Archive for October, 2011

The best way to benefit from basketball drills and training

I went out and spoke to my team when developing this post topic.  I wanted to get the insight of my players to see how they felt in regards to truely benefiting from our practices and training.  With the help of my team we came up with the following information to assist others in truely benefiting from performing both fun and difficult basketball drills.

To really see gains in your basketball abilities, the right basketball drills and training is critical. There are not many sports in which you need to maintain tons of high levels of energy for long periods of time. Basketball requires a lot of stamina and endurance. It is important to focus on that mere fact when you practice and train. If you lack stamina and endurance, you will not have a chance when your faced with a challenging game. Increasing your endurance and stamina has to be a goal when training for basketball. In order to build or strengthen these abilities, their are a variety of aerobic exercises that can be performed such as running or riding a bike. Even if you only play basketball during a regular season you need to continue with your aerobic exercises through the year. Performing these exercises often and regularly helps condition your body and keeps your muscle memory as well as builds upon your basketball strengths.

Besides staying in shape with just aerobics, another important part of basketball conditioning is building on your overall strength. It is important to have both upper and lower body stength if you want to be on the top of your basketball game. Both your arms and legs need to be ready for various kinds of movement in the game of basketball. If your goal is to truely improve your vertical leap, it is going to take a lot of leg stength and determination. Performing many types of weight training exercises throughout the week is essential for basketball conditioning. Weight and strength exercises help to keep your muscles healthy and less prone to injury.  These conditioning exercises also help you remain competitive on the court.

Another important and less thought about aspect is maintaining a regular schedule for your training.  By doing this you are building a habit and are more likely to practice consistently. Players that only train when they feel like it, or when they have some spare time find it difficult to build the type of regular schedule they really require to remain in great shape. It is simple to stick to your training if you are aware of what you are supposed to be doing at a specific time. You should always make it a priority to train when you have it scheduled unless you are sick. By remaining consistent with your training is almost as important as the types of basketball drills and excercies that you perform.

In closing, my team all agreed that you need to take your basketball drills and training seriously in order to excel and grow in the game of basketball. Having natural talent in basketball is great, but it will only get you so far.  It is important to work on your agility and endurance, as well as focus on weight and strength training to really improve your abilities.  Focus on your training schedule and make it a point to follow it daily to keep yourself conditioned and building your skills.

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Posted by Coach Z - October 17, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Categories: Ball Movement Basketball Drills, Speed Drills, Vertical Leap Basketball Drills   Tags: , , ,

Build up your defense with these fun basketball drills

Being a strong defender is going to make you a better all around player.  It is true when people say that the best offense is a good defense as your goal when playing basketball is not just to score for your team.  Your goal should be to prevent your opponent from scoring while helping your team put up some points.  Today we will be covering a couple of fun basketball drills that will help you build up your defensive skills on the court.

React Defensive Drill
This is a fun basketball drill that helps in improving agility, quickness, and defensive skill. Begin by pairing up with a teammate.

Begin in a strong defensive stance. Either another teammate or your coach needs to stand in front to give hand signals for you to respond to:

  • Down – You as a defender bend down to hit the floor with both hands.  When you hit the floor,  loudly yell defense, then begin to sprint in place until the next signal is called.
  • Up – You as a defender stand up with both of your hands high in the air as if reaching up for a rebound coming down from the basket.
  • Right – You as a defender slides to the right at a fourty five degree angle until the next sign is given. If the next sign is a slide to the left, you need to perform a drop step to change your direction prior to sliding.
  • Left – You as a defender slides to the left at a fourty five degree angle until the next sign is given. If the next sign is a slide to the right, you need to perform a drop step to change your direction prior to sliding.

Perform this drill for ten full minutes to gain both speed and defensive skill.

Deny The Pass
In this drill, you will learn how to prevent the offense from passing the ball to another player.  This drill works best in groups of three players.  Two of the players will be on the offense, and the third will be on defense.

To begin, one of the offensive players begins at half court with the basketball. The second offensive player begins standing on the side of the free throw line. The defensive player begins in a good defensive position near the offensive player without the basketball.

The offensive player who does not have the ball needs to work to get open. The defender needs to react by moving with the player to remove the passing lane. The player on offense only has five seconds to get free as the first player with the ball will pass the ball within that time.  If by chance the offensive player recieves the pass, the defender needs to go one on one with the offensive player and attempt to prevent them from scoring.

When running this drill, each player will switch up the roles after each pass in.  Ensure that you perform this drill at least five times in each position.

