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One of the best warm up drills that you can do - Improves dribbling, shooting, footwork, and finishing. It also improves first step speed and reduces injuries!- By Joe Haefner
This is one of the best warm up drills that you can use at the beginning of a workout or practice. It develops ball handling, footwork, finishing, and shooting. And it progressively warms up your body for more high intensity work. That way, you're less likely to get injured.
There are a lot of little things that go unnoticed in this drill that are really important. We explain them to you below the video. But first, you need to watch the video to understand.
Also, it's great for all levels of players. If you're a beginner, you can work on basic dribbling progressions. If you're a high-level player, you can work on advanced dribble combinations and finishing moves.
In this video clip from The Attack & Counter Skill Development System, NBA skills trainer Don Kelbick takes you through the drill.
Instructions For The Drill:
1 - You dribble through the cones using any sort of dribble combinations. The cones are between your legs as you go through them.
Each dribble combination should land between each cone. Your goal is not to hit the cone.
Here are the dribble combinations in the video.
- Single crossover
- Double crossover
- Triple crossover
- Between the legs
- Side to side
- Side to side - Crossover
2 - After the last cone, you extend a dribble to the basket and shoot the ball. You can mix up finishing moves and jump shots.
Variations And Drill Adjustments
- Add more cones - To work on more dribbling, you can add more cones and extend to half court.
- Change distance between cones - To make things easier, you can lengthen the distance between each cone. To make things more difficult, you can shorten the distance between each cone.
- Adjust the distance of the closest cone to the basket. If you're a beginner, you can also have the last cone a little closer to the basket to shorten the distance to the goal.
- Drop your hips and chest up.
When you're dribbling through the drill, you want to drop your hips and keep your chest up. You want to practice playing from a low position.
- Quick changes - get outside your comfort zone.
In order to improve your dribbling and hand speed, you need to push yourself. Once you've developed a rhythm, ramp it up. Go so fast that you make mistakes. That is the only way to improve and get beyond your current skill level.
- Straight lines.
When you take your one dribble to the hoop, you want to move in a straight line to the basket. As Don says, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. So by moving in a straight line, it makes you quicker. By being quicker, you can more easily get by the defender.
Also, by moving in a straight line, you're more likely to get the defender on your backside which is very difficult to defend from.
More Little Things That Make This A Great Warm Up Drill!
Obviously, as mentioned before, this is great for improving your dribbling, footwork, finishing, and shooting while warming up.
However, there are some things that aren't as obvious on why it's a great warm up drill.
Wakes up your nervous system, makes you more alert and ready to react quickly, and prevents injuries.
The quick dribbling and also the quick chopping of your feet through the cones does a few things for you. It excites and wakes up your nervous system. This makes you more alert. It prepares you to react quickly.
The chopping of your feet is also an extremely effective way to warm up and get all of the muscles firing in your legs.
Also, the short, quick movements make you less likely to get injured when compared to going straight into a drill where you're sprinting, cutting, and jumping at game speed.
And due to the shortened distance between the cones and the goal, it prevents you from reaching full speed. That way, you can't accidentally go too fast too soon.
Then when you practice your finishing and shooting, you're preparing for jumping that occurs during play with jumps off one leg and two legs.
After doing this drill for a couple of minutes, you're ready for more aggressive sprints, cuts, and jumping.
Teaches you how to play low. And it is also great for improving first step speed!
Additionally, it's great for improving your first step speed and explosiveness!
Think about what happens when you reach the last cone and you're ready to take that dribble to attack the hoop.
You're in a low squat position, probably lower than you normally play. From this low position, it's easier to stop and change directions. And this helps you get lower on your first step when exploding towards the hoop.
This is what a lot of pros practice to improve stride length, muscle strength and power, and mobility. It also improves your balance so you can remain strong and stable with the defender pushing on you. That way, they don't knock you off your straight line.
It trains you how to get to a lower position so it naturally happens during the game.
Watch this slow motion video of Steph Curry. He does everything described above.
He squats really low on the change of direction. He maintains that low position when accelerating into the first step. He even drops his shoulders and gets his "nose over his toes." Then he gradually rises up as he approaches the basket.
You might remember these tips from some previous articles:A little shooting trick from Steph Curry's trainer - How to get beyond game speed
Shooting Workout Mistakes - When game-like shooting drills do NOT help
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