How To Get Quicker Feet In 6 Minutes Per Day

basketball agility drills

Basketball Agility Drills Made Simple!

Agility is defined as an athlete’s ability to change direction quickly and appropriately while maintaining maximal speed, balance, and power. Using basketball agility drills in your workouts can improve your game in many ways:

  1. A quicker first step off the dribble, so you can get past your defender and create high percentage shots for you and your teammates
  2. Better lateral quickness, so you cut off your man, set more effective traps, and keep opponents out of the lane
  3. Better body control under pressure, so you can explode off the ground, maintain your balance and finish in the paint (even if you get fouled)
  4. Quicker change of direction at high speed, so you can make more dynamic V-cuts, L-cuts, and back door cuts, get open more easily, and catch the ball in your favorite spots on the court

Most performance coaches in the NBA and NFL use the agility ladder as part of their overall agility training plan. It’s one of the most efficient ways to get quicker feet in ANY sport.

If you’re not familiar with the agility ladder, it resembles a a rope ladder with two lines running along the length of the ladder and ropes running across at intervals of approximately one foot.

The main advantage of the ladder is that it will expose poor form. If you’re  over-striding, under-striding, or dragging your feet, you’ll get caught in the rope.

Don’t Have Access To A Ladder? Do This Instead

You can find agility ladders at most sporting goods stores for under $40 – but if you’re a baller on a budget, don’t fret, you can make your own pretty easily.  Find an open space in your gym, basement or driveway, and place two 10-foot long, parallel pieces of tape down on the floor, about one foot apart.

Then place 10 one-foot long pieces of tape across the length of the ladder, creating ten one-foot by one-foot boxes on the floor.

(easy, right?)

Agility Workout For Basketball

The following workout uses six ladder drills that every serious player should know. You can complete it in about six minutes, so it’s easy to squeeze in before practice, after practice, or first thing when you get up in the morning.

We’ll start by demonstrating the drills on video, then move onto the written descriptions and some diagrams below.

Video #1 – Two Step High Knee and High Knee Drills

The Two Step High Knee Drill

This drill is a good basic one to get started. Simply step both feet into each space of the ladder, one at a time, as you forward.

agility drills

Two Step High Knee Drill

Throughout the drill your knees should be coming up past the level of your hips. Your arms should be pumping fast and hard in a regular running motion. The faster the hands go the quicker the feet will go. To maintain balance and speed, remember to stand erect with a slight forward lean.

Complete four lengths of the ladder.

The High Knee Drill

This drill is very similar to the Two Step High Knee Drill, but you’ll only be landing one foot in each space on the ladder.

basketball agility drills

High Knee Drill

Maintain the same form and technique, focusing on keeping your arms pumping and your knees coming up past your hips. With only one foot landing in each space, this will be closer to your normal running form – your stride length will be longer, you’ll move through ladder more quickly.

Complete six lengths of the ladder.

The Right Legged Thrust Drill

For this drill only the right leg will be inside the ladder – it will do the majority of the work propelling you through the ladder, while the left leg will stay on the outside for balance and support.

agility drills

Right Legged Thrust Drill

Only the right arm should be pumping hard and fast. As the right arm goes all the way back, the right leg should rise up and go beyond the level of the hips. So, you’ll begin by throwing your right arm back, bringing the right leg up with the knee high and stepping into the first space of the ladder. Then the left leg will take just a small step (or it will slide) until it’s even with the right leg. Repeat that sequence for the entire length of the ladder.

Complete four lengths of the ladder.

Video #2

The Left Legged Thrust Drill

This drill is the same as the Right Legged Thrust Drill except, with a focus on the left leg and arm instead.

agility drills for basketball

Left Legged Thrust Drill

The left arm should come all the way back as the left leg comes up. Meanwhile, the left leg should step into the spaces on the ladder while the right leg slides alongside.

Important Note: For most athletes, your non-dominant side will tend to fatigue sooner than the dominant side. If you’re tired, slow down, but maintain proper form until the drill is complete.

Complete four lengths of the ladder.

The Double Foot Shuffle Drill

Okay… now we’re stepping it up a notch. This drill is a lot more challenging, and will require some practice to master. Don’t get discouraged if you struggle with it at the beginning.

speed drills for basketball

Double Foot Shuffle Drill

Begin on the left side of the ladder, directly beside the first space. Then step each foot into the first space one at a time (right foot first, then left foot). Continuing right, immediately step each foot outside of the ladder one at a time, (again, right foot first, then left foot). As you step outside the ladder, plant with the outside foot (the right foot) and then step into the ladder’s second space (this time, left foot in first, followed by the right foot).

Again each foot should step into the ladder and then outside the ladder (moving through the second space this time). The left foot will plant, and then step into the third space with your right foot. Repeat until you reach the end of the ladder.

Tip: Try talking your way through the ladder to coordinate your foot movements. For this particular drill, you could repeat this sequence, “right-left-right-left, left-right-left-right, right-left-right-left…” and so on.

Complete four lengths of the ladder.

The Single Foot Shuffle Drill

This final drill is similar to the one above, but you will only plant a single step outside the ladder before changing direction.

basketball speed drills

Single Foot Shuffle Drill

Begin the same way as the Double Foot Shuffle. Step into the ladder with each foot, one at a time (right foot, then left foot). Then step out on the other side with just the outside (right) foot. Then, step into the second space with your left foot, step with the right, step outside the ladder with your left foot, and then step into the third space with your right foot.

Instead of a four-step sequence, it’s a three-step sequence. So, if you’re talking your way through, it goes, “right-left-right, left-right-left, right-left-right…” and so on.

Complete four lengths of the ladder.

There you have it! A six minute agility workout that will do wonders for your performance on the court.

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