Team Training - How to create a Good Basketball Development Program

The first thing that you need to do in creating Team Training, a quality Basketball Development Program, is to understand the big picture, You need to know everything that you need to take care of in order to give the best possible support to your players.
There are 5 pillars that are going to give you the foundation needed to create a good Team Training for your basketball team:

  • Nutrition
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Skill Development
  • Mentality
  • Physical Therapy/Recovery.
Team training in basketball


Nutrition in basketball

Basketball is a highly demanding sport that commands reoccurred periods of explosive movements. Following solid diet habits, you enhance your performance by improving training, speeding recovery and reducing illness.

During your season training, the nutritive key is in on: carbohydrates to give necessary energy; lean protein to repair broken muscles; and antioxidant-rich foods that battle the inflammatory results of the exercise.

Carbohydrate-containing meals are the staple of a sports nutrition as they are the primary energy source for big intensity, maximal-outburst action—but numerous athletes don't eat it enough. Consuming sufficient amounts helps support rapid recovery, delay tiredness when eaten before exercise, keep training intensity when consumed during longer-than-60-minute sessions, and gain muscle glycogen storage, especially when received inside 30 minutes following a workout.

Protein supports muscle growth and repair and supports your immune system. Matching your protein requirements is most effective and cost-efficient within the food. Add a lean protein source, (e.g., chicken, turkey, fish, skim milk, reduced-fat cheese, eggs) in each meal and snack, and make sure to mix protein with a carbohydrate right after workouts.

Vigorous exercise points to muscle damage and inflammation. Meals high in antioxidants defend against this inflammation and help in the repair of muscle damage.

Pick foods from the list here every day.

Form the next eating habits to maximize your training outcomes:

1. Try to eat every three hours.

2. Add a fruit or vegetable and a lean protein source every time you eat.

3. Eat breakfast daily.

4. Take high fiber, less processed sugars.

5. Eat or drink a mixture of carbohydrates and protein immediately after workouts. Have for three to four grams of carbohydrate for every gram of protein.

6. Reduce animal fats, and add more plant-based fats, try some nuts, seeds, and oils.

7. Drink 2 - 3 liters of water every day.

Meal Plan:


2-egg omelet with shredded cheese and spinach

1C quick-cook oats with 2 tbsp maple syrup

1 banana [can be cut into oatmeal]

8 oz skim milk

Morning snack

2 granola bars

1 piece of string cheese

½ C blueberries

20 oz water


2 slices whole-wheat bread

4 oz tuna mixed with 1 tbsp mayo

1 oz bag of pretzels

1 orange

20 oz sports drink

Afternoon snack

1 apple

1 container light yogurt

1 slice whole-wheat bread with 1 tbsp peanut butter

20 oz water


1 sweet potato with

2 tbsp brown sugar and

¼ tsp cinnamon

4 oz chicken breast

1C steamed broccoli

2C salad [spinach leaves, bell peppers, walnuts and Italian dressing]

20 oz water

Evening snack

½ C nonfat cottage cheese

½ C pineapple

1 oz whole-grain snack crackers


Strength and Conditioning


We as coaches always lack time to do everything that we want with our players. As we all know, only in professional leagues and with professional players there is time for everything. But, that is just 1% of the basketball.
Everybody else does not have the time to do everything. That is why we have to find ways to motivate our players to practice on their own whenever they have the chance. But, we have to provide them with guidance and material.

What do we actually see when we are watching the game of basketball? You know that I'm not talking about the dribbles and baskets. We see short bursts of high-intensity movement and then a small resting gap, and then again explosion of high energy movement, and again some resting period.

We see a boxout (pushing hard another player), a maximum jump, coming down in a basketball stance protecting a ball is actually a squat, then we have a full-court sprint, then we have a small rest. Then comes a screen, a battle for position, another jump, another sprint back to defense. A player in basketball is constantly getting his body in a high pulse situation, mixing every possible action in a short period of time.
This is it. This is our workout. This must be our training routine.

The plan is based on a fitness system called "max interval training." In regular interval training, you train at a very intense pace for a brief period of time and then rest for longer intervals within. The idea of the program is to improve your aerobic fitness level while the fat is being burned in between.

Max interval training really means that you are going to work as hard as you can for 3-minute and then rest for 30-seconds.  

There are 10 separate and different workouts in the program, and a routine takes no more than 60 minutes to do, and you need to do them 6 times a week. Sunday is a day off, and Wednesday is a stretching day so the workout is super easy to do.

The first month has five different workouts:

  • Fit Test
  • Plyometric Cardio Circuit
  • Cardio Power and Resistance
  • Cardio Recovery
  • Pure Cardio

Before the second-month starts, there is a week of a full-body recovery program that includes regular core cardio and balanced routine. Yes, you to sweat a lot in this period but the workout is less extreme than those in the first month.

