Last Updated: September 10, 2017

Get In Game Shape With These Great Basketball Conditioning Tips...

The toughest player on the court is the that can last the longest...

If you are not properly conditioned, then no matter how skilled you are, you won't be able to use your skills for too long in a game.

Proper conditioning can make you faster, stronger, and better as an overall player.

The conditioning tips on this page are a good start, but to become a truly conditioned, you need a complete system, "showing" you and challenging you to be tough.

Below you can view the different basketball conditioning tips in this section:

INTRODUCTORY BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIPS

1) Everyone knows that running is an essential part of playing basketball and it helps you get in shape. Most people just jog or do sprints but why not dribble when running? This will help you get in shape and with your dribbling at the same time.

2) The game of basketball requires running. If you can´t run, you can´t play. The most horrible loss you can have as a team is when you just get outlasted by the opposing team. You must get in shape for basketball, in which the game is full of sprints and stops; this is how you must train... lots of sprints and lines, resting in between. Remember, "no pain, no gain"!

3) This common conditioner has many different names. The player starts on the baseline and sprints to the free throw line, touches the line then sprints back to the baseline. The player repeats this to half court, the opposite free throw line, then the opposite baseline.


The following tips will work on your quickness, agility, hand-eye coordination, and physical conditioning:

BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #1: ENHANCING MOVEMENT

The ability to change direction quickly and move laterally or backwards with minimal loss of speed is contingent upon two factors: (1) an athlete´s ability to send a message from brain to the body about how and when to react; and (2) how well an athlete can coordinate upper and lower extremities while maintaining balance and speed of movement. Incorporating agility drills that focus on coordination and reaction time will help in enhancing movement efficiency.


BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #2: 17'S

A 17 is a very common conditioning practice . You start behind one of the sidelines. You run to the other sideline counting as 1 then you run back to count as 2. You do this until you reach 17. (Always ending on the opposite side from which you started). To be in very good basketball shape you should be able to do this in under 1 minute.


BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #3: BALL BOUNCED

Hold the ball in front of you with your legs spread wide. Bounce the ball hard between your legs so that it will come up behind you. Quickly move your hands behind your back to catch the ball. The harder that you bounce the ball, the more quickly you will have to move your hands.


BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #4: BALL JUMPS

Stand next to a basketball with your feet together. Jump back and forth (sideways) over the ball as quickly as possible. Go for thirty seconds, counting the number of times that you return to the starting point. Try to better yourself every day.


BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #5: BENCH JUMPING

Either face a bench that is about one and a half feet high or stand beside it. You can either jump over and back or sideways. Feet should be kept together. Go for thirty seconds and count the number of times that you return to the starting point. Attempt to increase the number every day.

BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #6: CLAP HANDS

Hold the ball behind your knees. Release it, clap your hands in front of your knees, then return your hands behind your knees and catch the ball before it hits the ground.


BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #7: COBRA

When you are practicing with a partner, you can work on your hand quickness with this drill. Both of you stand inside the jump circle in a defensive stance. Try to hit the inside of each other´s knees while remaining inside the circle. Whoever touches the inside of the other´s knees an agreed to number of times is the winner.


BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #8: FOUR SQUARES

Find a place on the floor where two line intersect. These create four areas that are numbered one through four. Jump 1-2-3-4, then 4-3-2-1. Count the number of times you return to square #1 in thirty seconds. Try to better yourself every day.


BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #9: FRONT-BACK-CATCH

Pass the ball from in front of your body to behind it between your legs. Move your hands quickly to behind your body to catch the ball before it hits the ground. Once you have caught it, pass it back to the front of your body through your legs and catch it again.


BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #10: HAND CLAPS

Start holding a basketball. Toss it up, clap your hands twice, then catch the ball. Repeat, clapping twice. Continue to increase the number of times that you clap your hands. See how many times you can clap your hands and still catch the ball.


BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #11: JUMP ROPES

One of the most important pieces of equipment a basketball player can possess is a jump rope. Daily use of a jump rope will develop stamina, leg strength, agilty and coordination, timing, quickness, and hand-eye coordination. All of these are extremely important to becoming a good ball player.


BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #12: LANE SHUFFLE

The lane shuffle is a progressive drill that is outstanding for developing body control and coordination. You shuffle across the foul lane from one line to the other, first touching the line with your outside hand, the second time touching the line with the inside hand forcing a crossover step, then, the third time, touching the line with both hands. The drill can be run for a set time period with players counting the number of times they touch the lines.


BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #13: LINE JUMPS

Stand beside any line on the floor. With your feet together, jump forward and backwards over the line, then sideways back and forth (two separate exercises). Repeat for thirty seconds, counting the number of times that you return to the starting point. Try to better yourself every day.


BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #14: MIMIC MOVES

A basketball player´s quickness and agility program would include drills which emphasize lateral movement, change of direction, and sudden starts and stops (with or without ball) because these movement patterns are specific to the sport of basketball. By implementing these drills, inevitably, a basketball player´s skill acquisition is enhanced.


BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #15: REDUCE GROUND TIME

To develop quicker movements for various drills, a basketball player should strive to reduce the amount of time spent on the ground when performing drills. Whether a player is fresh or fatigued while performing a drill, the goal should be to move the feet quickly and forcefully while constantly spending the least amount of time possible on the ground.


BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #16: SIDE CATCH

Place the ball between your legs with one hand holding it in front of your body and the other behind. Let the ball go and switch the position of your hands, front to back and back to front, and catch the ball before it hits the ground.


BASKETBALL CONDITIONING TIP #17: WALL PASSING

A good way to increase both hand quickness and hand-eye coordination is with wall passes. Stand in front of a wall and pass the ball hard against the wall, catching it upon its return. As you improve your hand coordination, decrease the distance you stand from the wall so that the ball will come back more quickly and you have to react more quickly.

Team Basketball Conditioning Drills

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Professional Ball Handling Tips To Improve Your Dribbling Skills...

Good ball-handling is way more than "nice looking moves", its about protecting the ball, being able to create plays, get open for shots, and a whole lot more.

The ball-handling tips on this page are a good start, but to become a truly great ball-handler, you need a complete system, "showing" you and challenging you to do great moves.

Before looking at the basketball tips in this section, click the link below for a complete, step-by-step system showing you how to dramatically improve your ball handling skills & much more:

Below you can view the different ball handling tips in this section:


INTRODUCTORY BALL HANDLING TIP


To be a top-flight ballhandler (which is key to being a great point guard) one must be able to survey the floor while handling the ball. The ball-handler cannot afford to be concerned with whether he/she is going to be able to control the ball at high speeds especially while running a break. Everyone on the team relies on the ball-handler to get the ball down the floor and be the catalyst toward making something happen for the team.

A classic rule of life applies here: If you can handle two of something, then mastering one thing will be much easier. In other words, if you can handle two balls at high speeds while keeping your eyes looking ahead, handling one will be a piece of cake.

Drill: Stand at one end of the court. Hold one basketball in each hand. Begin to walk forward toward the opposite baseline, bouncing the ball in your right hand first. In the fraction of a second after the ball in your right hand has hit the floor, bounce the left ball. In the fraction of a second after the left ball hits the floor, bounce the right ball. Continue in this fashion down the court. As you begin to feel more comfortable doing the drill, start to pick up your pace. Ideally, you will eventually be able to sprint down the floor, bouncing both balls with equal skill. Don't underestimate the importance of this ball handling tip! I have seen NBA and WNBA players STILL performing this drill at the on-set of a practice. It sounds simple, and it is, so make sure to master ball-handling and you're on your way to a great basketball career!


