How Agility Ladders Can Improve Your Basketball Game
Photo by Production Team

How Agility Ladders Can Improve Your Basketball Game

By Kaitlyn Fedor

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Agility ladders are an excellent method to improve your basketball game. Speed ladders are designed to help improve your coordination, agility, footwork, endurance, and speed all at once! These ladders allow you to work on multiple skill sets at the same time. Agility is more or less defined as your ability to change direction while maximizing speed and power.

Remember, with most of these drills it’s also important to incorporate a basketball. As a player, you want to always be as comfortable as possible with the ball in your hands. Ladders are a great way to get your footwork on the level it needs to be.

Quicker Step

Basketball ladder drills can help improve your game by helping you develop a quicker first step. A first step is crucial in basketball and if done right, allows you to blow by your defender either when dribbling or making an off-ball cut. A quicker step aids you in creating a high percentage shot for either you or your teammates.

Pivoting Sideways

Ladder drills can also help improve your ability to pivot sideways. This is especially useful in improving your defense capabilities. Pivoting allows you to set more efficient traps and holds your man in isolation, or iso situations. Lateral quickness can also help you keep defenders on their weak hand.

Body Balance

Another way agility drills can help, is by improving your body’s balance. After training with agility ladders for consecutive weeks, you’ll begin to notice improvements in your finishing ability.

Off-ball Game

Additionally, ladder drills are huge for developing your off-ball game. Look at the Warriors and Spurs, much of their offense is propelled by off-ball cuts. Watch how Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry move without the ball.

Correct Form

Ladders will let you know when you make an incorrect movement or use poor form. The rope will catch you each time you make a mistake, which will help your muscle memory in the long run.

Mental Concentration

The constant changing of back and forward movements also help improve your mental concentration. By being aware of so many moving parts, you will be able to better scan the court. Ladders allow us to develop the skills we need so that we don’t have to consciously think about what we’re doing with our feet.

Warm Up

If you’re curious about some ladder drills, USA basketball provides an excellent set to start out with. These drills are great for players of all skills and ages and they can be performed both individually and in a team setting. Drills are designed to function as a physical and mental warm-up. You’ll want to start out slow and then become the intensity as you become more comfortable with the drills.

At HoopGroup, we regularly utilize agility ladders at both our camps and personal training. There are weekly instructional training sessions in which you can learn how to use the agility ladder to best serve your skillset.