By Joe Haefner

If you have followed college football this season, you have probably heard the name Ndamukong Suh. He was a consensus First-team All-American and earned consensus First-team All-Big 12 honors and was the Associated Press National Player of the Year, Big-12 Defensive Player of the Year, the Defensive Lineman of the Year, and a Heisman Trophy finalist.

According to “experts”, what separates Suh from other players isn’t necessarily his strength, even though he is quite strong, it’s his superior footwork. As we know, footwork is probably one of the most important, yet undertaught skills in basketball.

A recent article on ESPN states “He (Suh) really credits his soccer background for his uncanny footwork.” Suh played soccer at a young age all the way through his 8th grade year.

If arguably the best d-lineman in the country, played multiple sports as a child and credits that for his superior athleticism, don’t you think that it would be a good idea for other youth athletes as well?

If you’ve read any of our past articles about athletic development, you’ll know that we preach for youth athletes to play multiple sports and avoid specialization at least before age 15. Some say 18.

Soccer, flag (or touch) football, & tag are a few great games you can play to improve footwork & athleticism.

Dribble tag and the jump stop drill are a few great ways to incorporate a basketball while working on footwork.

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2 Comments

  1. Ariel Rabe — January 8, 2010 @ 2:28 am

    At my age (49)I still do a lot of footwork drills. I jog first (apprx.4 km., 30 minutes). do the patter in set reps, do bounding with dumbbells, then do the rest, of course on interval days. The strength and power of my legs are really a joy to feel. I still enjoy playing the game in the process.

  2. soccer basketball — March 8, 2010 @ 6:12 am

    soccer basketball…

    Your topic Fresh Start for High School Soccer Teams ” insidemedford.com was interesting when I found it on Monday searching for soccer basketball…

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