That second month has four new workouts:

  • Max Interval Circuit
  • Max Interval Plyo
  • Max Cardio Conditioning
  • Max Recovery

Intensity Level of the workout is Very High

This is an intense fitness program that challenges you to work out at a very high-intensity level with limited rest in between. Even if the players are already in good form, it can be hard for them to keep at first.

Areas That are Targeted

Core: Yes. The whole program is a cardio abs workout that focuses on the player's middle section.

Arms: Yes. The players will use their own body weight to sculpt their arms, chest, and shoulders.

Legs: Yes. Boy o Boy YES. This workout uses a system called plyometrics, which emphasizes hopping and jumping exercises borrowed from sports like basketball, skiing, and boxing to shape the legs.

Glutes: Yes. Plyometrics also stimulates the muscles of your back end that are extremely important for the game of basketball.

Back: Yes, but not as much as the other parts. This is a total body workout and it touches the back but this muscle group is not emphasized that much.

This is a severe workout for somebody who is already fit. And, our players are already-fit but we want them to be better. With high concentration comes a more prominent risk of injury. To avoid injury, the players will have to understand the correct form and technique for each and every move inside the training process. As the drills are simple, this can be a good workout plan for them. I mean, everybody can do a humping jacks, skip, side to side jumps, pushups, mountain climbers.

Skill Development

Skill Development basketball

The USA Basketball Player Development Curriculum has been established to guide players and the personalities that coach them, over a level-appropriate system of basketball development. Using precise guiding principles explained by coach educators Istvan Balyi and Richard Way, and seen in their book Long-Term Athlete Development (2013), USA Basketball has created a practical, functional and sequential development guide to properly impart the game to a player.

The Player Development Curriculum consists of four areas of development: Introductory, Foundational, Advanced and Performance. Every level takes the player through continuous development techniques based on their knowledge of basketball and movement skills as opposed to their age, grade in school or physical characteristics. This knowledge of skills approach enables the player to develop physical knowledge, learn basketball vocabulary and acquire the drive confidence needed to optimize their basketball potential.

As described in the sections that follow, the Player Development Curriculum includes seven stages of long-term player development – Active Start, Fundamentals, Learning to Train, Training to Train, Training to Compete, Training to Win and Basketball for Life.

Although the curriculum excludes age from the skill learning process, the long-term model gives age recommendations to demonstrate scientifically-proven learning skills. USA Basketball incorporated these age guidance in creating the curriculum levels to determine how the levels translate to real learning environments.

In the long-term athlete development model, the Player Development Curriculum discusses the topic of proper practice/training-to-competition rates. USA Basketball has established competition as the act of competing against a different team or granting team strategies to prepare to compete against an extra team. Practice or training is described as all activity linked to a player’s individual skill development. Based on these outlines, the following is a review of USA Basketball’s stance on practice/training-to-competition during the four levels:


Learn basic movement skills and grow overall motor skills. Participation once or twice per week in basketball but daily participation in other sport activities is required for further perfection. Group skill games are recommended during the level. Presentation to team principles/concepts ONLY, avoid genuine 5x5 competition until fundamentals are more perfected.


Learn all fundamental basketball-specific skills, set building blocks for overall basketball abilities. 70% of the time is used on individual fundamental training and only 30% of the time is used on the actual game contest. Teach all of the position concepts, but DO NOT attach player positions at any point in the progress. Separate actual competition between special games (1x1, 2x2, 3x3, skill games) and 5x5 play, trying not to focus on genuine 5x5 competition until later, as they develop.


Create the aerobic foundation, build strength towards the end of the level and further improve overall basketball skills. Build the “engine” and incorporate basketball skills. Early in the level, 60% of the time is used on individual training and 40% is used on competition including 5x5 play, special games (1x1, 2x2, 3x3, skill games) as well as team-oriented methods. Later in the level, depending on the knowledge of skills, the switch can be made to a 50:50 training to match ratio and positions can be attached.


Maximize fitness and competition training as well as individual and position-specific abilities. Optimize the “engine” of skills and production. Training to game ratio in this phase shifts to 25:75, knowing that the competition percentage incorporates team-oriented practices and other competition-specific systems.



The steps that follow serve as building sections for the four levels of development in the USA Basketball Player Development Curriculum, which follows later in the model. Each stage is organized into the appropriate level, and that level is identified in parentheses. In some instances, levels incorporate multiple steps to account for the various types of players throughout a plan.

As you study, it’s important to see that USA Basketball considers competition as the act of competing against another team or giving team strategies to prepare to play against another team. Conversely, USA Basketball holds training to include all activity linked to a player’s technical skill improvement. Therefore, the advised training to competition proportions listed throughout the pattern reflects those ideas.

