Twelve-Station Agility Circuit

by Developing Agility and Quickness
Kinetic Select April 2021


This excerpt from Developing Agility and Quickness explains a twelve-station agility circuit for basketball athletes.

The following is an exclusive excerpt from the book Developing Agility and Quickness, published by Human Kinetics. All text and images provided by Human Kinetics.

This drill allows multiple athletes to train simultaneously. Athletes should start with two sets of 30 seconds per station before moving to the next station. They should build to 60 seconds per set. The rest period between sets and station changes should be at least 30 seconds long. Athletes should do all activities at full speed.

Station 1: Reverse Layup

A cone is placed on either side of the paint at a 45-degree angle to the basket and in a position 5 to 7 yards (5–6 m) back from the basket. The athlete starts at cone 1 with a ball. He touches cone 1, does a reverse pivot, dribbles to the basket, and does a reverse layup. After getting the rebound, the athlete sprints to cone 2, touches the cone, does a reverse pivot, dribbles to the basket, and does a reverse layup on the other side. The athlete repeats this movement for the designated duration of time.

Station 2: X in the Paint

For this drill, athletes perform various movements in an X pattern in the paint while dribbling a basketball. For example, a player starts in the corner of the lane at the free throw line, dribbles at a diagonal to the corner of the paint below the basket, then backpedals while dribbling to the other corner at the free throw line, and finishes by dribbling forward to the other corner under the basket.

Station 3: Shuffle and Wall Pass

Two cones are placed 5 to 10 feet (1.5–3 m) apart to form a line that is parallel to and 5 to 10 feet away from a wall. The athlete quickly shuffles back and forth between the two cones while doing different passes against the wall. Some options include chest passes, bounce passes, and overhead passes. The athlete must catch the ball and pass it again while moving laterally.

Station 4: Line and Dot Drills

Any of the line drills (page 62–64) and dot drills (page 75–76) from chapter 4 are good for foot quickness. As athletes gain proficiency, they can add different, more complex combinations of foot patterns. Furthermore, as players gain efficiency with each pattern, speed of foot movement is critical.

Station 5: Two-Cone Dunk

This station is the same as the one for the reverse layup, but the player must attempt to dunk a basketball or a lightweight medicine ball.

Station 6: Ladder With a Dribble

The athlete begins on one side of a speed-and-agility ladder, then does different foot patterns while dribbling the ball along the length of the ladder. The athlete should perform these drills both forward and backward.

Station 7: Hurdle Side Run

Two cones are placed 6 to 7 yards (5–6 m) apart. Between the cones, eight 3-inch (8 cm) or 5-inch (13 cm) hurdles are placed 2 feet (60 cm) apart, with the hurdles facing the cones. To start the drill, the athlete runs laterally over the hurdles while dribbling the ball. When he gets to the end, he changes hands and dribbles the other direction. As the athlete goes left, he uses the right hand; as he goes right, he uses the left hand.

Station 8: Five-Cone Drill

Five cones are placed in the shape of a square, with one in the middle. The sides of the square should be 5 yards (5 m) long. The athlete performs various agility patterns, including slides, forward runs, backward runs, and so on. Each drill should be performed in both directions for balanced training.

Station 9: Cone Sprint With Dribble

Eight cones are placed in a straight line with approximately 4 feet (120 cm) between each cone. The athlete weaves through the cones, sprinting while dribbling. When the athlete gets to the end of the cones, he does a reverse pivot and weaves back through the pattern, returning to the starting line. The player should alternate dribbling with both hands at this station.

Station 10: Zigzag Cones With Dribble

Five cones are placed in a zigzag pattern, with 3 feet (1 m) between cones. The athlete should perform a variety of dribbling patterns through the cones. When he gets to the last cone, he performs a rip move by dropping the shoulder and lowering the hips to get by the cone. Then, with a pivot, he turns with the ball and returns back through the pattern to the start.

Station 11: Slides in the Paint

This drill is a variation of the diagonal lateral shuffle; the setup is the same. For this version, the athlete moves to each cone by completing three slides across the lane, picking up a tape roll, completing three slides back across the lane while passing the roll to the other hand, and placing it on the floor on the starting side. The athlete moves to the remaining tape rolls in the manner of the coach’s or athlete’s choosing (examples include randomly, diagonally, or straight across). The player continues until the designated time, which is set specifically for each athlete, has lapsed.

Station 12: Jab Step, Crossover, and Jump Shot

One end of a heavy tube is attached around a sturdy pole, and the other is tied around the athlete’s waist, toward his back. Tension on the tubing is essential. To start the drill, the athlete takes a jab step to the right, does a crossover dribble, steps to the left, and goes into a jump shot. The athlete then steps back and repeats this movement in the other direction. This drill should be done on the court if possible. If the needed equipment is not available for court use, it can be done in a training facility. In this case, the athlete should go through the motions of a proper jump shot.

In Developing Agility and Quickness, leading experts from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) offer more than 130 drills, 12 agility and quickness tests, and 15 sport-specific training plans to help athletes gain a step on the competition. The book is available in bookstores everywhere, as well as online at the NSCA Store.

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