Want to be fast like the March Madness players? La Jolla Sports Club has a few ideas for you!
First, go back in time and pick your parents. Done? Great, good work, see you next post.
Not what you were looking for, hunh? OK, keep reading.
Duke / UGH, Virginia / UVA, North Carolina / UNC, Kentucky / UK, Texas / UT, Gonzaga, etc etc etc… These teams (minus UT, but Hook ’em Horns, anyway!) are all top contenders in the 2019 NCAA March Madness tournament, and aside from some great team play, you’re going to see some faaaaaast athletes out there. You might be sitting on your couch in your ketchup-stained sweatpants saying, Hey, I used to do that, and while the rest of the house has a good laugh at your expense, you’re whisked away to your glory days of speed and agility.
You’ve just seen Duke lose in the first round by 1pt (or in the finals by a history-making 623pts), leading everyone to ask, Why were they even in the March Madness tournament? We digress. Anyway, you’ve seen Duke lose and are now inspired to get back to your cardio fitness. Before you go all De’Aaron Fox on us, it might be a good time to remind you that there is a huge difference between being in shape and being in basketball shape. Note: We love our Personal Trainers here at La Jolla Sports Club, so if you have any hesitations at all about your road to relived glory days, please reach out to them.
Conditioning has changed. Long gone are the days when you hit the treadmill or track or sprints after scrimmage. Modern coaches incorporate basketball skills into conditioning, prepping athletes to perform basketball skills (dribbling, shooting, etc.) while exhausted, thus enhancing their late-game performance. Breakthrough Basketball and Basketball for Coaches have some great conditioning drills, but our favorites come from Stack.com, some of which we’ll include for you here.
17, 13, 9, 6? – Sprint / Free Throw Challenge
Benefits: Improves free-throw shooting under pressure and fatigue
- Athletes run the width of the court 17 times within a specified duration. Generally, high school boys should be able to do this in 70 seconds, girls in 75 seconds.
- After the run, each player shoots two free throws. Coach records the number of makes and misses for each round of free throws.
- After a two-minute rest, run the width of the court 13 times. Boys should be able to finish in 55 seconds, girls in 60 seconds. Each player takes two free throws.
- After a one-minute rest, run the width of the court nine times. Boys should be able to finish in 40 seconds, girls in 45. Each player takes two final free throws.
For every round above 70 percent, deduct one sprint length on the last run of six. For example, if the team shoots over 70 percent for all three rounds of free throws, they won’t have to run anymore. However, if they shoot under 70 percent, they have to run six more widths of the court.
NBA Lane Agility Drill
Benefits: Boosts acceleration and agility
- Begin on the baseline on the right side of the lane.
- Staying outside the lane, sprint to the top right corner of the free-throw line, shuffle to the left corner, backpedal to the baseline, and shuffle to the starting position.
- Shuffle to the left side of the lane, sprint to the left corner of the free-throw line, shuffle to the right corner and backpedal to the starting position. High school boys should shoot for 10-14 seconds, girls for 11-15 seconds, depending on position.
Dribble Suicide Drill
Benefits: Improves agility and ball handling while fatigued
- Starting on the baseline, sprint dribble to the near free throw line and back.
- Sprint dribble to halfcourt and back.
- Sprint dribble to the far free-throw line and back.
- Sprint dribble to the opposite baseline and back.
Full-Court Dribble to Layup/Jumpshot
Benefits: Improves ball handling and scoring while fatigued
- Begin at one end of the court.
- Dribble the full length of the court and make a layup or jump shot as quickly as possible.
- Get your own rebound, dribble to the other end of the court and shoot.
- Go back and forward three times as quickly as you can to complete six total scoring attempts.
Baseline Cut to the Basket, Catch, Layup / Jump Shot
Benefits: trains change of pace, back door cut, and scoring while fatigued
- Beginning under the basket, jog to the wing of the 3-point line.
- Change pace, sprint back door, take a pass and score (layup or short jump shot).
- Grab your own rebound, pass it back to the passer and perform the same movement on the opposite side.
- Perform five times on each side as quickly as you can. Set a goal for number of makes, depending on your ability.
Alright, LeBron, time to get cranking. Or at least get out of those sweatpants (after March Madness, of course)!
// Your friends and Duke-despisers at La Jolla Sports Club