Top Basketball Drills
The Circuit

Of this section's top basketball drills, the circuit has the most emphasis on conditioning, although it also has a healthy dose of pure basketball skills thrown in. I picked up this drill from a little software program called Basketball Playbook. The software allows you to outline basketball plays and drills, and replay them or print them out - it is the software I have used to created the play and drill graphics on this site. The basic version is free - you can download it at Jes-Basketball.

Pre-loaded into the playbook are several basketball drills. This one - called Igor's Circuit on the software - is great for developing conditioning and dribbling skills. Players are heaving by the time they finish it, so it's a good simulation of how they'll feel towards the end of a game.

I've also made a few changes to this to create a version I've called the Lion Circuit (the team I was coaching at the time was the Lions).

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What Players Need to Focus on in this Drill

  • When dribbling through the cones, it is a control dribble - players need to stay low and protect the ball
  • This is a simulation - i.e., players need to treat the cones like defensive players crowding them
  • The dribbling moves should be as quick as the player can handle without losing control of the ball or having to stand up out of the crouch - again, always protect the ball

The Circuit

The full circuit can be broken into three sections. To begin, set out cones as illustrated in the diagrams below.

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Section 1 of The Circuit

  • Players line up at the baseline on the right side of the court

  • Each of the players has a ball

  • The player at the front of the line (#1) starts the drill by dribbling at the cones - at a control dribble speed and stance

  • When he approaches each cone, the player jabs hard to one side, then pushes off to the other, performing a proper crossover dribble

  • When the player moves past the last cone, he dribbles hard to the end of the court and sets the ball down on the baseline

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Section 2 of The Circuit

  • After setting his ball on the baseline, the player drops into defensive stance and executes a defensive slide to the half mark, then slides back to the baseline

  • The player then slides again to the half; this time when he arrives at the half court circle, the player pulls up and jumps, two footed, as high as he can, five times

  • When the first player begins jumping, the next player in line starts dribbling towards the cones

  • When he finishes his five jumps, the first player slides back to the baseline, gathers his ball, and dribbles to the opposite side of the court

Top Basketball Drills
Section 3 of The Circuit

  • On the opposite side of the court, cones are placed a little farther apart. The player dribbles - control dribble - to each of the cones, executing a reverse dribble at each cone

  • When he passes the last cone, the player then fast breaks to the basket, concentrating on making the lay up

  • Once he makes the basket, the player puts his ball down and drops to do 10 pushups

  • He then picks up his ball and heads to the back of the line for his next turn

I like this drill partly because it has some good conditioning aspects to it, and partly because it simulates a game situation, in that there are many times when a player is defended closely, but manages a neat little crossover or reverse dribble, gets his man on his hip, and suddenly finds himself unguarded for a moment with a clear lane to the basket - and if he's quick, he can notch up two more points in his stats.

But really push the players to go full speed - at the end, they should be breathing hard, but it will help them breathe easier in the game.

"The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle."

Great program to help players become sensational ballhandlers

effective ballhandling program