Don’t Waste Time Warming Up

Wasting Time

Okay, Lee! Now you’ve gone too far. What do you mean by “Don’t waste time warming up?” 

We must have a warm-up. It is a given to prevent injuries to my players. 

Hold your horses! I am not insinuating that you skip the warm-up! I am saying, don’t waste time warming up. In other words, choose exercises that are productive during the prep phase of your practice. 

Why do we feel we can’t use a ball during basketball practice for the warm-up? It amazes me how much time is wasted without getting ball touches.


Six Top Skill Components all coaches should include during a basketball practice warm-up.

  1. Always partner players. This way, one player can be working on ball-handling exercises while the other tends to areas in need of mobility or flexibility. Then switch. 
  2. Passing is a fantastic low-intensity way to warm up. It improves the skill of passing. Players can work on hip and shoulder range of motion by doing lunge type wrap around passing, pivots into passing, and overhead passing. All of these are essential game-like passes.
  3. Dribbling and weight shifting are fantastic ways to increase activation, build specific and general movements, increase elastic energy, and improve dribbling skills. 
  4. Shot fakes, jab steps, rip-throughs, post moves, etc., are all great ways to prepare the body for an intense practice soon to come. Yet, the drills can be submaximal to allow time for the system to warm up.
  5. Shooting. I can’t tell you how often I hear coaches complain about players not making shots. However,  they don’t take advantage of shooting opportunities. Fifteen-foot shooting and in, mikan’s, runners, floaters, pull-ups, etc., are all a great way to warm up and get more quality shots in. 
  6. Out of bounds plays from under the hoop and sideline. Plus, unique situations are a great way to warm up and learn. Don’t miss these opportunities. 


There You Go! 

Your players can be working on six simple areas of the game for a warm-up while they learn and improve skills. While players are not involved with the ball, they can be doing specific mobility or stretching prescribed by the coach. Running your warm-ups like this can add valuable time to practicing critical situations, skills, and strategies. 

Don’t allow yourself to be left behind as the rest of the coaching world moves forward. Become a Certified Basketball Speed Specialist Level 1, so you can communicate the essential skills and techniques to your players like a pro! 

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Categories: basketball movement, basketball skills, Practice Prep, Warm Ups