Here are some great conditioning drills we use to help us with our cutting, and to use for the conditioning aspect of practice.

We’re going to look at 4 different things off the cuts:

  • Catch & Shoot
  • Backdoor
  • Hand off
  • Pick & Roll

The players start at half court, and they’re going to throw to the coach (who’s playing defense).

Catch and Shoot

I’m going to call it out, so as the ball comes to me, you’re going to sprint down into the lane. I might just say “Shoot it” and throw it right it you – you’re just going to fire a shot and the coach is going to put his hands up.


I might go “backdoor”, and when we work on the backdoor, our whole emphasis right now is to get a 1-2 count in the players mind. This is great when you’re being overplayed. You’re going to try to get a 1-2 count, step up into it, force him to come up into the passing lane, and then backdoor by showing your hands, and then cutting hard to the basket.

Hand Off

Then I might start dribbling, and I’m going to say “hand off”. You’re going to come take it from me, put the ball out in front and score in the lane. (The coach is acting as the defender in the lane)

Pick and Roll

And the last conditioning drill is the Pick and Roll. I’ll throw it to the player, and they start dribbling the ball. I set the screen on the defender. You’re going to come off, and our only rule with the pick and roll is a minimum of two dribbles off the pick and roll. If you can get two dribbles off the pick and roll, especially on what we call a naked pick and roll, then you’ve got a great chance to get a great shot or a great pass for someone else.

The other thing we want to do is create space (and spacing) by those 2 dribbles, and if you watch the great NBA and college point guards, they understand this concept. It’s so important that you can do that. By creating space, it gives you a better opportunity to shoot and it gives your teammate a better opportunity for a shot.


Do you have any other favorite conditioning drills that you use to improve your players cutting ability?“  Share your comments below!“  And don’t forget to Become a Fan on Facebook, where you can talk about these and other great“  conditioning drills with other fans!“  And if you are looking for more great conditioning drills, check out my Basketball Drills and Practice Plans series!