Building Strong Bases for Basketball

Basketball is a high intensity game of cardio and skill followed by a quick recovery period. Due to this physical requirement conditioning is crucial in the game of basketball. If players are not in top shape, their skill level drops significantly as soon as fatigue sets in. There is nothing more frustrating than loosing a game because of fatigue. Basketball players need to be able to run the court at pace consistently during the length of a game. Players need to have a quick first step, read and react to game situations, move in any direction at any time, and jump high a and quickly in rapid succession. To obtain these elements basketball players need a strength base and conditioning base. A player who is well conditioned will achieved the best results through sport specific exercises.

Developing a Conditioning Base
Conditioning base can be developed through a 6-10 weeks progressive running program of 100s (meters), 200s, and 100s on a track, field, and road with a straight flat surface. After each run a 1 minute rest period is required before attempting the next run. Record running times for each distance and aim for a personal best each run.

Developing a Strength Base
A strength base can be developed through a full body weight training program. More specifically the body’s core (midsection) and power center (legs & hips) should take priority over other areas of the body.

Developing Sport-specific Conditioning

Suicide Shuttle

To develop basic on court conditioning

1. Players start at one baseline, run to the closest free-throw line and back to the baseline, run to the half-court and back, run to the opposite free-throw line and back, and then run to the full-court and back.
2. The rest is two to two and one-half times the running time.

Add dribbling a basketball to the drill for variety.

Sideline Touch and Elbow Jump Shot
To develop basic conditioning as well as shooting skills

1. The player shoots a jumper at the right elbow of the free-throw line.
2. The player then sprints to the opposite sideline, and sprints back to the left elbow for another jump shot.
3. The player then sprints to the other sideline and back to the right elbow for a jump shot.
4. This continues for a set time until a certain number of baskets are made. Have another player serve as the rebounder or passer during this drill.

Have the athlete lateral slide to the sideline and sprint back.

Double Box Jump

To improve vertical jumping ability and jumping quickness


1. The athlete starts on a small box (12 inches high) and jumps off the box onto the floor.
2. As soon as the player’s feet touch the floor, the player jumps onto a higher box (20 to 30 inches) as quickly as possible.
3. The player steps down, returns to the starting position, and repeats the jump up to 10 times.

Deep Squat Overhead Pass

To develop core strength, power, and speed

1. Two players stand facing each other approximately 10 to 12 feet apart.
2. Both players are to sit into a deep squat position with heels on the floor, knees over the feet, head up, shoulders back, and hips as low as the knees.
3. In this position, the pair plays catch using overhead bounce passes for 20 passes.

It is important to build both conditioning and strength bases before working on sports specific drills and exercises. Keeping these two bases strong will make on court training much easier. With these training programs in place can make an individuals basketball performance improve rapidly. Basketball is a team sport and these training methods should be trained as a team. Once these bases are covered more specific training can occur to fine tune any areas that need improvement.

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