Unlike track and field and other traditional speed events, basketball speed is multidirectional and occurs in multiple planes. The difference between winning and losing a basketball game could be determined by a 50-50 ball, getting beat off a back door cut, or pulling down a rebound for an extra possession. The fastest, most explosive players are usually the most successful, because they can decelerate/accelerate quickly in a five- to 20-yard radius for total game domination. (See why it's so important.)
If you're relying on agility ladders to develop basketball quickness, you're losing valuable potential. Although ladders have their place in a program, when it comes to developing true speed, improving ground-force generation is what will really improve your abilities. In addition, perfecting movement mechanics—honing your ability to decelerate and re-accelerate in multiple directions—will allow you to make quicker cuts and more plays. It will also reduce the chance of injury when you attempt to rapidly come to a stop. The following two exercises will develop both lower body strength and movement efficiency to get you moving quicker than the competition.
When selecting a box, you want it to be a challenging height, but not so high that it threatens your safety. Focus on landing softly with your hips and knees flexed.
Sets/Distance: 3x30-40 yds.
This exercise helps you develop power in the frontal and transverse planes for basketball.