The best team conditioning drill we’ve ever done.
Partner your players up in teams of 2 on the baseline. You can pair them up big/little or let them choose their partners, however you’d like to do it. They are going to run sprints together. The entire drill will take about 10 minutes.
The first guy on each team will start with 8 sprints (8 full lengths of the floor = 4 down & backs). When he touches his partners hand as he finishes his set of 8, his partner then runs his own set of sprints. They will continue to alternate sprints the rest of the way – when one is running, his partner is resting.
Each player will run (alternating) –
1 set of 8 lengths.
2 sets of 6 lengths.
4 sets of 4 lengths.
6 sets of 2 lengths.
They are alternating sprints the entire time, so only 1 player is running at a time. If a player is dogging it in their sprints, they are hurting their teammate who is waiting for them to finish.
Key execution points:
- Make sure they touch hands before starting the next sprint. If they start sprints early it will distort the time.
- Have them call out what sprint they are on out loud when they start each set (“2nd set of 6, 3rd set of 4”), so that you can keep track. If not they’ll just blend in with each other and finish when the other guy finishes.
- If you have an odd number, just have the extra person connect with one of the other groups and mirror either the 1st or 2nd runner in that group.
Everyone should be able to finish in 9:45. For a high school length court it might be different. My suggestion (if you can) is have the clock count up the first time you do it and see how long it takes everybody to finish, and then work from there. By mid-season you should be able to finish it in 9:30 as a team.
It’s a great conditioner and a great way to build mental toughness. You always have one teammate waiting on the line who is counting on you to finish your sprints. Your guys will hate it at first, but as the drill moves the temperature will change. The sprints get shorter, and they start pulling for one another to make the time. It becomes a great team builder at the end of practice.
8-6-4-2. It’s not something you’ll do every day, but a great way to end a week of practice before you have a day off. By the time your team finishes you’ll feel a high level of energy in the gym. And you’ll be in better shape.