Best Training Plan to Maximize Basketball Performance

For over a century, basketball has captivated our athletic senses in a dynamic fashion. Part of what makes the game so unique compared to other sports is the “stop and go” rhythm of the game that forces its participants to strategize their next explosive movement and plan of attack. The tempo of basketball is ever-changing and the different plays reflect a team’s technique in dictating the pace of the game. When attempting to design a training plan to improve performance, much of our thought process is guided by this framework.


For starters, cardiovascular fitness is of utmost importance when doing practice drills to improve your performance. Before we decide to play, it is crucial that we work on drills that promote agility, flexibility, and quick lateral movement for both the offensive and defensive end. These movements allow us to become better defenders and by becoming better defenders, we help our team control the overall tempo of the game in our favor.

Endurance and Recovery

Endurance plays a key role in our ability to play with a consistent energy level throughout the game, but it is not the only factor of our training plan. Another variable that is often overlooked is our ability to recover from quick “spurts” with flexibility and renewed dynamism. The ability to stop, refresh, and reinitiate our muscles “take-off” mechanism with fluidity plays a large role in our ability to pace ourselves throughout the game. This is the reason that drills are often followed up by a quick stretching period for rejuvenation.


With this in mind, here are a few exercises that will help you in your quest to get better at basketball:

  1. The Glute Bridge – A lower body exercise designed to improve explosive movements in the game.
  2. Dumbbell Press – This basic strength training exercise not only improves the chest but builds strength in the lats which improves the dexterity of your shot.
  3. Front Squat- Designed to keep your core solid, this exercise will promote balance and equilibrium in the game.
  4. Jump Rope – As silly as it sounds, a simple jump rope can be one of your most effective tools in building your cardiovascular fitness and endurance.

Building these workout drills early on in a player’s basketball career will promote good habits and decrease the likelihood of injury. Many of these training drills are covered in Mike Rice Workouts, a twice-a-week program that builds a disciplined training regime for all participants. In this program, both offensive and defensive drills are emphasized, and being trained in both areas will be useful for switching stances with fluidity throughout the game.


While agility and having a strong core are great starters, we should not downplay the importance of weight lifting and maximizing your raw strength either. As Myron Medcalf of ESPN reports, “strength training long ago used to be perceived as ruining a basketball player’s shot” but is now blended into a diverse routine that is used in many aspects of the game — depending on the basketball player’s goals, position, and aspirations.

Therefore, building a consistent shooter’s form with a strong core baseline will ensure that we optimize every player’s potential before taking on their first challenge on the court. An efficient youth basketball camp will promote these skills and the connections between each area while promoting a productive overview of how the game works as a whole.

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