5 Best Basketball Speed Drills and Exercises

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Speed Kills

You've heard your coaches tell you over the years. Speed kills! A player who is FASTER simply can make something out of nothing.

It is not fun having opponents consistently fly by you down the court for an easy bucket or struggling to close out to shooters before they fire 3's over you. Players with more speed are simply able to make more plays... so maybe it is time to do something about that!

Game Of Inches

People always say how basketball is a game of inches, and it truly is a game of inches. As you continue to play basketball at higher and higher levels, it becomes more evident that most plays either fail or succeed based on a matter of INCHES. So how does this relate to speed? Let's examine the following situations:

  • If you are faster coming off a screen, you are more likely to hit that 3 over the outstretched hands of a defender.
  • If you are faster running the floor, you are more likely to get that transition layup or dunk.
  • If you are faster bringing the ball down the court, you are more likely to turn a secondary break into a primary break and create offense for your team. Or better yet, you create a scoring opportunity for yourself.
  • If you are faster on defense, you are able to closeout on a skip pass and take away an opponent's jump shot.
  • If you are faster in transition defense, you can get back in time to block a game winning shot attempt.

What is the difference between failing or succeeding in each of these scenarios? We are not talking about a matter of seconds in these scenarios, rather we are talking about being faster by a few milliseconds.

Seeing The Court

Being one step faster could also be the difference between seeing more playing time on the court. This won't necessarily be because a coach puts a stop watch on you and notices that your 40 yard dash time is faster, but coaches will notice when you begin making more plays on the court. And in the end this is why players work to get faster- it helps you make plays while on the court.

Have A Plan

Cody Roberts Athletic Development Program has specific exercises in it designed to help you become a better athlete. If you want to have the most success at becoming a better athlete, you need to follow a well laid out plan by a professional, this is the first step in guaranteeing success.

Remember, successful athletes have a plan.

Great basketball players don't go into the gym without a shooting routine and they don't go into the weightroom without having a program designed to make them a better athlete.

5 Drills and Exercises To Increase Your Speed

1) Wall Drive

One key to great speed is your body position. The drill teaches proper body positions of acceleration. It also helps develop proper mechanics of driving the feet into the ground, keeping head up, and chest out.

2) A-Skip

Great exercise for helping you develop dynamic control of your body and your posture. It also helps with proper positioning of the torso, hip, knee, and foot when sprinting. Start slow with this exercise and add speed as you get more comfortable with the drill. Maintaining good posture throughout is a key to the A-Skip.

3) Straight Leg Bounds

Straight leg bounds will help you develop an aggressive hip drive and ground contacts. This helps improve your prime movers, which are muscles used to power the body forward. Focus on quick contact with the ground and hangtime in the air while performing Straight Leg Bounds.

4) 5-15 Yard Sprint Starts (Falling and Half Kneeling)

Great drills to work on straight ahead acceleration. There are several variations of sprint starts. Begin by focusing on the falling and half kneeling sprint starts.

5) Flying 10's

This exercise is one of the highest and most intense training stimulus for an athlete. Being able to run at and experience full speed sprinting is awesome for developing a complete athlete. Focus here should be on sprinting tall and upright, while remaining relaxed.


Beyond The Dunk

Take a look at this next video clip. While the announcers and most fans will focus on the dunks these players finish with, please look beyond the dunk. I want you to focus on something else. How did they get open or how did they get to the rim?

The answer to that question is SPEED!



Each player that scores in the video simply outruns their opponents at some point. You probably won't turn Sportscenter on anytime soon and have the hosts talk about how fast a player was on the court. I challenge you though to notice what puts these players in position to make spectacular defensive or highlight reel offensive plays. I think you'll find that speed is a definite factor in their success.

Showcase Your Skills

You have worked very hard on your basketball skills. Better speed will allow you a chance to showcase these skills.

  • Offensively-speed will create space between you and your opponent.
  • Defensively- speed will take away space between you and your opponent.

Without that space, showing what you can do on the court is that much more difficult. Give yourself an edge on the court, and increasing your speed will help you do so.





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