As discussed in Disguised Conditioning Drills – Part 1, getting your players excited or at all interested in conditioning is a hard thing to do. That’s why coaches often need to disguise conditioning drills as skill development drills. There is certainly a time for basic on the line sprinting (the off-season), but throughout the rest of the year, drills like the ones below will help keep your players in shape while also improving their basketball skills and their ability to make plays while they are tired.
5 Player Transition:
This drill is great for teams that want to get up and down the court at pace and will include running 5 lengths of the court. Start all five players on the court inside the paint, with a coach having one ball. Have the coach toss the ball onto the backboard and have the closest player rebound the ball. Once the rebound is secured, the ball is passed to the point guard and all 5 players take off in transition. The first time down the court the PG attacks the basket hard for a lay-up, doing a move at the free throw line (crossover, between the legs, behind the back, etc). All players touch the baseline, the ball is taken out of bounds, and everyone proceeds to sprint to the other end of the court. This time, the PG passes the ball up to one of the wings, who attacks the basket for a pull-up jumper. Again all players touch the baseline, the ball is taken out of bounds, everyone takes off up the court, and this time the PG passes it up to the other wing for a three in transition. For the next trip, the PG passes over the top to the 4 player running hard to the rim. On the final length of the court, the 5 player works a pick and roll game with the PG at the 3 point line and the PG looks to hit the post for a roll. You can mix up the order of shots based on the dynamic/strengths of your team.
4 on 4 Full Court: 2 Dribble Max
This drill forces players to be in constant movement, as everyone can’t just watch the PG dribble the ball up the court. Start with 4 players on the far baseline and 4 players guarding them. A coach passes the ball into any offensive player and the offensive team must cut, move, react, pass, and screen their way down to the other side of the court trying to get the best shot possible without anyone dribbling more than 2 times in a row. The defense is in all out pressure mode, trying to get deflections or steals. If the defense gets a steal before the offense shoots, the ball is live and the defensive team now works to get a good shot on offense without anyone taking more than 2 dribbles. If the offense takes a shot and the defensive teams gets a d-board, play stops and is restarted with the original defensive team switching to offense (starting on the baseline) and the original offensive team moving to defense. Play for 5 minutes straight with the loser running a down and back. Be sure to call fouls, as this drill will increase aggressiveness and as players tire they are more likely to foul instead of play good solid defense.