There is no denying it – athleticism is going to give you an advantage is basketball.

And not every coach is blessed with having naturally athletic players, but any coach can use these drills and see great improvements in speed, quickness, and jumping ability in all of your players.

Ball Drops

Basketball Vertical
Ball Drops

This is one of my favourite drills; it’ll improve your players’ reaction time, start speed and even their hand-eye coordination.

It’s simple – have your player line up somewhere between 5-10 feet from you, and hold a tennis ball in your outstretched arm. When you drop the ball, the player will sprint and attempt to catch the ball before it hits the ground a second time.

Make sure to make the players start from different positions – in defensive stance, from the ground and any other creative ways you can think of.

Making this a competition of who can catch the ball from the farthest is a great way to get your kids motivated and really giving it their all.

Line Hops

This is a plyometric drill, and if you want to improve your teams’ athletic ability, plyometrics are going to be a big part of your training plan.

Have your players line up at one end of the free throw line, facing the sideline. Then have them jump side to side over the free throw line as fast as they can.

Speed Basketball
Line Hops

They should be moving forward, and when they get to the end, they’ll run around to the back of the line, ready to go again.

If you want to make this drill a competition, have your players all line up in front of different lines and try to squeeze as many line hops in between your whistle.

Hurdle Jump & Sprint

This is a great drill for improving a players’ flat out speed and acceleration. The combination of both sprinting and jumping can be taxing, but the benefits are well worth it.

Set up about 5 cones starting from the baseline, all about 3 feet apart. Have your players’ line up at the base line, and jump over each of the cones. When they get to the last one, have them go immediately into a full sprint for about a “¼ of the court.

If you have the luxury of mini-hurdles, you can use those, but otherwise cones will work just fine.

Vert Basketball
Hurdle & Sprint

Coaching Tips

Both the line hop and hurdle jump drills can be made even more challenging by making your players perform on just one

Make sure not overwork your players – you want to be doing these drills two times a week, maybe three if your players are already pretty good athletes.

If you like this drill, you’ll find more like it, and other useful information on my facebook page!