Use the Chaser Drill to Increase Agility and Improve Ball Handling

By David Jooss

This is a fun drill that is excellent for ballhandling, agility, and defensive footwork! It also reduces ankle sprains by improving strength and mobility.

I have used this chaser drill with my players to increase quickness, to practice slide to sprint technique, and for conditioning. We have used this drill with players ranging from 3rd-12th grade.

This drill does a really good job of teaching players to stay low, fake, and to work on the hip turn that takes place when going from a slide to a sprint. We all know this hip turn is critical to overall defensive technique and the ability to go from a slide to a sprint.

Instructions for Phase 1

We will first do the chaser drill with no basketballs. Players will partner up and each player will get on one side of the circle. One player will be the tagger and the other player will be fleeing.

Similar to any tag game, the object of the tagger is to try and tag the other player while staying outside the circle of cones. Players can change direction, fake, or go into a dead sprint and try and catch the other. The drill is over when either the tagger tags the other person or a certain amount of time has passed (example: 20 seconds).

If the person fleeing gets to the designated time without being tagged then they win.

Instructions for Phase 2

After having players do two sets with no basketballs, we would then give each player a basketball. Now players would have to do the same tag and flee game while having to dribble a basketball. Players will have to dribble with their head up and stay low while turning corners.


  • The player fleeing has a ball while the chaser has no ball (requires quicker change of direction and better ballhandling skills).
  • Require players to dribble with weak hand only.
  • Require players cross over dribble on each change of direction.
  • Use behind the back dribble on each change of direction.

In this video, you can see youth boys running two variations of the drill in a tight circle.

In the following video, you can see 4th grade girls running the drill with one ball and a wide circle. Our emphasis was to dribble and run at a high speed (get more comfortable dribbling with either hand at a high speed). The wider circle allows players to run at a faster speed.

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


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John says:
12/24/2014 at 1:07:21 PM

I have used this drill before and creates change of direction well. Here is a twist, instead of a circle, you can use a square, or rectangle. This crates long distances for chasing down which in turn will make the player develop bursts of speed at short distances.


Troy Patrick says:
12/23/2014 at 7:34:01 AM

Chaser drill is great idea. Simple and uses lot of emphasis. Ankles, eyes up, change of direction and more


Troy Patrick says:
12/23/2014 at 7:31:55 AM

Great drill. We will use for improvements. Thanks


Brandon Glasscoe says:
12/22/2014 at 11:07:44 PM

Creative drill. Creates good footwork, ball handling but keeps it fun.


Bob says:
12/22/2014 at 10:05:40 PM

Excellent drill. I noticed that the younger the kids, the farther apart the cones are. Is that correct.

  1 reply  

Jeff Haefner says:
12/23/2014 at 8:30:53 AM

Cones can be moved farther apart for younger or older players. The biggest difference is the dribbler gets more speed when the cones are spread out... so the emphasis is a little different and it just depends on what you think your team needs. Quite often my youth teams need to practice dribbling at a high speed, so spreading the cones out accomplishes that.


Ben Dell says:
12/22/2014 at 9:14:10 AM

Looks like a good drill. I will give it a shot. I coach both a small college women's team and an Middle School Boys team.


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