This drill is taken from our book, The Complete Basketball Strength & Speed Program
Purpose: To improve speed and accleration off the start. Also develops and improves reaction time. Great for basketball players to improve first-step quickness.
Drill: Two people are needed for this drill. You will also need a ball or two (my preference is to use a racquetball or tennis ball). The drill is performed as follows:
- Each person stands about 5-20 feet apart, facing each other.
- The person holding the ball will drop it from an outstretched hand.
- Once the ball leaves the hand, the player performing the drill accelerates towards to ball and attempts to catch it before the second bounce.
- The players should keep moving further apart until you reach the maximum distance until you cannot catch the ball before the second bounce.
- 2 balls, outstretched in each hand. Drop only one ball, but the player has to react to which ball is dropped.
- 1 ball, back to partner. The partner doing the acceleration will turn his back to the ball. Instead of watching for the ball to drop, he will listen for the command ‘GO’ and then turn, and go get it before second bounce. The player holding the ball can also toss it in different areas to make the player have to react at different angles/directions.
- 2 balls, different options. Use 2 different balls such as a tennis ball and a racquet ball. When one ball is dropped it means go get it before the second bounce. When the other ball is dropped it means ‘jump’ — perform a quick vertical jump right there.
All of these added variations add difficult wrinkles that help further improve reaction, speed and decision-making.