Checkout the video below for more information on how you can work on denying the pass.

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Posted by Coach Z - October 6, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Categories: Defensive Basketball Drills, Speed Drills   Tags: , , , ,

Enhanced Ball Control and Dribbling

Being able to move with the basketball with ease whether strolling down the court, or sprinting to the basket is an important skill.  It is vital that you have excellent ball control at all times could mean the difference of winning or losing a game.  I have seen players with poor dribbling and ball handling skills completely blow games.  On the other hand, I have seen players with excellent ball handling and control skills make amazing comebacks and win games from behind.

Today we are going to discuss some more dribbling drills to help with ball control and comfort while moving with the ball.

The Crossover Dribble
To perform this basketball drill, begin dribbling the ball with your dominant hand while heading slightly to the right side of the court. After four to five dribbles, plant your dominant foot and cross the ball over to your other hand with one bounce while heading at an angle to the left side of the court.

Following several dribbles, plant your left foot, cross the ball over to your dominant hand with one dribble, and head back toward the proper side of the court. Repeat this zig-zag pattern back and forth until you reach the finish of the court.

To ensure that the crossover is working, it is important that you move up the court in a zig-zag motion instead of in a straight line. By dribbling toward one side of the court, you pull your defender more than to that side. Then, when you crossover, you get a bit of a head start in the new direction.

When your defender overplays you on the right side you crossover to the left and acquire another step benefit.

Behind The Back Dribble
To perform this drill, begin by dribbling the basketball with your left hand while heading at an angle towards the right side of the court. Following four to five dribbles when your right foot is out front, bring your hips forward so you are able to pass the ball behind your back with one dribble to the right side. Really focus on pushing it toward the right. Bring your right hand around your backtion to catch the ball. Catch it by dribbling with your right hand.

Dribble four to five times with your right hand at an angle towards the left, plant your left foot, pull your hips forward, and pass the ball back towards the left side by utilizing a single dribble behind your back. Catch as much as it together with your left hand and repeat.

Checkout the video below for a visual look on the behind the back dribble.

Performing these drills will help you to improve your overall comfort with the basketball.  It is important to work on your ball control on a daily basis and you will notice great improvements to your offensive game.  Practice these drills at least five to ten minutes a day until you get comfortable moving up and down the court with the ball.  Once you are comfortable only spend a few minutes each day with these drills.


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Posted by Coach Z - October 5, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Categories: Ball Movement Basketball Drills   Tags: , , , , ,

Excellent Speed and Agility Drills

Speed on the court is extremely important in the game of basketball.  Not everyone who plays the game is lucky enough to be born with genes that will make them sprout up to over six feet tall.  Having speed on the court will help anyone, large or small really move whether on offense or defense.  Today we will cover two drills that will greatly improve your speed and agility.


Box Drill

In this drill, you will setup a box using cones on the ground.  Seperate the cones approximately five years from each other.  This drill can be done alone, but it works better with three to four people.  If you are working with a group of people, each person should start at a cone and you move clockwise as quickly as possible.  When multiple people are involved, you can turn this drill into a competition, with each persons goal being to tag out the other people.  This requires each person to move as quick as possible to tag the individuals infront of them, while those individuals are moving quickly to avoid being tagged.  The winner is the last person standing.  You will perform this drill until someone wins.

If doing this drill alone, perform the rotations around the box for five minutes.  If you begin to get dizzy, take a break and clear your head.  Your goal is to get comfortable with doing this for at least five minutes each day. 


Agility Cone Drill

In this exercise, you will utilize the same cones.  Feel free to spread them back further so you have more room to run.  This drill will help improve your speed, agility, and balance.  For this drill, you should have one other person with you directing you to one of the four cones.  You want to start in the center of the four cones, and have your partner yell or point to a cone.  Once your cone has been identified you are to move as quickly as possible to the cone.  Once you touch the cone, your partner should signal you to the next cone.  Continue to move as quickly as possible to each of the cones your partner identifies.  Feel free to add in different movements such as crossovers, sprints, or shuffles as you move between the cones.  Perform this drill for approximately five minutes and then switch with your partner.  If you do not have a partner for this drill then it is up to you to choose which cones to move to.  Try and randomly move to each cone utilizing different movements for a period of five minutes.

Check the video out below for more information on how to perform this drill.


Utilizing these drills will really help you improve your speed, agility and balance when playing basketball.  You’ll become a better all around player as speed and agility help in both offense and defense.

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Posted by Coach Z - October 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Categories: Speed Drills   Tags: , , ,