I have worked with basketball players who thought that basketball exercises are a waste of time. Unfortunately, they are right. I have also worked with many more players who thought that basketball exercises are a valuable part of their basketball training. They were right too! So how can they both be right you ask.
It’s simple, the players who thought they were a waste of time just went through the motions. They worked out with poor technique and no intensity. The players who understood the importance of basketball exercises always concentrated on proper execution and worked at an uncomfortable pace to make themselves better.
Basketball is a skill game, so most of your time should be spent doing skill training with a basketball. However, if you are like most players, you might not include all of the most common basketball movements in your skills training. You can supplement your skill training with some basketball exercises that will improve your stamina, agility, quickness, and jumping.
The most often used physical movements in basketball are: sprinting, backpedaling, defensive slides, jumping & landing and pivoting. So, those are the movements that need to be a part of your exercise routine. You can work on each of those exercises individually, or you can work on all of them in one continual circuit. The advantage of using the continual circuit is that it also works on your endurance. You can think of it as a kind of basketball obstacle course, which makes it fun!
As you do the obstacle course, go as quickly as you can (you are being timed), but if you don’t use proper technique, your time means nothing!
The basketball obstacle course
The purpose is to complete several basketball specific movement exercises in succession to work on the movements while improving conditioning. If someone can’t time you, time yourself. You need to know if you are improving and by how much.
1. Start in a bent knee defensive stance on the baseline under one basket and facing the basket at the other end of the floor. Timing begins on your first movement.
2. Defensive slide to your right along the baseline. Going as fast as you can is important, without sacrificing the techniques of staying low and keeping your feet wide. When you get to the corner where the baseline and the sideline meet (spot 2 on the diagram), sprint up the sideline until you get to the intersection of the 10 second line and the sideline that you are running on (spot 3).
3. Make a jump stop and then defensive slide (you should be sliding to your left) to the center jump circle and make another jump stop at spot 4.
4. Now you are going to do a foot quickness drill. Jumping off both feet, you are going to do 50 quick jumps back and forth across the 10 second line.
Each time you land, counts as one jump. Over is one, back is two, over is three, etc… Go as quick as you can, but make sure that both feet are getting all the way across the 10 second line. When you get to 50 jumps, stop and sprint the rest of the way across the 10 second line. You should now be at spot 5.
5. You will backpedal from spot 5 to spot 6.
6. When you get to the baseline corner, break down into a defensive slide going to your left.
7. Stop at spot 7 which is under the basket. Jump off 2 feet and touch the backboard five times as quickly as you can as if you are going after rebounds. If you can’t touch the backboard, touch the net. If you can’t touch the net, just jump as high as you can with your arms reaching for imaginary rebounds.
8. When you land on your fifth jump, break down into a defensive stance and continue your defensive slide to spot #8.
9. When you reach spot #8 break into an all out sprint to spot 3
10. Break down into a defensive slide to spot #4
11. At spot 4 you will repeat the line jump drill. Jumping off both feet, do 50 quick jumps across the 10 second line. Each time you land, counts as one jump. Over is one, back is two, over is three, etc…
Go as quick as you can, but make sure that both feet are getting all the way across the 10 second line. When you get to 50 jumps. stop and sprint the rest of the way across the 10 second line. You should now be at spot 5
12. When you reach spot 5, turn and backpedal to spot 9
13. Defensive slide from spot 9 to spot 1
14. At spot 1, do five more rebound jumps like at spot 7.
15. Stop the timer when you land on the 5th jump.
We are going to finish today’s lesson back in the same place that we started—players who feel that basketball exercises are a waste of time. Players who do not understand the value of basketball exercises never concentrate on technique. Basketball is a game where both quickness and technique are important.
If you perform a skill as quickly as you can, but with poor technique, you have succeeded halfway. Half way is still a failing grade. As a result, their on court performance is only half as good as it should be. Don’t be that player!