The Mile…In 56 Speed-Dribble Segments

Jogging a mile either in multiple laps around the gym or outside on the track doesn’t simulate game conditions — use the ‘Basketball Mile’ to build endurance the right way.

Why use it

So much time is wasted and lost on half-speed, long-distance running in an effort to build conditioning in basketball players. Use short, bursts of speed so the actions performed in practice translate into a game. Costello says he has players dribble basketballs in this drill rather than simply sprinting.

Set up

All players have basketballs in their hands and are standing on the baseline facing mid-court. Players have 20 seconds for each sprint/rest cycle (adjust this number if you see fit).

How to play

Players speed-dribble toward mid-court and if they reach it, they plant and quickly dribble back toward the baseline [1]. Players push to get to the baseline as fast as possible [2]. For those who reach the baseline first, they are allowed extra rest before the whistle indicating 20 seconds has expired and it’s time for the next sprint-dribble [3].


Roughly 56 up-and-back (to mid-court) sprints equals a mile. Break these 56 sprints into four quarters to better simulate a game. So, players are doing 14 sprint-dribbles per quarter with a two-minute break after the first and third
quarters, and a five-minute break at “halftime.” While in-shape players may breeze through the early sprints, that running clock catches up with them by the fourth quarter of speed-dribbles.

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