In basketball, you must be able to take off, change directions and stop quickly. Completing footwork drills with a ladder improves your agility and will directly affect your performance on the court. To see significant results, complete your ladder footwork workout two to three days per week. Complete each exercise as quickly as possible while still maintaining correct technique. To make your drills more transferable and applicable to basketball development, recruit a partner and incorporate basketball passing into your drills.
Lay the ladder out onto the basketball court so that it runs along with the court. In-and-outs are completed by starting at one end of the ladder and standing to the side of it, facing the first square. Step in your with your lead leg, then in with your trail leg. Step out diagonally with your lead leg so that it’s lined up with the second square, and follow that by stepping out with your trail leg. Complete in-and-outs until you hit every single square, trying to minimize the time your feet are on the ground. As soon as you come out of the final square, have a partner pass you the ball and dribble to the basket and complete a layup.
Stand and one end with your body facing perpendicular to the ladder. Step inside the square with your lead leg and then inside with your trail leg. You will never step out of the ladder during lateral shuffle. Instead, step into the next square with your lead leg, followed by your trail leg. Stay light on the balls of your feet as you travel down the entire ladder. As you get to the end, have a partner pass you the ball and dribble to the basket to complete a layup.
To perform icky shuffle, stand to the left side of the first square at one end of the ladder. With your body facing forward step into the first square with your right foot and then your left foot. Step to the right and out of the ladder with your right foot. With your weight on your right foot, step forward into the next square with your left foot, and then into that second square with your right foot. Step out of the ladder to your left with your left foot. With your weight on your left foot, step forward into the next square with your right foot. Continue in this manner down the ladder. Once you improve, have a partner pass you the ball randomly while you’re completing the icky shuffle. This forces you to keep your head up and maintain coordination.
Stand to the side facing the first step of the ladder. Hop off both feet and land with your feet straddled, with your lead leg in the square and your trail leg out of the square. Hop again, scissoring your feet in the air so that your trail leg is in the square and your lead leg is out. On the next repetition, scissor so that your lead leg enters the second square while your trail leg is out. Continue down the ladder until you’re finished. As you get to the end, have a partner toss you the ball and immediately shoot a jump shot.
- Sports Fitness Advisor: Ladder Agility Drills
Kim Nunley has been screenwriting and working as an online health and fitness writer since 2005. She’s had multiple short screenplays produced and her feature scripts have placed at the Austin Film Festival. Prior to writing full-time, she worked as a strength coach, athletic coach and college instructor. She holds a master's degree in kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton.