2 Brutal Basketball Conditioning Drills to Get in Shape Fast | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

2 Brutal Basketball Conditioning Drills to Get in Shape Fast

November 3, 2012 | Mike Meister

Must See Basketball Videos

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.)

Thunder Sports Institute 17s

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.

The Basics

  • Run sideline to sideline for one minute
  • Keep track of how many times you cross the court
  • Rest for one minute


  • In the first set you complete 17 times across you're done. If you fail to complete 17, you must run a second set.
  • You must step over each sideline; if you don't, the set doesn't count and must be run again after one minute
  • If a set is invalidated, it must be completed normally or it won't count
  • If you complete fewer than the 12 minimum crosses in the second set, rest one minute and run a third set
  • If you consistently complete 17 trips, increase your goal


Slingshot Conditioning 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.

  • Part 1: Starting on one sideline, sprint to the opposite side of the key, back across the key, then to the opposite sideline. Continue sprinting the same pattern back to where you started.
  • Part 2: Sprint to the opposite side of the key, defensive slide back across the key, then sprint to the opposite sideline. Continue the pattern, sprinting between the sidelines and far sides of the key and sliding the short backtrack across the key.
  • Part 3: This is a reverse of Part 2. Start by defensive sliding from the sideline to the far side of the key, sprint back across the key, then slide to the opposite sideline. Continue the same pattern, sprinting only the short distance back across the key.
  • Part 4: Just like Part 1, only everything is a defensive slide. Make sure to face the same direction on all slides so you get an equal number of reps in each direction.

Mike Meister
- Founder of Thunder Sports Institute (Irving, Tex.), Mike Meister has coached players and teams from the youth recreation level up to the professional ranks across...
Mike Meister
- Founder of Thunder Sports Institute (Irving, Tex.), Mike Meister has coached players and teams from the youth recreation level up to the professional ranks across...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How Sporting Kansas City Stays 'Sporting Fit'

Get in Shape With This Basketball Conditioning Workout

Can You Pass Drew Brees' Conditioning Test?

5 Brutal Sprint Drills That Push the Lactic Threshold

STACK Challenge: 500-Meter Row

4 Simple Drills to Improve Your Endurance

In-Season Baseball Pitcher Workout Program

High-Intensity Interval Training: How Much Is Too Much?

The Mount Everest Treadmill Challenge

Get in Basketball Shape With the Right Workout

STACK Challenge: Finish Strong

LeBron James's Insane Conditioning Drill

LaTroy Hawkins' Epic Battle Ropes Workout

Test Your Toughness With the Who Dat? Challenge

Off-Season Conditioning: Full-Body Med Ball Workout

Training with the Elevation Training Mask 2.0

Get in Game Shape With 4 Conditioning Combos

4 HIIT Workouts That Will Get You in Shape Fast

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Interval Sprints

Win the Fourth Quarter With These Basketball Sled Push Finishers

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Hill

Can You Survive These 4 Crazy Plate Push Finishers?

Improve Your Aerobic Fitness in the Off-Season

In Defense of Cardio

STACK Challenge: The 10/10 Treadmill Challenge

Get in Shape With 5 Intense Lower-Body Finishers

Advanced High School Football Summer Conditioning Program

How to Avoid Hockey Conditioning That Slows You Down

How Much Conditioning Do You Really Need?

A Slo-Mo Must-See: Ike Taylor's 4-Man Battle Rope Squats

7 Footwork Drills That Give You an Advantage

Baseball Conditioning: Why You Need an Aerobic Base

Training Secrets of UFC Champion Johny Hendricks

Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Altitude Training

Who Invented the Burpee?

Train Harder With Hill Sprints

STACK Challenge: 5 Minutes of Treadmill Torture

Can You Survive the

Alternatives to Boring Cardio Training

5 NBA Players Who Found Their Game After Losing Weight

Full-Body Conditioning Workout: 3 Loaded Carry Variations

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Fartlek Run