Speed Drills

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: , , , ,

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: , , ,

Fast Break Passing

In this post, we will be discussing some fast break basketball drills which highlight passing and obtaining a pass while traveling down the court and completing the fast break utilizing a lay-up, or completing in a two on one situation.

Two-on-None Passing Drill
Teammates begin by pairing up and run down the court passing the basketball to one another. Upon the final pass, the receiving player will proceed to perform a lay-up. The duo then leaves the court and get back in line to perform the drill again. After everyone has performed the drill, the first two people go back up the court performing the same process to complete the drill..

While performing this drill with your partner, you want to ensure that the last pass is always a bounce pass that will setup you or your partner for the layup. It is also important that you do not dribble the ball during this drill. The goal is to build upon your passing ability not your dribbling. Lastly you want to perform this drill running….not walking or jogging.

Two-on-One Passing Drill
This time we are going to add a defender into the mix. The defender will run in front of the two offensive players and will try to defend in a two on one situation. The defensive player should just move down the court and try to defend at the end. The defender may want to jump between the offensive players anywhere down the court to attempt to block or steal the pass. Should the basketball be stolen or a turnover occurs the three players stop and exist the court and get in line to complete the drill. After everyone has performed the drill, the first three people go back up the court performing the same process to finish the drill.

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Posted by Coach Z - August 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm

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

Five Minute Circle Dribble

This basketball drill is great for improving your ball-handling ability and dribbling skills.  You will improve your dribbling quickness as well as better learn to keep your cool when you are being  guarded closely by a defender. Lastly, this drill will really help you in improving your endurance and conditioning.

To perform this basketball drill you need a basketball and a circle to dribble in.  For five minutes you dribble in the circle using all dribbling moves that you are aware of, whether it be crossover, behind the back, change of pace, under the legs, etc.  It is important to not leave the circle and to perform this drill as quickly and as accurately as possible.  In the begining start this drill at your own pace to get comfortable with the movements and form.  As you progress with the drills work on your speed and form.

Check out the clip below from Steve Nash coaching on how to perform this drill.

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Posted by Coach Z - August 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm

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

High Knees

The high knees basketball drill is another exercise that will really help improve your speed, strength and stamina on the court. This exercise works your arms, legs, and core. If your looking to improve your overall speed and agility while building core and leg strength this is an excellent drill to perform daily.

To perform this basketball drill, stand in one spot. Begin by running in place; however, do not just lift your feet off of the ground. Bring your knees up over your hips. You want to either stand straight or lean a little forward. Ensure you are lifting your knees with your core and not your back. You should really feel this in your abdomen/core area when you are performing this drill. In addition to raising your knees up while performing this drill, ensure that you are also pumping your arms back and forth. Perform the high knees exercise for one minute, then rest for thirty seconds and repeat the drill for aonther minute. You should do five sets of one minute high knees daily. Once you are comfortable with one minute sets, increase your interval to either one and a half to two minutes.

Review the video below for proper instruction on how to perform the high knees basketball drill.

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Posted by Coach Z - August 11, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Categories: Speed Drills   Tags: ,

Butt Kicks

This basketball drill really helps to build your speed on the court.  While you may think this is more of a drill fro track runners, this really helps build stamina, speed, and agility on the court. 

To perform this drill, stand in a spot, bending your body forward slightly.  Sprint in place, but don’t just lift your feet off the ground.  You want to have your foor come all the way up and practically hit your butt before returning to the ground and lifting your other foot up to your butt.  Repeat this for one minute.  Take a thirty second break and repeat this basketball drill.  Repeat this drill at least five times with as much speed as you can handle. 

With practise you will get faster and build strength in your legs.  You will also notice your stamina will improve with this drill.  As you get comfortable running this drill for one minute sessions, try and extend your time to one and a half or two minutes.

Below is a sample video of how to perform this exercise.

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Posted by Coach Z - August 11, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Categories: Speed Drills   Tags: ,

Power Stairs Speed and Endurance Drill

Another excellent way to increase both your speed and vertical leap is by exercising with either a stair climber, or utilizing stadium steps.  This is an old method but works extremely well to build power and strength to assist in your jumping ability and overall speed on the court.

To perform this basketball drill, either utilize a stair climber type of product and set it so that the stairs move with very little resistance.  You want to be able to run on these stairs without having to wait on the machine.  If your going to attempt this at a stadium start at the bottom and run and power off of each step on your way to the top.  Sprint up the stairs and as you push off each step you want to leap from step to step.  As you get more experienced with this drill, you can start skipping steps to really improve your vertical leap.

See the video below for an example of how one should perform the Power Stairs basketball drill.

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Posted by Coach Z - July 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm

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

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