Basketball training workouts usually focus on speed and quickness, which makes sense since basketball is a game primarily of speed. But there is an endurance aspect to the game as well, and the 8-8-18 Conditioning Drill effectively develops endurance along with sport-specific quickness.
Basketball requires a very high level of physical fitness in many ways if players want to play to their potential. It's bad enough to lose to a team because they can shoot better, or rebound better, or pass better. But it's inexcusable to lose because we aren't in shape. Everyone can improve their fitness level, and this is something players should be doing on their own in the off-season (they can check out more complete, stand-alone training programs like the Speed, Agility and Quickness Program, a solid basketball training program for players interested in developing their speed and quickness pre-season and in-season).
I use the 8-8-18 Conditioning Drill at the beginning of pre-season practices to see who is in shape and to get players in better shape. More than just one simple training drill, this workout incorporates Horses along with two other stages, and all three parts of the workout are timed, so while endurance may be the major focus, the time element ensures that athletes are also pushing hard for speed.
The workout is divided into three stages:
Stage 1: Horses
8 Horses in 8 minutes
Rest: 3 minutes
Stage 2: Fartleks 8 Fartleks in 6 minutes
Rest: 3 minutes
Stage 3: Laps 18 Laps of the gym in 6 minutes
Horses are like two suicides run back to back
That is one horse.
Players have 8 minutes to complete 8 horses - that's 1 horse per minute. Be sure they pace themselves appropriately
Players have 6 minutes to complete 8 fartleks - that's about 45 seconds for each fartlek. Be sure they pace themselves appropriately
Players have 6 minutes to complete 18 laps - that's 3 laps a minute, or 20 seconds per lap. Be sure they pace themselves appropriately
The entire workout will take close to half an hour to complete, and it will be exhausting for your players. I use it at the beginning of the season, often having a practice solely for this drill or in combination with basic skills drills - it's also a great early morning drill to get that conditioning in at the beginning of the day.
And don't be afraid to throw it in during the season either if you think conditioning may be lagging (maybe if you have had an extended period without practice, e.g., after winter exams) It's a great basketball training workout and an excellent way to get players in shape.
"It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it."
- John Wooden
I recommend The Jump Manual - an excellent workout that works!
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