Develop Explosive Basketball Court Skills | STACK 4W

Develop Explosive Basketball Court Skills

April 30, 2013 | Shaquala Williams

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Take complete advantage of your off-season with an effective basketball training program. By combining skill development workouts with resistance training, female players will see improvements in their explosiveness and become more proficient on the court.

Resistance training creates an overload on the body, challenging the muscles to stabilize against functional movement patterns and forcing you to maintain proper body position, balance and coordination.

When you demand more of your body, it adapts, resulting in the critical attribute of explosiveness. Incorporating skill development into the exercises gives them sport-specificity, since only basketball movements are trained.

Begin your women's basketball off-season workouts with this Contrast Skill Development Circuit. You will alternate between resisted sets of basketball skills or movements and sets without resistance.

How It Works

The circuit's first set is a basketball movement or technical skill such as dropping a shoulder below an opponent's hip on a drive. It is followed up by a non-resisted set in which you perform the same movement but focus more on maximum effort and speed. Do not compromise on the details.

This translates to when an offensive player is driving by a defender. The player who gets lower gains a leverage advantage. The offensive player should get her shoulder lower than the defensive player's hip. This allows her to be more explosive, play in straight lines and maintain better balance through contact.

If a player drives high, she is susceptible to being knocked off through contact, becoming less explosive or lacking balance. Without resistance, players can't necessarily feel their disadvantage; but when resistance is added and a player drives high, she will feel the negative effects on her balance or her ability to play in straight lines.

Remember, everyone is trying to gain an advantage, so try contrast circuit training and watch your skills and explosiveness improve.


Contrast Skill Development Circuit

Stationary Ball Handling

Set/Reps: with medicine ball - 1x20 (each side); with regulation ball - 1x10 seconds (each side)


  • Use a three-pound medicine ball
  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, back straight and hips at a 90-degree angle
  • Always have your eyes up and game ready


  • Figure 8s (full/single leg)
  • Pound Dribble
  • Side-to-Side
  • Crossover
  • Side-to-Side Crossovers
  • Front to Back

Triple Threat Direct Drives

Sets/Reps: with resistance - 1x4 (left/right)' without resistance - 1x4 (left/right

  • Place a resistance band around your waist
  • Catch pass from partner in triple threat position
  • Push hard with pivot foot and make a quick, aggressive first step
  • Attack in a straight line toward the basket
  • Drive past target (player or cone), lowering your shoulder to level of defender's hip
  • Extend with hard pound dribble to create separation and make quick 1/2 stride stop with inside pivot (or Jump Stop) while getting low into seated position to load for shot

First Step Dribble Explosion

Sets/Reps: with resistance/Sprint Through - 1x4 (each side); without resistance/Lay-Up - 1x4 (each side)

  • Place resistance band around waist
  • Explode low, shoulder to hip, and push ball out with hard pound dribble as far as resistance allows
  • Use drag dribble to control speed returning original spot
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