How to Increase Stamina for Basketball
Basketball requires speed, strength, quickness and overall athleticism. Conditioning drills for basketball can help you get in shape to play the game competitively. However, your coaches may push you very hard to get in the best shape possible because they want you to have stamina in the late stages of the game. This is where games are often won and lost; making the effort to build your stamina can have a dramatic impact on your game and your team's win-loss record.
Run the "basketball mile" drill to build stamina and endurance. Start off jogging for 20 seconds, then increase your jog to a full-out run for 20 seconds. After the run, jump forward for 20 seconds and then finish the cycle by walking for 20 seconds. Do this until you have gone for one mile. Repeat three times per week.
Perform the "pyramid drill" to build your basketball endurance. Start off at the baseline and sprint to the opposite baseline. Do one push-up. Get up and sprint back to the starting baseline. Do two push-ups. Continue in this manner until you are doing five push-ups. Take a two-minute break and repeat the sprints, but this time do sit-ups instead of push-ups.
Start off at the free-throw line and make five consecutive free throws. After you have made your free throws, go under the boards and start tipping the ball off the backboard. Tip it 10 times in succession and go back to the free-throw line and make five more free throws. This will help you improve your concentration and your overall stamina.
Divide the team into two lines. The first group is going to the basket on the near side of the court and the other line is going to the basket on the far side of the court. On the coach's signal, the first player in each line takes off for a layup. The idea is for the two lines to combine for 40 layups in a two-minute period. Take a one-minute break and repeat the drill. This will build speed and endurance.
Basketball is all about speed and sprints, not long distance running. Sprinting drills are more effective when you practice landing on the balls of your feet instead of heel-toe.
Before starting your conditioning and stamina sessions, perform a short, aerobic warm-up to get your blood flowing, prepare your muscles for the drills and prevent injury.
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.