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Sprint Drills:
Sprint Relays

Sprint drills are important for conditioning in basketball because basketball is all about being quick. A slow jog for miles is good for general conditioning, and should be incorporated into off-season training, but the specific skills you need in basketball are speed and quickness, and jogging doesn't build them. It is quickness, not endurance, that is most essential to basketball fitness training.

This basketball conditioning drill is a simple sprint drill that builds quickness and speed, with a slight twist. Instead of sprinting alone, this drill has players divided into teams that sprint against each other.

Instructions to Players

  • Players shouldn't focus on beating the guys they are running against - they should focus on making the best time, to give their teammate in the next section an advantage

  • Players can't leave their position until their teammate tags them

  • After tagging the player ahead of them, players stop, catch their breath, and wait at that position for the player behind them to tag them and send them sprinting again

  • Be sure to make the teams as evenly matched as possible - divide up the big men, the guards, the wings evenly among the relay teams

How this Sprint Drill Works

This drill works best if you have access to a large running track

  • Divide players into 3 teams of 4 players each
  • Place players at evenly spaced intervals around the track, in three positions
    1. Two players - P1, P4 - from each team at position 1
    2. One player - P2 - from each team at position 2
    3. One player - P3 - from each team at position 3

    sprint relays

  • On the coach's whistle, the first player for each team - P1 - starts sprinting

  • When P1 reaches the second player - P2 - he tags him

  • P2 sprints to where P3 is waiting

  • When P3 receives the tag from P2, P3 starts sprinting to where P4 is waiting

  • When P4 receives the tag from P3, P4 sprints to where P1 is waiting

  • The circuit is repeated two more times, so that each player makes a full rotation of the track and ends in the position in which they started

    The team that ends in their original positions first, wins

    Adapting this Sprint Drill to Your Situation

    If you are only able to use the basketball court, make these alterations:

  • Divide players into 4 teams of 3 players each

  • Place players at two intervals around the outside of the basketball court
    1. Two players - P1, P3 - from each team at position 1
    2. One player - P2 - from each team at position 2 (directly opposite position 1)
  • Have them run the same as above, except this time they'll only be sprinting half a loop of the court

  • Have them sprint at least two laps of the court, finishing in their original position

  • A great basketball conditioning drill that improves quickness and speed, promotes good team work, and instills a competitive spirit in your players.

    Of course, you can make this into a competition - a prize for the winning team (early water break?) or consequences for the losing teams (pushups?). Players will run harder and work better if they know something is at stake. And they'll find themselves in much better conditioning after a few practices with this basketball training drill.

    Leave these Sprint Drills to find more Conditioning Drills here

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