Man in the Middle Basketball Drill

Man in the Middle Basketball Drill


In basketball, you are not always sure what way you are going to have to move, and you need to be able to react quickly and change direction without hesitation. At the same time, you need to be ready to move forward, backward, and laterally. This basketball workout is great for simulating this and will help you develop your change of direction quickness.

This is a great basketball speed and quickness workout for all levels of players to do. Really focus, though, on the player’s form and make sure that they are moving efficiently. Don’t let them waste steps, cross their feet over, or use any other bad habits.



Basketball Drill Overview

Drill Name: Man in the Middle Basketball Drill

Equipment Needed: 4-6 Cones (preferably of a different color)


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Goals of the Drill

  • Improve agility, footwork, and quickness


Coaching Points

  • Be sure to come back to center in an athletic position after each turn.
  • Think before you go.
  • X-Overs are the easiest way to reach the back cones.


Basketball Drill Instructions

  • Arrange cones into a square (cones 5yds apart) and stand in the middle.
  • The coach will point to each cone randomly, and you must sprint to the correct cone and come back to the middle as quickly as possible.
  • You can advance this drill by requiring only a specific type of movement (i.e., shuffles, x-over, backpedal), running around the cone, and using a basketball.
  • Drill Variation:
    • Using different colored or number cones for this drill and calling out the color or the number will require a greater thought process for the athlete.
    • Occasionally switch the direction the athlete is facing so that memorization of the cones does not take place.
    • Add more cones and change the shape of the drill to increase difficulty.


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