Basketball and 400s

I was recently approached by a local JC basketball player to help him get ready for the next season. He is transferring to a four year university next season and wants to take his game up a level.

He gave me a copy of the conditioning program the S&C coach sent him.

The Program was Tempo @ 80-85% 3-4x weekly, the sessions included many runs of 200-400meters and volumes in excess of 3000 meters in a single workout. I know coach davies is known for his volumes of work, but even his programs don’t have athletes sprinting 3500 meters in a single session

Now basketball is not my specialty but
I don’t really see the need for a baller to run 3000m in training, I don’t see the need for runs over 100m, obviously tempo should be 70-75% no higher. He had NO SPEED WORK and the program included 30 agility drills for the athlete to learn.

The weight section was the standard western method first 6wk 3x8-12, second 6wk 3x5, third 6wk pyramid to 1rm

So I came up with a hopefully more sane approach, please critique

Mon and Thurs

Speed and agility

keeping volumes around 300m seemed like xlr8 liked to keep his volumes around here. This will be used as a starting gauge. If he needs more we can always do more and if he needs less we can always do less. I’ll also be having the athlete do fewer agility drills as I think 30 is too many to learn.

Legs will also be trained here with some light plyos building in intensity over the summer. Mon will be a heavier leg day ~85%, Thurs will be explosive/dynamic effort method (~50% 8x2)


Starting volumes around 1000-1500m
Limit length of sprint to 100m tops.
Heavy upperbody day ~85%
GPP circuit

Tempo and GPP
Same as tues (no weights)

Friday (my problem day)

DE upperbody (~50% 8x3)

Tempo/conditioning (puke day)
I really think that a more standard tempo day would be best here but his coach will be expecting him to handle running countless 400’s, suicides, etc… So this day will be challenging him in a manner similar to what he’ll be expected to do when he goes away to school. I placed this day on friday so he could have enough recovery time between this session and a speed session. Hopefully this will be enough to keep him from getting crushed in practice.

I think I have a handle on the weights pretty well so I’m primarily looking for help on the sprint and agility section.

What do you think?


assuming he’ll be playing hoops in college, he has probably been playing year round (season/summer leagues) since 9th grade. so why does he need more conditioning. instead of “puke day” have him play a simulated game or play him 1 on 1 for a few timed rounds, that is if you are worried about his conditioning. if he’s in game shape, get the most out of max sprinting/agility and max weights as you can.

Thanks ESPN3,
I was thinking of adding the puke day because of the way his coaches program looked. The puke day did go against my better judgement.

I think I’ll Do as you say. It just seems to make soo much more sense.

first: got some problem with the terminology, I’m from Sweden, hope you understand what I mean.
Some weaks ago a basket coach came up to me and asked for some advises for their summer trainings. The discusison was quite much about jump training, how they could jump higher.
I might have missed something here, but how does “your team” train to jump higher?

In fast running I think that acc. is most important for basketplayers. In fact they never reach top spead during the game.

For endurance I think they should use very short rest between the races, cause this is what they got in the game.

The team is in the second highest division in Sweden.

This was some of my thoughts on the subject, good look with your team


How about incorporating some Oly lifting? Considering that he is probably rather tall, he might have trouble progressing in limit strenth lifts. But that same heighth could possibly help him in by allowing a longer acceleration curve, with the additional benefit of, as David W puts it, highly quantifiable plyometric work with low impact.

I was going to add in some oly lifts on the DE lowerbody days. My only concern is with his technical abilities on the exercises. Since we have a limited ammount of time I’m thinking his energy may be better spent elsewhere.

Our jump training, initially ambitious (cuz bbers can jump right?), has changed focus to landing drills. I can’t believe he made it all this way without knowing how to land well. (knees were often locked during the landing). Now that we have that taken care of we are getting into some light plyos.

Speed is focused on acceleration, conditioning has been shorter distances and rest intervals.

Good idea to teach him how to land. But I wouldn´t do much jump training if he is playing ball. How many jumps does he have in a typical week if he is playing hoops while you are coaching him? You may want to save his knees and ankles!

I worked a couple of years ago with a young ball player who did no jump training with me in the summer (but he played alot). It was his first serious weight program, he was fresh out of high school. So his squat and deadlift increased alot, he put on weight - and he increased his vertical just by getting stronger. He´s at a Div 2 school which has ended the season highly ranked the last 2 years.

Thanks Carson

That’s actually what I was thinking. We are working on his Maximal Strength because it is poor. This alone with the landing drills has helped improve his vertical.

The jump training is really just some very light plyo’s during the warm up it is not traditional plyo/shock training. We probably will not be able to build up to traditional plyo’s during this off season, there is only six weeks till he goes to school.

As always you start with the basics and build from there