Four Line Sprint With Defensive Slide Drill

As a long time basketball coach and trainer, I have always been an advocate of incorporating movements and skills of the game into the drills that are used for conditioning.  The Four Line Sprint With Defensive Slide Drill is a perfect example of that.  This drill combines, sprinting with another important game movement, defensive slides.  In doing so, the drill becomes more specific while including elements of conditioning, speed, and agility. 

Purpose of the Drill:

The purpose of this drill is to build up a player’s speed endurance using movements from the game of basketball.


  • The player should sprint to the foul line and perform three defensive slides steps back in one direction.
  • Then sprint to the half court line and perform three defensive slide drills back in the opposite direction.
  • Then sprint to the opposite foul line and perform three defensive slides back in the same direction as the first foul line.
  • Then sprint to the opposite baseline and perform three defensive slides back in the same direction used at half court.
  • Repeat for three to five rounds.

Points of Emphasis:

  • Staying low on your defensive slide.
  • Change directions from your sprint into your slide and back into your sprint quickly.
  • Stay low and balanced when changing directions and movements. This will allow for a more explosive transition out of each movement and into the next.

Motivation/Teaching Tips:

Time the drill.

8 Ways to use the On Ball Screen

1. Turn the corner (no hedge by defender) — Guard drives low and tight.

2. Hesitate and go (soft hedge) – At level of screen, hesitate, eyes on rim. Key to make the hedge man relax.

3. Split the hedge—The most under-utilized part of offensive ball screening. After clearing the screen low and tight, explode on the split. Dribble below the knees.

4. Fake the split then inside/out dribble to the paint.

5. Reject the screen (Guards man completely blocks the path of the driver, screener’s defender is at block area zoning up.

6. Shooting behind—The on ball defender goes behind the screen. Shot must come directly behind the screen.

7. Re-screen – when screener’s defender shows big, flat hedge. Drive over the screen, then crossover and use the screen again toward the baseline. Screener turns to the inside on second screen getting you closer to the basket.

8. Early slip—Guard’s defender jumps low (toward baseline), driver splits between his man and the screen. Counter is to fake the split.

As always, if you have other ways to use the ball screen or just points about the ball screen please let the Elite Basketball Training Community know by posting them in the comments section below.

65 Shot Drill

If you guys are like me, you are students of the game, constantly trying to learn new methods of training and coaching that you can adapt and fit to your basketball system. As coaches, we need to be like sponges, absorbing all of the drills and ideas that we possibly can because you never know what might work. As a result, I have compiled multiple binders and notepads filled with drills and plays that I have seen demonstrated, executed in games, practiced at the park, etc. These drills and plays, although they spend most of their time occupying space in my drawers and closets, come in handy from time to time. In particular, the inumerable amount of shooting drills that I have compiled over the years.

As a coach, I have always felt that shooting the basketball was a necessity in daily practices and could never understand how coaches could neglect this. Good shooting is based on repetition and if players do not keep up with this during the season, their shooting percentages will plummet. With my shooting drills, I always incorporate some sort of moving into the drill. This adds an element of conditioning and makes the drill more functional to the actual game. I also look for shooting drills that give you the most bang for your buck and that are competitive in nature. A solid example of this is what I call the 65 Shot Drill. This drill includes all of the above and is an easy way to get up 65 shots in a short amount of time.

The drill should be executed as follows. Shots will be taken from the two corners and the two wings. The player will start in the corner and shoot a jumer. They will then run to the opposite corner and shoot the next jumper. They will then go to the opposite wing and shoot a jumper and then to the other wing to shoot their final jumper. They will then shoot a free throw to conclude the round of five shots. The player will then repeat the process, this time going through twice (eight total jumpers) and finish once again with a free throw. The process of jumpers concluded with free throws will continue with rounds of three, four, and five. This will ultimately total 65 shots. It should move rather quickly and will not take more than five minutes to complete a round. I encourage players to keep track of their scores and compete against their teamates for top score. Shots can be taken in this drill off the catch and/or off the dribble.

If you have any questions about the drill please feel free to ask in the comments section below and let us all know of any great shooting drills that you might have. Thanks.

See you on the court!

Rich Stoner
Elite Basketball Training, LLC

Basketball Strength Training Tips

I recently had two emails that asked two fairly simple questions about muscles that are extremely important for athletes but so often forgotten when training. The first question, how do I improve my hamstring strength ?  And the second, do you have any creative ways to better a basketball player’s grip strength?  Since both of these questions came to me on consecutive days and since I am in the midst of training a basketball specific group at Elite Sports Performance, I decided that I could answer both of these questions, with one video and post. 

As far as the hamstrings go, they are an often forgotten about but extrememly important part of the legs.  Well developed hamstrings can prevent lower back injury and allow an athlete to pick up heavier weight from the floor which will ultimately translate into better performance in their sport particularly ones that require explosive movements like sprinting and jumping. Some of the best hamstring exercises include the Romanian Deadlift (single leg rdls are excellent because the add an aspect of balance to the exercise), the stiff legged deadlift, and glute ham raises.  One of my favorite hamstring strengthening exercises can be viewed in the video below.  It is a modification on a glute ham raise that can be done with a regular flat bench and a dumbell. 

Grip strength is also of key importance to all sports that the hands are involved. However, it is once again forgotten about when training.  Having better grip strength will allow you to hold a baseball/softball bat in a stronger position which will aid in your swing, the same can be applied to stick sports like lacrosse and field hockey, and finally (my personal favorite) it will better your ball handling in basketball and prevent you from having the basketball ripped from your hands.  There are multiple ways to improve your overall grip and forearm strength including dumbell holds, plate holds, and using a fat bar for various lifts. 

The video below shows one of my basketball players completing sets of the modified glute ham raise and towell pullups. If there are any good exercises that you guys can think of, please let us know by posting them in the comments section below. Thanks and see you on the court.

Rich Stoner

Sports Specific Training (Video)

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