5 Basketball Training Drills to Drastically Improve Your Game

A great portion of training is designed to improve the physical strength that's needed to excel on the basketball court. However, the best basketball training drills improve strength, agility, and prepare an athlete for the mental situations they will encounter in a real game.

Basketball training drills not only improve strength and ability, but they also help prepare for the potential element of surprise. With the right training drills, you can improve your reaction speeds and agility on the court.

Regardless of your age, these basketball training drills are designed to improve your performance on the basketball courts.

Curl, Fade, Cut Drill

Difficulty: Medium

Benefits: Guards and small forwards who are always on the move and want to improve speed and agility.

The best basketball players can anticipate how a defender is guarding them off the screen. This basketball training drill is designed to anticipate the three common reactions needed to explode past an opposing defender.

How to run the drill:

  • When the defender is following behind the offense, the player on offensive should curl.
  • As the defender goes over the top of the screen, while maintaining a great position, the offensive player fades.
  • When the defender is completely overplaying and anticipating a potential pass, the offensive player should backdoor cut for a layup.

During the Curl, Cut, fade drill, have the defender mix up their defense - coming off the screen while the offense determines the best course of action to get the best possible shot. As the defender mixes up their play, the offensive player will alternate between the curl, fade, and cut.

Full Speed Shooting Drills

Difficulty: Medium/Hard

Benefits: Guards/Small forwards who want to shoot better in transition, especially when they’re getting winded

This basketball training drill is designed to help players shoot while on the run. It helps to develop the explosive speed required for stop-and-pop shooting. Additionally, it develops the endurance required for the duration of a long game.

  • First, start the drill by running at full speed from half-court to anywhere on the right inside of the court, and proceed the arch to shoot.
  • Second, backpedal to half court and take your shot.
  • Third, run at full speed from half-court to anywhere on the left inside of the court, and take your shot.
  • Repeat for 20 shots while maintaining maximum speed.

This basic basketball skills training will develop the endurance players need to push through that last minute in the fourth quarter. It's a game changer!

VertiMax Linear Speed Drills


Benefits: All players looking to improve explosive speed and footwork.

Using the VertiMax V8 system, which simultaneously loads the drive and swing phase when an athlete accelerates, connect the resistance cables at the waist, and both ankles.

  • Standing a few feet in front of the platform, assume the 3-Point start position.
  • Run at full speed to your designated marker.
  • Backpedal back to your start, rest for 10-15 seconds, and repeat.
  • Repeat this drill 5-10 times to improve speed.

While not a typical basketball training drill, VertiMax Linear Speed Drills will simultaneously work the quads, glutes, calves (hip load), and hip flexor (ankle load) to build the strength needed to attain explosive speed. Additionally, this training drill develops all of the muscles needed on the courts, as players don’t often have the choice of which foot is forward or backwards.



Two Ball Passing Basketball Training Drills

Difficulty: Easy/Medium

Benefits: All players looking to improve agility and hand-eye coordination.

Passing is one of the most fundamental components of basketball. While learning how to give a basic chest or bounce pass is an introductory skill, you can take it to the next level to improve agility and hand-eye coordination. Once a player has mastered the basic skills of passing, add an additional ball, it challenges concentration agility.

Start with two players standing opposite each other on the basketball court. Each player should have their own basketball. One player bounce passes to the other player. The second simultaneously chest passes, catches, and repeats. For more advanced players, you can throw at variables of speed, and mix-up the type of pass to force players to learn the correct way to pass from every angle and direction.

Defensive Lane Slides

Difficulty: Medium

Benefits: Any player looking to improve agility and speed.

While lane slides are considered a basic basketball training drill, they are one of the hardest drills to perfect. And that’s really only because it’s damn near impossible to perfect the defensive slide, especially in real-game situations. While there are many factors which force players to freestyle their defensive moves, lane slides will force players to stay low, keep their feet apart, and learn how to pivot. These three skills are essential constants in defensive maneuvering at all levels. Additionally, this basketball training drill will help improve the muscle memory needed to be consistent.

  • Start with a defensive slide between one lane line and the halfway line at full speed for about five seconds. Touch both lines with your outside hand as you complete this motion, chopping hands in the air between the lines. Next, slide and get both feet outside one lane line and the halfway line for 10 seconds. Touch the lines with the inside hand every time you get to one during this motion.
  • Next, players slide between both lane lines, touching each line when they get to it, for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat.

Whether you add these basketball training drills to your training sessions at their basic or advanced levels, with consistency (3-5 times per week), you’ll be on your way to building explosive power, and improving agility on the court.