3 Best Defensive AGILITY Drills For Basketball Players
This is a follow-up to the 3 best change of direction drills for the basketball position I did last week. If you've read the blog recently, you know agility is the next progression after build a base with change of direction exercises. Agility is simply a bit of direction change with a reaction component. And […]

This is a follow-up to the 3 best change of direction drills for the basketball position I did last week. If you've read the blog recently, you know agility is the next progression after build a base with change of direction exercises. Agility is simply a bit of direction change with a reaction component. And that's what I'm going to share today - The 3 Best Defensive AGILITY Drills For Basketball Players.

The 3 best defensive agility basketball players are:

  1. Lateral shuffle with reaction
  2. Mirror drill
  3. Ascending side mixtures with reaction

Below, I'll dig deeper into why each exercise is great for hoops and HOW to perform them.

Before doing this, you should know that there are two types of stimuli that an athlete can respond to an agility exercise. The first is visual. A visual stimulus could be a pointing coach, another athlete, or something like a falling ball. The second type of stimulus is auditory. An example of this is a trainer shouting a command.

For the sake of these exercises, you will respond to a visual stimulus that gets harder and harder as you go through them.

The 3 Best Defensive Agility Drills For Basketball Players (Put The Tongs On Your Competition)

1. Side mixing with reaction

In my 3 best change of direction drills for the basketball position , one of the exercises was a lateral threshing shuttle. If you have implemented this exercise, you should have a good basics of hip abduction / adduction and acceleration / deceleration mechanics. You will have no problem here.

If you HAVE NOT started with this exercise, I recommend doing it for a month before trying this, or any exercise on this list.

The reaction side shuffle is the next step in the side shuffle progression. This drill simply adds a reaction component to the side mix. In order to be successful, you will need to call on that mechanical skill base that you have built by dedicating yourself to the Side Shuffle Shuttle for a month.

How to perform side mixing with reaction:

  1. Install two cones 3 to 5 meters apart
  2. Start in the middle of the cones with your feet outside hip-width apart, knees slightly bent
  3. Ask a friend to point you in the right direction and react to their direction
  4. Perform this exercise for 10 seconds then rest

2. The mirror drill

The next progression in defensive agility drills to put the pincers on your opponents is the mirror drill. Mirror exercise is more "interactive" than reaction side mixing because you will be reacting to another athlete.

This makes things more difficult because in the sideways mix with reaction, there were only two possible options. In mirror exercise, you have to react to the speed, direction and tempo of your opponents. This adds more stimuli to react to.

How to perform the mirror drill:

  1. Install two cones about five meters apart
  2. Have a boyfriend standing among the cones in an athletic position
  3. Stand in front of him with your back to him
  4. When he says come on, do a 180 and try to keep your navel aligned with his
  5. Perform this exercise for about five seconds, then rest

3. Ascending side mixtures with reaction

Finally, the apex of defensive agility drills is the upward side shuffle with reaction. If you don't know, an up side blend is where you blend sideways in a backward diagonal pattern. Reaction just adds an athlete you need to react to.

Much like the mirror drill, this drill adds almost limitless stimuli to react to. You will react to the speed, tempo and direction of the other athlete as they try to lose you. The other athlete also doesn't have a ball, which makes it more difficult than covering someone in a match situation. He has more freedom of movement and can move with more speed.

This makes this exercise a great choice if you need to strengthen your defense.

How to perform ascending side mixes with reaction:

  1. Find a long surface on which you can move safely and freely
  2. Have a partner stand in front of you
  3. Get into a defensive position
  4. Your partner should start running at angles across the surface as you shuffle and slide to follow him.
  5. Make him cut, juke and explode in quick sprints to challenge you
  6. Do this for 15-20 meters, then change


Understanding what it takes to becoming a successful athlete, is important. Although, there are millions of factors that contribute to this, so we have put together our top 5 tips to becoming a successful athlete ! The reason behind this article came from an conversation between myself and a young athlete desperate for success. So, hopefully, this article will help similar athletes asking the same type of questions.

First of all, commitment is defined as the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause ( your team ) or activity ( your sport ). Although, commitment isn’t tangible and you can’t quantify it, the levels of commitment are ever changing. So, thats the task, understand what level you need to reach and smash it !

A locker room full of teammates who are willing to work and work together every day at practice, even when not under the coach’s eye, is important to having a successful season. Realise that a good teammate doesn’t try to be the best player on the team; they focus on being the best player for the team, though at times this can be difficult – stick with it !

Spending 10 minutes before and 10 minutes after practice sérieux on your game will give you an advantage over the competition. Some players choose to talk about their day while they slowly lace up their shoes, or duck out of practice as quickly as possible. Realise that being different is just one level away from being great. Twenty minutes of additional practice six days in a row adds up to another full practice during your week. Although its more about quality practice rather then quantity of practice, if you are adding 120 more minutes of practice to your week, make sure its worth while !

tera become a successful athlete you need to know Your Teammates. How you work with your teammates when things are going wrong, strongly influences how successful you will be. Also influencing how far you will go as an athlete. So, great teammates are positive, supportive, understanding, forgiving and passionate about helping those around them achieve greatness. Learn about your teammates. Enjoy being around them away from practices and games. Sit with different teammates on road trips. Strike up conversations to learn about what motivates them. The time, effort and energy you put into reaching out to your teammates will come back to you many times over. Being a good teammate isn’t a big thing; it’s a million little things, so get sérieux !

Realise that regardless of whether you are playing in a friendly fixture, a tournament, or been invited to international trials, certainly adopt the motion that people are watching. You are a brand, and you want to be seen in a positive light. You have to become a brand worth investing in, because your worth investing in.

Finally, “When you are not getting better, you are getting worse” is a cliché that may intimidate many athletes. Improve just one rep each day, and push yourself outside your comfort zone. If you are lucky enough to be around a coach who pushes you, holds you accountable, and may even be demanding at times, consider it a gift. Although it may be stressful, they probably see something in you that you don’t yet see in yourself.

Stay positive and believe in the process. No successful athlete ever started out that way. They all found it in themselves to make their bad days better and draw confidence from the days when they did well. You are never as bad as your worst day, and you are never as good as your best. Find it in yourself to stay level-headed and hungry to become more for your coaches, teammates, family and yourself.

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