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Basketball Agility Drills:
Improving Speed, Balance and Reaction Time



Basketball agility drills don't teach players how to shoot or pass or dribble - they teach much more fundamental skills: quickness, balance and reaction time. Agility is an essential base for everything we do in basketball, and the more agile a player is, the better the player will perform on court.


Agility drills focus on footwork and reaction time, helping players react to the other team's moves, and take action quickly when opportunities arise. Here's a few drills you can work into practice, especially earlier in pre-season practices.


Basketball Agility Drill #1: Jumps and Kicks

This drill can be run in three stages:

  • Each time the coach blows the whistle, players jump as high as they can to touch their knees to their chests.

  • Each time the coach blows the whistle, players jump as high as they can to touch their feet to their buttocks.

  • At the first whistle, players jump and touch their knees to their chests. At the next whistle, players jump to touch their feet to their buttocks. Players perform the drill as quickly as possible.

Run each drill for 30-60 seconds, reminding players to maintain their balance as they land and be ready to jump again immediately.


Basketball Agility Drill #2: Jumping Rope

This is an old one but a good one, great for coordination and foot speed as well as a good conditioning drill.

Players jump rope in the following combination:

  • left foot only

  • right foot only

  • both feet together

  • both feet together, crossing arms across the body

  • both feet together, jumping high to touch knees to chest and turning the rope faster so that the rope crosses underneath the player twice with each jump

Remind players to maintain their balance throughout and to keep their heads up and thier eyes forward.


Basketball Agility Drill #3: Five Spot

The coach marks an area with tape or chalk in the pattern below, with the dots being about shoulder width apart:

Basketball Agility Drills - 5 Spot

The player begins by placing a foot on each of two corner dots. At the whistle, the player brings both feet together on the middle dot, and then immediately jumps forward to place one foot on the remaining two corner dots. He then does the same set of steps backwards to finish at his starting position, and then immediately continues forward in the same fashion until the coach blows the whistle again to stop.

Run the drill for 30-60 seconds and remind players to maintain their balance throughout and to keep their heads up and eyes straight ahead.


Basketball Agility Drill #4: Four Spot

The coach marks an area with tape or chalk in the pattern below, with the dots being about shoulder width apart:

Basketball Agility Drills - 4 Spot

The player begins this drill with both feet on one dot. At the whistle, the player jumps from one dot to the next, keeping his feet together at all times.

Run the drill for 30-60 seconds, with players changing direction every 10 seconds or so. Again remind players that balance is the important focus and to keep their heads up and eyes forward.



These are just a few of the basketball agility drills out there that will help improve your players' balance, foot speed and quickness - realize that many of the conditioning drills and workouts we do also have an impact on agility and quickness. If you really want to improve the quickness and agility of your players, introduce a complete program for developing quickness and agility. At the very least, be sure to include these drills in your pre-season conditioning program to help your players play thier best.



Find more Basketball Agility Drills in these Conditioning Drills


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