To be in shape for games, basketball players must condition themselves for long-lasting endurance. (See Three Ways to Get in Basketball Shape.) This requires more than running lots of long, straight-line sprints. It means the ability to change direction and to transition between sprinting and defensive sliding.
Since both skills are so important for success on the court, training them should be part of your basketball conditioning drills. To improve your short distance sprinting and your defensive sliding speed, incorporate the following basketball conditioning drills into your workouts two to three times per week. (See also Improve Your Basketball Conditioning Program.)
A common basketball conditioning drill, 17s require you to run from sideline to sideline 17 times in just over a minute. Although your goal is to complete 17, set a minimum of goal of 12. This variation makes it easy to track your progress and gives competitive players an extra push, preventing them from coasting through a standardized drill.
These basketball conditioning drills have four parts, and when starting out, it's best to run each part separately. Once you know what you're doing, run them altogether without stopping. Depending on your level of conditioning, you can run one to three sets straight through. When defensive sliding, stay low and never let your feet come down inside your hips. The diagram shows how to do all four parts. For the sake of clarity, the diagram shows each part performed at a different location down the length of the court. However, you will actually begin each part at the same point on the sideline.
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