Effective Basketball Warm-up Drills

Going through a program of quality basketball warm-up drills is essential before entering high-charged practice or game action.

How many times have you seen a player injured because they decided that a good basketball warm-up wasn’t necessary?

It’s amazing what a few minutes invested in basketball warm-up drills will do for your health and physical condition.

Note – Be sure to get checked out by your doctor before starting any physical regimen. Also, never do this without stretching first! Go to basketball stretch exercises for details.

Basketball QuicknessAt the beginning of this page, you’ll find some individual warm-ups. Toward the bottom of the page are some good team warm-up drill ideas (a good resource for coaches).

For more “get-in-shape” info, visit our basketball conditioning drills page. These drills will help to vastly improve your stamina, strength, quickness, running and jumping abilities. (that’s what you want, right?)

By the way, would you like to dramatically add to your basketball drills knowledge bank?

Individual Basketball Warm-up Drills

Basketball Warm-up Drill #1) Warm-up Jog

Jog slowly around the gym for about five minutes just to get your temperature up a bit. You want to get to the point where you’re breaking a slight sweat.

#1) Pointed Toes

Walk on your heels with your toes pointed upward while you keep the front muscle of your shin tight. Walk about 10 yards at a comfortable pace about 4 times. This drill will help to loosen up your shin muscles.

Basketball Warm-up Drill #3) Skip

Skipping drills help you develop the bouncing skills you need to get your feet up and off the ground quickly. An important basketball skill, don’t you think? Invest about 3-4 minutes on skipping.

Basketball Warm-up Drill #4) Side Step

The fundamentals behind this will be similar to the defensive sliding drill (you can find the details on this drill at our defensive basketball drills page.

See Drill #1).

The difference here is, as you slide, swing your arms across your body.

It’s OK to bring your feet close together as you slide, but don’t let them cross.

Basketball Warm-up Drill #5) Back Kick

Kick your feet up high toward your back as you move backward at a slow, comfortable pace.

All warm-up sessions should include stretching. You can find info on this aspect of your warm-ups on our basketball stretch page.


Group Basketball Warm-up Drills

Coaches – Here are some ideas for getting your team ready for practice. Keep some important basketball coaching pointsin mind as you warm-up and condition your team:

At the start of the season, keep the drills on the easier and simpler side and then, as the season progresses, increase the difficulty.

Be sure to vary the drills you use on a daily basis. The last thing you want is your players getting bored and feeling that practices are the same day-after-day. Don’t spend too much time on any one drill for the same reason.

As you may well know, some drills isolate one fundamental for the players to work. But the majority of drills will work on more than one fundamental at a time – you’ll find passing, receiving and dribbling in almost every drill out there. The point here is to not let your players neglect any fundamental just because a drill is emphasizing another one.

Be sure your practices are organized and run effeciently. Get your players to the point where they truly understand each drill and the reasoning behind it. Then focus your time and attention on making sure they are performing each drill with the correct execution of the fundamentals.

Make good, constructive criticism without making any player feel like they are being pointed out unfairly. Help them make the necessary changes in a positive way and go on with your practice.

#6) Running

Have the team:

– Run the length of the floor and back with their arms rotating. Be sure they keep each joint loose and relaxed.

– Quick change-of-pace and direction up the floor and then back. Also do inside turns, alternate foot hopping, backward running and defensive sliding up and back.

– From one side of the court and then back, do reverses without the ball and then reverse drives with and without the ball.

Basketball Warm-up Drill #7) Dribbling

– Control dribbling, speed dribbling and then control dribbling with a defensive slider all up the floor and back again.

#8) Pivots

Start with three players in line. Have the first player dribble a few hard dribbles, stop quickly, turn and pass to the next player in line. The passing player charges the players receiving the pass and then goes to the end of the line. The receiver now does the drill.

Basketball Warm-up Drill #9) Passing

– Have your team perform the “Diagonal Inside Circle”, “Circle Around” and “Moving Circle” drills. You’ll find these on our basketball passing drills page. They are the second, third and fourth drills listed there.

Basketball Warm-up Drill #10) Jumping

– Imaginary jump ball. Have each player get into a jump ball stance. When the coach throws an imaginary jump ball up, the players time their jumps to tip the imaginary ball. Then have the players get into rebounding position (hands up above shoulders) and do the same drill practicing rebounding.

– Set-up three players to one side of basket and two on the other side. Have players rebound the ball back and forth across the board above the basket.

– Position players in a straight line in front of the basket. The first player bounces the ball high off the board for the second player to rebound high. Keep this drill going continuously with each player going to the end of the line after rebounding.

Basketball Warm-up Drill #11) Defensive Sliding

On coach’s signal, have team make a defensive slide and then stop on coach’s signal. Coach keeps prompting players to start and stop their defensive sliding to different positions on the floor

Basketball Warm-up Drill #12) Loose Ball

Position players in a straight line in front of the basket. Roll the ball out to the first player, have them pick it up and go in for a lay-up.

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We encourage you to click here and gain an understanding of how this resource can help you.

If you’re a youth, high-school, college or recreational player or coach looking to continually add in effective basketball drills, consider eBasketball Drills