3 Best Change of Direction Drills for Basketball
One of the key skills for basketball success is change of direction. It affects your ability to play defense, shake a defender, and even handle the ball. But, I see tons of basketball players either doing the wrong drills… Or worse… totally leaving out a whole area of their change of direction ability.
That’s why I’m coming at you today with the 3 best change of direction drills for basketball players.
The 3 best change of direction drills for basketball players are:
- Lateral Shuffle Shuttle
- Quarter Arc Run
- Single Leg Broad to 90
Each change of direction drill attacks a different aspect of your change of direction ability. The lateral shuffle shuttle targets your lateral movement. Quarter arc runs develop your curvi-linear sprinting ability. Single leg broads to 90 are more plyometric focused.
Below, we’ll dive a little deeper into each change of direction drill, why it works. and how to perform it.
1. Lateral Shuffle Shuttle
Want more playing time? Play better defense. Want to play better defense? Do this drill daily.
The lateral shuffle shuttle is one of my favorite movements for hoopers. But, many hoopers overlook it because it just seems so simple.
The lateral shuffle increases lateral power, sharpens footwork, and will work on your ability to absorb and rapidly produce force. These are all key traits for a basketball player to have.
So, do this drill, and measure your time off each leg. Each week you should beat your previous time.
Let’s get into how to do the lateral shuffle shuttle properly:
How to Properly Perform the Lateral Shuffle Shuttle
- Set up three cones in a line about 2.5 yards apart from each other.
- Straddle the invisible line extended that comes out of the middle cone
- Get in an athletic position, knees slightly bent, feet outside shoulder width
- Push off your left left and shuffle to the far right cone
- Decelerate and shuffle the other way to the far left cone
- Decelerate and finish through the middle cone
- Be sure to avoid having your feet come within hip width and to avoid clicking the heels
2. Quarter Arc Runs
If you watch an NBA game, you’ll notice that many times, players run in arcs, not straight lines. This is especially true in the half court offense. You see guys running around picks. Or curling around the three point line to catch a pass and spot up.
If you want to become a better player, you have to become better at running these arcs too.
That’s where Quarter Arc Runs come in,.
These Quarter Arc Runs are very technical. There are a few key technical points you’ll want to keep in mind when you perform them.
- Stay tight to the cones
- Lean your head towards the cones as you go around the arc
- Be mindful of good acceleration mechanics when you start
Let’s get into how to perform quarter arc runs:
How to Properly Perform Quarter Arc Runs
- Set up 5 cones in a quarter arc shape
- Start at either end of the cones in a two point start stance
- Explode out of your start, keeping a forward shin angle
- As the cones begin to curl. stay tight to the cones and lean your head towards the cones
- Sprint as hard as you can then start at the other end of the cones and curl the other way
3. Single Leg Broad to 90
A lot of your ability to change direction quickly relies on your amortization, or transition, phase. This is the time in between consecutive jumps, or the time in between you planting your foot and changing directions.
For example, if you fake going one way, plant your foot, and push off to go in the opposite direction, the time spent from planting the foot to changing directions is the amortization phase.
And obviously, decreasing your transition phase will lead to more success.
This plyometric will help you achieve that extra success.
Here’s How to Properly Perform a Single Leg Broad to 90
- Set up four cones. Three in a straight line about 2 yards apart from each other. One about a yard behind the middle cone
- Start at the single cone
- Perform a single leg broad to the cone a yard in front of you
- Upon landing, quickly react off the ground and explode to the side cones
- Repeat on both legs on each side of the cones for best results