Stop forcing your players to run the mile as a part of their basketball conditioning. While I think there is a place for the mile in your workouts, I think that’s more about competition and mental toughness than it is basketball conditioning.

Think about what your players need to be prepared for to be in basketball shape. They need to be able to sprint in short spurts multiple times per game. They need to be able to exert everything they’ve got, slow down, and then exert all of their energy again. The mile doesn’t translate to that. Instead, the mile allows players to pace themselves and never really involves sprint, which is half the battle of basketball.

But you can still use principles from the mile to condition your athletes. How many feet are in a mile? 5,280. A basketball floor is 84 feet. 5,280 divided by 84 is 62. We round that up to 64. It would take 64 full court sprints to equal a mile. We want our players to work on the starting and stopping aspects, so we cut the court in half and start our players on the baseline, have them touch half-court, and sprint back to the baseline to count as 1 sprint.

We break the sprints into four groups of 16, as if they were quarters in a basketball game. After the first group of 16 sprints, we give our players a 2 minute break. After the 2nd group of 16 sprints, we act as if it is halftime and give them a 4 minute break. After the 3rd group of sprints, we give them a 2 minute break again, and they are done after the 4th group of sprints.

To ensure that your players are sprinting, we break each sprint into 15 seconds. Meaning, players would start their first sprint when the clock starts, the 2nd sprint would start :15 seconds in, the 3rd sprint at: 30 seconds in, the 4th sprint at :45 seconds in, and so on until the 16th sprint is ran, where their first two minute break would start.

An example table of when each sprint would start can be seen below.

Sprint 10:00Sprint 176:00Sprint 3314:00Sprint 4920:00
Sprint 20:15Sprint 186:15Sprint 3414:15Sprint 5020:15
Sprint 30:30Sprint 196:30Sprint 3514:30Sprint 5120:30
Sprint 40:45Sprint 206:45Sprint 3614:45Sprint 5220:45
Sprint 51:00Sprint 217:00Sprint 3715:00Sprint 5321:00
Sprint 61:15Sprint 227:15Sprint 3815:15Sprint 5421:15
Sprint 71:30Sprint 237:30Sprint 3915:30Sprint 5521:30
Sprint 81:45Sprint 247:45Sprint 4015:45Sprint 5621:45
Sprint 92:00Sprint 258:00Sprint 4116:00Sprint 5722:00
Sprint 102:15Sprint 268:15Sprint 4216:15Sprint 5822:15
Sprint 112:30Sprint 278:30Sprint 4316:30Sprint 5922:30
Sprint 122:45Sprint 288:45Sprint 4416:45Sprint 6022:45
Sprint 133:00Sprint 299:00Sprint 4517:00Sprint 6123:00
Sprint 143:15Sprint 309:15Sprint 4617:15Sprint 6223:15
Sprint 153:30Sprint 319:30Sprint 4717:30Sprint 6323:30
Sprint 163:45Sprint 329:45Sprint 4817:45Sprint 6423:45
Break 14:00Break 210:00Break 318:00

Important keys to remember:

  • These are sprints. Players should not be pacing themselves.
  • Players should start on the baseline, sprint to half court and back to the baseline for each sprint.
  • This workout equates to about a mile with basketball conditioning and movements incorporated.

We have used this workout with our players, and they have been in the best basketball shape of their lives to start the season.

Categories: Coaching

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