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Basketball Fast Break Conditioning Drills

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Many talented basketball teams get beat because they aren't in as good of shape as the other team. At the end of a game, the player that is intense and has great stamina will always out-perform the naturally gifted athlete that hasn't taken conditioning very serious.

The following basketball drills are perfect for getting players in shape. They promote intensity, concentration and are flat out tiring. They also provide players with the opportunity to practice the fast break.

4-4 Defensive Drill

This could have been my least favorite drill to participate in as a player because you get so tired. It is a drill where I encourage players to be physical and to play hard at all times.

It is easy to run and can be done on teams of 6 or 8 if you just shorten the amount of players that go against each other.

Start with 4 players on defense and 4 players on offense. The offense starts at the end line and the defense starts at the foul line facing them. In order to make sure that this is a drill focused on defense, I would only reward stops and not points.

At the start of the drill the coach calls out two names of the players on defense who must touch the end line before running to play defense. This gives the offense the advantage early on. The coach will throw the ball to the offense and they will run down and attempts to score while the other two defenders try to slow down the ball or stop it altogether before the others get there.

This drill has been performed at every level and I've seen players run this drill very physically. Remember to force the ball to a sideline and away from the middle of the court. Remember to try to force the ball to be backed up or reversed. In this drill, just a small second can allow everyone to catch up and have it be equal.

The first team with 3 stops wins the drill. A stop is a steal or a rebound. The losing team either runs or stays in the drill longer. It is a punishing drill and I've seen players get sick to the point of throwing up because they couldn't stop the other team from scoring.

2 Man Speed Drill

I hated this drill when I was younger because it is such a killer conditioning wise. This drill involves 2 players. Player 1 takes the ball out of bounds and throws to player 2 who immediately takes the ball and speed dribbles to the opposing foul line.

Player 1 meanwhile runs to the mid-court sideline and then cuts at an angle to the basket at full speed. Player 2 throws a pass to player 1 who lays the ball in the basket. Player 2 gets the ball, before it hits the ground, and takes it out of bounds.

The drill then starts over with the positions in reverse. Each tandem should go down and back before another group goes. This drill will get you tired. For coaches, make sure that the players that are filling the lane are running full speed to get there.

Don't allow them to loaf down the floor and don't allow the point guard to dribble slowly. Basketball drills need to be done at full speed in order to be truly effective.

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