AROUND THE WORLD

Ball Handling Tip #1: Circle the ball around your head, than your waist, and finally put your legs together and take the ball around both legs at the knees. Then, bend at the waist, spread your legs, and circle the ball around one leg, then the other. This exercise will give you a great feel for the ball in addition to hand coordination and speed.


THE SCISSORS

Ball Handling Tip #2: To start this exercise, place your left foot ahead of your right and bounce the ball between your legs from your right to your left hand. As the ball gets to your left hand shift your feet so that your right leg goes ahead of your left and bounce the ball back between your legs. Shift your feet with every bounce.


CATCH-CATCH-CATCH

Ball Handling Tip #3: This is a drill to work on your ball handling. Hold the ball between your legs, with both hands on the ball, right hand in front and left hand in back. Quickly switch your hands,(now left hand in front and right hand in the back), without letting the ball touch the ground. Do as quickly as possible...this drill is one of the hardest to master... but it just takes lots of practice.


CRAB WALK

Ball Handling Tip #4: This drill can go from baseline to half court. Step forward with your left leg and pass the ball from your right hand to your left under your left leg. As you take your next step with your right leg, pass the ball from your left hand to your right under your right leg. Continue this pattern all the way down the floor.


FIGURE 8

Ball Handling Tip #5: Spread your legs, bend at the waist, put the ball through your legs, around one leg, back through your legs, and around your other leg, making a figure eight. This will help you get a feel for the basketball as you move it around. Keep your head up not looking at the ball and increase your speed.


FIGURE 8 DRIBBLING

Ball Handling Tip #6: This is a drill to practice your ball-handling. Dribble the ball as quickly as possible in a figure 8 through and around the legs. Use the fingers when you dribble, and dribble very low and quickly. Switch from the right to the left and back to the right. Example: start with the right hand dribbling the ball in front and then dribble through your legs with your right hand, switch to your left hand and dribble from the back, around your left side to the front and back through you legs... then switch to your right hand behind the body and around the right side. Try to go as fast as possible, and your dribbling skills will improve with daily practice.


FIGURE 8 DROP

Ball Handling Tip #7: The ball is moved around the outside of the left leg from the back to the front. Then it is passed in front of your body and around the outside of your right leg from front to back. Now the ball is between your legs at the back of your body. Bounce the ball, and as it is bouncing, reverse your hands, bring your right from the back to the front and your left from the front to the back. Catch the ball before it bounces again. Continue to do figure eights.


FIGURE 8 DROP REVERSE

Ball Handling Tip #8: For this drill, follow the procedure described in the Figure Eight Drop Drill, except that when you bounce the ball, your movement will be reversed. After the bounce, circle the ball around the outside of your right leg, in front of your left leg, and around your left leg from the front to the back.


FIGURE 8 RUNNING IN PLACE

Ball Handling Tip #9: Move the ball around your legs as in the Figure Eight Drill, but in addition, run in place.


ONE ON TWO

Ball Handling Tip #10: A good drill to use to better your dribbling under pressure is to try to advance the ball against two defenders. This will force you to use a variety of manuevers while being alert to the defense.


PASS AND CATCH

Ball Handling Tip #11: With 2 hands, make a bounce pass between your legs from front to back and catch the ball with 2 hands behind you. Then bounce the ball through your legs from the back to the front, and catch the ball in front of your body. This is a good drill for body awareness.


SIT-UP DRIBBLE

Ball Handling Tip #12: While doing bent-knee situps, dribble up with your right hand as you sit up, and around your feet, then switch hands to your left as you go back down, and then dribble with your left hand as you sit up, back around your feet, switching back to your right hand. Continue as quickly as possible.


SQUEEZE THE BANANA

Ball Handling Tip #13: This is a drill that helps increase the strength in your fingers. Hold the ball in front of you at eye level with two hands. By squeezing your fingers and thumb together with one hand at a time, you move the ball from one hand to the other as quickly as you can. More finger and arm strength will imrove your ball control.


