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Topic:  Agility Drills or Exercises

Question from Peter:
I am interested in the agility exercises or drills. Can you help me?

Answers and Comments

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Jeff Haefner says:
8/10/2008 at 7:00:13 PM


Check out our new basketball shooting guide and collection of shooting drills. This will help you improve your baseline shooters:


david says:
8/8/2008 at 9:00:24 PM

my u12 team has shocking baseline shooting do you have any drills in whitch they can improve this?


michael says:
8/7/2008 at 6:48:31 AM

My u12 players have great 1st halfs but seem to fade due to fitness in the 2nd. How can i increase there stamina and over speed? Do u have any drills that use a half court?


Ariel Rabe says:
1/22/2008 at 8:22:03 PM

Dear Coach Joe,

I jog for 30 minutes approx 4km and do the foot fires better, faster and effectively.

Thanks a lot for this opportunity to sharing my own experience on this.


wael says:
1/14/2008 at 1:04:29 PM

i'm acoach for 12 years old girls team,and we have now abreak from the season,they didn't trained for 2weeks,and we have about two weeks for the beginning of the second round of the season,i want physical training project for this two weeks,to prepare players to the season.
thank you


Joe (Co-Founder of Breakthrough Basketball) says:
11/10/2007 at 10:58:11 AM

Here are a few other drills that would work solely on agility and quickness:

Diamond Drill – explained at this link:

Foot Fires – Get in an athletic stance. You could also do a defensive stance. Repeatedly pound their feet on the floor as quickly as possible.

Lane Slides – Get in a defensive position and slide back and forth as quickly as possible from lane line to lane line.

Box Drill – Find a square on the court.
- You should start out in a sprint.
- Come to the corner line and stop as quickly as possible.
- Get in a defensive slide and start sliding to the left.
- Come to the corner line and start to shuffle backwards.
- Come to the corner lane and slide to the right as quickly as possible.

You stop where you started. The pattern should have formed a square.

Line Jumps – Jump back and forth over a line as quickly as possible. This can be done front to back, side to side, diagonally, and sorts of different combinations. Be CREATIVE! You do this with two feet or one foot if you really want a challenge.

If you want to work on other basketball related footwork, we have many great drills you could utilize in our basketball fundamentals page:

You can click on the links at the bottom of the page to go to certain pages with more drills.


abdulla hashem says:
7/22/2007 at 3:50:51 PM

thank you for this helping to get the new things in basketball


Carrie Belt says:
7/15/2007 at 9:45:45 PM

Agility is a key physical quality when it comes to being a competitive basketball player. In order to be agile, you not only have to have dexterity, but you also have to have the physical strength and reflexes necessary for your body to be able to react in a manner that is fast and effective.

In order to improve your agility, you should not only adopt a strength training routine, but you should also develop your flexibility and reflexive muscles. Here are some exercises that can help you do all of these things so that you can be more agile on the court:

Basketball is not necessarily considered to be a game of strength - at least not in the way that wrestling or some other sports rely on strength. As such, when you work on your strength training, you should be targeting the muscles that you use regularly on the court. It is important to get these muscles as strong as possible so that they are more effective. For example, you should work your arm muscles so that every shot and every steal is done with more strength than the opponent.

As far as strength and agility are concerned, when you are able to flex your muscle fast and hard, your muscles will help you leverage your body’s strength to speed down the court, defend the ball, or follow your offensive player with speed and precision. Plus, when you build your muscles, they will have more lasting power on the court so that you can not only stay in the game for longer, but you can also take those extra steps that can mean the difference between guarding a player and letting the player take shot.

Spend at last two hours in the gym each week doing bicep curls, leg lunges, and crunches. When on the gym floor, use a weighted ball against the backboard to simulate lay-ups. Jump with the weighted ball as if you were going for rebounds. Use weights to simulate all the movements that you would be making on the court. You will be amazed by how well your muscles will respond to regular weighted exercises. Plus, when you perform the activity without the weights (such as in a game) you will not only be more agile, but you will be a terror to mess with.

Flexibility is important for all basketball players not only because it’s essential that you are able to stay free from injury on the court, but also because when your muscles are flexible, they are healthy. A good analogy is a cat. Cats are some of the most agile creatures – not because they have the bone structure to be agile, but because their muscles are flexible. In order to improve your flexibility, you should stretch before and after practice. Stretch every muscle in your body, as you have likely already learned how to do (and should be doing regularly at practice.) Many players do their stretches, but they fail to hold the stretch. Hold each stretch for 20 seconds and you will be surprised by how much looser your muscles feel and by how much more limber you are in general. Many people are also sore after stretching because stretching releases so many toxins from the muscles. Therefore, be sure to drink plenty of water.

Reflexive Muscles
Reflexive muscle fibers are different than the muscles fibers that give you strength. Reflexive muscles are the muscles that automatically kick in to shield your face from the ball when someone throws it at you quickly, for example. In order to be agile on the court, you not only have to have muscles that can mirror an opponent’s every move, but your muscles should be able to carry you throughout the entire game, making sure that you are there to receive a pass, knock a ball away for a steal, turn a 180 when the opponent does, and grab that rebound.

The best way to build reflexive muscles is not only to simply practice with teammates, but also to perform all of your practice exercises with speed. Reflexive muscles are the muscles that respond quickly, as such, when you are able to respond quickly to a player’s move, you will be using those reflexive muscles rather than the strength muscles. Therefore, spend a day at practice passing the ball as quickly as possible, mirroring your opponent while he or she moves quickly through a play, jump high for rebounds over and over until you don’t even have to think about your feet leaving the ground. Every time you push your body to react to the court, you are building your reflexive muscle base so that your body will just react during games.

As always, the best way to be agile is to focus on your game during practice and during competition. Don’t let your mind wonder. Instead, trust your body to know what it takes to jump up for that shot, grab the rebound, or take the steal. As long as you have practiced hard, your body will have muscle recall that will surprise you. Agility, in large part, means letting your body take over and leaving a piece of your mind to simply observe.

Carrie Belt
Editor -


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