Acceleration for College Basketball Players

I work with college basketball players. I’m interested in hearing everyone’s thoughts on teaching/developing acceleration/greater starting speed for collegiate basketball players. I’m of the mind that top end speed is not as paramount as the ability to accelerate over 20-30 meters (the length of a basketball court). Thanks.

this type of training would be done during the summer months, also most bb players are very weak so get them stronger and there acc should improve.

Agree on the timing and weights end up being the most important in-season as sprints and jumps are covered in the games.

Well, I’m not going to sit sit here and disagree with Charlie :slight_smile:

I do something similar to what Tamfb wrote…

I’m think Charlie would agree when I type that just getting many BB players stronger has a direct correlation on their acceleration. (simply because many are so relatively weak when they start out)

We work on acceleration and starting strength. I agree, they will NEVER reach top speed in a game. We’ll work on these traits all summer/fall, along with deceleration/ C.O.D., and once basketball practice comes, it’s no more running from me - that all comes from the coach…

How much acc work you do with them in fall?


We’ll do some kind of acceleration work at least one day a week (of 3 total). One day (this day) will be all short sprint/accl. work, where we’re actually trying to improve speed/running mechanics (without the ball) :slight_smile:

also do your bb players do there acc work in 3lb bb shoes? :slight_smile: myself i work acc during late spring and all summer, fall time is spent more on conditioning and so call speed stuff may be done in our warmup.

Yeah, they run in those monstrosities!

I get 1 hour, 3x/week, for speed work/conditioning from Sept - start of practice with a ball. I also get 3x/ week (sometimes 2x) in weight room.
There’s one day (wed) of overlap, when we do both…That’s the day, if it happens, when we run tempo. I’m not going to get anything else out of them then…It’s also an upper emphasis day…
I know it might not be optimal, but we’ll do our speed work for the first 20-40 minutes after warm-up. We then do conditioning work, which is noted by the coaches…While they’re not really fans of the long rest intervals and apparent lack of volume during the speed portion of the workout, we’ve gotten results, so they let me “run” with it. (pun intended)

Devils, what kind of volume are you using with your basketball players?

Are you doing any special drills or mainly just basic accelerations? What distances are you using? Anything over 30m?


While I won’t give away all my secrets, :rolleyes:
the volume starts low, and moves up by the week.
How much volume? well, anywhere from 15-35 “sprints” in an acceleration workout. The distances vary between :

  1. Base line to foul line
  2. Base line to half court
  3. Base line to opposite foul line
  4. Base line to baseline

The total distance covered, if you choose to measure volume that way, would be from 400 to about 1200 yards in a single workout. Please note, though:

  1. This is all done with long recovery times, say at least 1:6-7 or higher…
  2. It’s all done before our conditioning, and that volume is NOT reflected above.
  3. I have about 5 different “templates” of workouts that we will cycle through, depending upon training status, what we need to work on, boredom levels of team, etc.
  4. When we aren’t accelerating, the volumes differ - for example, when training “non-linear” movements, volume is less, because I believe it to be more stressful.

As for special exercises fr acceleration, I’ve stolen from many, many, coaches. Some choices include:
push up starts
4 point - all weight on hands, falling forward
2 point non staggered
2 point staggered
(we also work very hard on eliminating the “false” step)
basic acceleration

More time than all else is spend on basics - arm swing, foot strike, etc.

Hope this helps!!

Nice. Thanks for the quick reply.

Do you ever have your players run on the track in spikes or any other shoes besides their basketball ones?

Or is all of your training on the actual floor they will be competing on?

Well, Shaq might hit top speed 10 times a game on his new team :slight_smile: .