TOUCH-TOUCH-TOUCH

Ball Handling Tip #14: This is another ball-handling drill that seems very difficult at first, but with daily practice, will improve your handles. This drill is called touch-touch-touch because that is what you do... while keeping the ball between your legs, you touch the ball once with your right hand(fingers) in front, then with your left hand(fingers) in front, then with your right behind you, and then with your left behind you. Continue in this manner as fast as possible. Before long, you will master this skill.


UP THE LADDER

Ball Handling Tip #15: Hold the ball out in front of you and pass it back from hand to hand using only your finger tips. Go from out in front of your waist to above your head and back. This will help you develop the finger tip control that you will need to properly handle the ball.

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Professional Ball Handling Drills To Help Your Team Protect the Ball...

Hey, your team can't do much with the ball if they can't protect it... And, even big men can benefit from having some ball handling skills.

So, protecting the ball is a duty on every player, not just the guards. It can help in limiting turnovers, creating spectacular plays, getting open looks, etc...

The ball handling drills in this section are a good start, but remember, basketball coaching is about a lot more than running some drills. What you need is a whole system.

Below, you can read the different basketball ball handling drills in this section:


Ball Handling Drill #1: 1 ON 2


Divide the court in half lengthwise. Make up groups of three players to do the drill. You should have two groups going at a time. One on each each half of the court. Give a ball to each group. One player on each group is on offense and the other two are on defense. The offensive player must reach the other end of the floor, trying to beat both defenders. If a steal or deflection occurs, the offensive player gets the ball back at that spot. At the other end of the floor, the offensive player moves to defense and one of the defensive players goes to offense and they come back. Then let the next groups go.


Ball Handling Drill #2: 4 SPEED DRILL


This drill must be done on an open court. Have the players ready for the 4 dribbling drills starting at the endline. When the whistle starts, the player/s must dribble starting with either hand then perform the cross-over dribble, between the legs, behind the back dribble and the spin dribble. Each dribble must be performed each step. Meaning if we have 4 kinds of dribble, the player must accomplish all 4 dribbles at four steps. After they accomplish the 4 dribbles, they already accomplish 4 steps at the same time...


Ball Handling Drill #3: 5 MINUTE CIRCLE


This drill, devised by the great Pistol Pete Maravich is an excellent drill for developing ball-handling and dribbling skills.

For this drill, all you need is a basketball and a circle to dribble in. (ie. free-throw or half-court circle). For anywhere from three to five minutes you dribble in the circle using all dribbling moves that you know of, ie. crossover, behind the back, spin, change of pace, under the legs, inside out, etc.

Do not leave the circle and do this drill as rapidly as possible without rushing. Start one day at three minutes and add a minute everyday until you can reach five. You should feel tired after completing this drill.


Ball Handling Drill #4: CATERPILLAR DRIBBLE WEAVE


As the line jogs around the outside of the court, the ball at the front is passed back over the heads of the players, and the ball at the back is dribbled forward through the line, weaving between the players. As the ball reaches the back, it is dribbled forwards, when the ball reaches the front, it is passed back over heads.


Ball Handling Drill #5: DRIBBLE ATTACK


At the half court circle place the first 5 or 6 players, each with a ball, they start to dribble within the circle trying to maintain their dribble while attacking the other players within the circle trying to knock their ball away. If a player loses his dribble/stops his dribble or is out of the circle, he then leaves the circle and passes to the next player in line. This teaches them to keep their heads up, use their peripheral vision, protect the ball and maintain their control upon contact, switch hands and keep calm upon pressure.


Ball Handling Drill #6: GO SOMEWHERE WITH IT!


One person with one ball...From the free-throw line they get one dribble for a lay-up. From half-court they get two dribbles for a lay-up. From three-quarter court they get three dribbles, and from baseline to baseline they get four dribbles.

