Basketball requires many technical skills and a high level of athleticism. Agility is one of the key athletic attributes essential for success on the court.
Basketball agility drills improve quickness, balance and speed in multiple directions. Having adequate agility training aids in injury prevention and allows a player to change direction quickly while maintaining control of the ball. The best place to practice agility drills is on the court to allow for a smooth transfer to real games. Drills can be focused on essential skills needed for offense and defense.
The basketball agility drills below focus on improving a player’s movement efficiency on the court.
Benefits: This popular drill emphasizes change of direction and lateral speed.
Sets/Reps: 2×2 each side
Rest: 30-45 seconds
- Place 4 cones, 3 along the baseline 5 yards apart and the fourth 10 yards away from the middle cone and forming a “T.”
- Starting from the last cone, sprint to the middle cone, then shuffle 5 yards to the left and 10 yards to the cone on the right.
- Return to the middle cone and backpedal to start position.
- Start on one side of the cones and finish on the other side.
- Dribble a basketball to make the drill more basketball-specific.
- Stay low when performing the lateral shuffle.
- Keep a wide base and don’t let your feet touch each other when shuffling.
- You can experiment with multiple patterns in this drill such as sprinting, shuffling and backpedaling.
Zig-Zag to Reverse Pivot Drill
Benefits: This drill works on acceleration, deceleration, footwork and change of direction.
Sets/Reps: 1×4 each side
Rest: 45 seconds – 1 minute
- Set 4 or 5 cones 5 yards apart in a zig-zag pattern.
- Sprint from one cone to the next and make sharp cuts inside the cones.
- When you get to the last cone, perform a reverse pivot and shuffle another 5 yards.
- Repeat for prescribed number of repetitions.
- Get more game-specific by having a partner pass a basketball to you once you complete the reverse pivot.
- Test your reaction time by having a coach signal you to sprint after you’ve gone through the cones.
- Focus on arm action as you move through the cones.
- You can mix things up by backpedaling and shuffling through the cones instead of sprinting.
Lane Agility Drill
Benefits: This drill focuses on speed, change of direction and body control. It is used in the NBA Draft Combines.
Sets/Reps:1×2 each direction
Rest: 60-90 seconds
- Set up 4 cones, 2 on the elbows and 2 along the baseline.
- Start behind one elbow and sprint to the baseline.
- Shuffle across to the other baseline cone.
- Backpedal up to free-throw line.
- Shuffle to your starting point.
- From the other elbow cone, sprint forward to the baseline.
- Side shuffle to the other baseline cone.
- Backpedal up to starting position.
- Stay under control throughout the drill.
- First jog at half speed to ensure you have the specific movement patterns down, then go full speed on the next rep.