Hopefully, what they will get out of this drill is the confidence to take the ball from the wing and explode to the basket using one or two dribbles.


Ball Handling Drill #7: LOW DRIBBLE FIGURE EIGHT


You start with a low dribble then go around both of your legs in the shape of an eight. First do it with your off hand then go with your good hand, then use both. When you do this drill you have to keep your head up!!! If you don't you won't improve yourself! Be patient you'll lose control of the ball often when your first starting out but after you practice hard you will find that it helps you a lot! Good Luck and always do your best. Push yourself hard or you'll never find out what you can do.


Ball Handling Drill #8: VISION TEST


A coach stands at the FT line. Two players are standing on the box on each side of the lane. Player dribbles to coach, full speed, head up, from half court. At top of circle, comes to a jump stop with both feet available for pivot. One of the post players raises his hand as a signal to get him the ball (don't shout 'ball.' In this drill we want to make sure the dribbler is developing court vision).

The dribbler pivots off the appropriate foot, spinning around and sealing off the coach (i.e. drop step around and seal on hip), and makes a 'step around' bounce pass with the correct hand to the post player's outside who then drop steps for an uncontested lay-up. The passer follows up his pass and takes shooter's place. After you shoot, go back to line at half-court.


Ball Handling Drill #9: SKIP DRIBBLE DRILL


The player stands and moves his legs in a scissors-like fashion, with his toes pointing straight ahead. The player should keep his back straight and should not bend over.

The player dribbles the ball through his legs from front to back, from one hand to the other, as he jumps and shifts his feet.

The player should try to complete fifty to one hundred bounces without making a mistake.


Ball Handling Drill #10: CROSS-0VER AND SPIN DRIBBLE


This is a combination of a crossover and a spin dribble. Dribble hard to the first cone and as you approach the cone, plant your outside foot and change direction using a low crossover dribble on this quickly plant your inside foot and execute a spin dribble.

It is easily taught when the spin is done with the right hand, which is the dominating/ strong hand of most of the players. So you start you dribble with your left hand, do a crossover with your left hand and a spin dribble with your right. Continue till the last cone then finish it with a lay-up shot.


Ball Handling Drill #11: BEHIND THE BACK DRIBBLE


Dribble, as fast to the first cone, when you approach the cone, your body should be forward in front of the ball. Quickly pull the ball with your wrist, fingers then arm around you back to change direction. The ball should be waist high. As the ball changes direction use your off hand and body to shield the ball. So on keep going changing hands using behind the back dribble till the last cone then goes for a lay-up shot.


Ball Handling Drill #12: YO-YO DRIBBLE


This is a combination of crossover on a crossover dribble. This is a dribble to deceive and commit the defense. As you plant your outside foot to change direction you use a low crossover dribble from right to left and left to right and speed up dribbling the ball waist high as you approach the next cone. Continue until you reach the last cone then take a lay-up shot.


Ball Handling Drill #13: KNEE CLAP


Stand with your feet together and bend over like you are going to touch your toes. Place the ball behind your knees. Let the ball go, clap your hands in front of your knees and catch the ball before it hits the ground. This is a very hard drill, but is a real good hand quickness drill. When you can do this...You have quick hands!

This is a drill Pistol Pete developed and used. He was the best ball handler ever!!


Ball Handling Drill #14: KG DRILL


Bounce the ball off the glass. Make a sudden move such as a fake crossover. Do the move three times while heading down the court. Once at the three point line, once at the half court line, and again at the other three point line.


Ball Handling Drill #15: PING-PONG


Start at one end of the court with ball in either hand. Run down the court throwing the ball under the legs! If you drop the ball while running up and down the court you are out. The last player still performing the drill is named the Champion!


Ball Handling Drill #16: RICOCHET


Hold the ball at chest height with both hands. You then bounce the ball between your legs. Move both hands from front to back, catching the ball behind your back. Attempt to slam the ball through your legs as hard as you can.

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