STAGE 1: ACTIVE START - Age: 0-6 years old


Starting at childhood, present opportunities for children to be physically active each day inside a safe, fun environment. Physical activity during play is a crucial part of a child’s development. The activity should include fundamental movement skills throughout the four environments that point to maximizing a child’s physical potential:

In the water: Swimming

On the ground: Basketball (dribbling)

In the air: Gymnastics

On ice and snow: Sliding (skiing, skating)


STAGE 2: FUNDAMENTALS - Age: 6-9 years old


Learn all fundamental movement/motor skills. Involvement once or twice per week in basketball, but daily involvement in other sports activities is necessary for further excellence. Special game games recommended during the phase. Introduction to 5 x 5 principles/ideas only in later phases, bypassing actual 5 x 5 competition until fundamentals are more developed.


STAGE 3: LEARNING TO TRAIN - Age: 8-12 years old


Master all basic and fundamental basketball distinct skills. A 70:30 training to game ratio is suggested. Separate actual competition between special games and 5 x 5 play, striving not to focus on 5 x 5 competition until later in the period.


STAGE 4: TRAINING TO TRAIN - Age: 12-15 years old


Develop the aerobic base, increase strength towards the end of the stage and further promote basketball skills (build the “engine” and incorporate basketball skills with that newly developed athletic abilities). It is recommended 60:40 training to game ratio. The 40% game ratio involves 5 x 5 competition, special tournament competition, as well as team-oriented/tactical practices.


STAGE 5: TRAINING TO COMPETE - Age: 14-17 years old


Optimize fitness development as well as basketball, individual and position-specific arts (advance to maximize the “engine” of skills and production). The training to game ratio now changes to 50:50. 50% of the possible time is dedicated to the development of player technical/tactical skills and fitness gains, with the other 50% devoted to 5 x 5 competition and team-oriented drills.




Maximize fitness training as well as basketball, personal and position-specific talents (aim is to optimize the “engine” of skills and production). Training to game ratio in this phase changes to 25:75, knowing that the competition rate involves team-oriented practices.


STAGE 7: BASKETBALL FOR LIFE - The Retirement/Retention Stage

Stay in basketball in any way possible: Coach, Fan, Recreational player..


Progressive Coaching is the schooling philosophy that focuses on involving students individually as well as engaging groups in a project. In the matter of basketball, teaching happens with individual athletes as well as teams in the basketball-related activity. The philosophy behind Progressive Coaching is to stimulate and engage every player individually to accomplish the best results. If the philosophy is used to every player, coaches will notice a marked improvement in players as well as the whole team. The goals for each player must be challenging, attainable, and allow the athlete to keep growth on a distinct skill.

To best implement Progressive Coaching with your team, you must first understand the strengths and weaknesses of all of your players alone. Once this baseline estimation is set, you will be able to set goals with each player and form a plan to help the player reach his or her goal. Knowing the goals of each player will also assist in developing drills for practice.

Fairly important to individual goals is the definition of team goals to give the group something to collectively aim towards. Assure that the goals are attainable, and challenge your team to make toward goals every practice and game. For example, at the beginning of the season, a team goal may be to play a quality fast-break after the successful rebound. Frame to this goal by first learning how to obtain a rebound, how to pivot, and then how and to who to make a good pass. Grasp your training process-driven by assuring that your players are understanding each step before taking the next one.


There are several different elements to the game of basketball. In the Player Development Curriculum, USA Basketball groups skills into eight categories including Ball Handling & Dribbling, Footwork & Body Control, Passing & Receiving, Rebounding, Screening, Shooting, Team Defensive Concepts & Team Offensive Concepts.

Every player in an organization will have their strengths and weaknesses, and there is no way that all of the players will be on the same level of the art. Also, there are many diverse levels of teams that you may find yourself coaching. Recreation programs, school teams, travel teams, college programs, and even professional teams are all composed of players getting at different levels. Both the level of basketball and each player’s skill set defines how you will coach and guide your group during a season.

As a coach, the first duty is to evaluate each one of your players as well as your team as a composition. The best way to achieve this is to set and document a baseline of skills. This means what your players can or cannot currently do in the basketball arena. Again, estimations will vary depending on the level of performance. Once you have set a baseline, you can start to set goals for your players and team. Based on this data, you can begin to set a proper training plan for the season.


There are many different decisions a coach must make while originating players in basketball. For instance, “How many drills must the team do before I know they learn a specific skill?”, “What do I do if a player is too talented for the exercises I am doing?”, “What do I do if a player does not have the fundamentals needed to perform the drills I am asking them to do?”.


Many different elements should be considered in this case. The first consideration is defined by the level of the team. For example, a high school team may consume less time on a triple threat than a middle school basketball organization. A high school team can use one or two of these drills to strengthen fundamentals but then will move to more complex skills instantly. Many times a mid-school coach starts the progress with the complex drills that can be devastating to a player that did not learn the fundamentals. So, what it happens then, is the fact that the player starts to do a certain basketball move in a way that is not gud, but it is now hard to fix it because he is self-thought on that particular move that became his routine.



1. Push through self-limiting beliefs.

As kids, we think we can conquer the world, but somewhere between childhood and adulthood, our spirit and natural attractions to dream big are squashed.

Dream big, work small.

How to make it work for you:

Discover your limits by exposing yourself to different circumstances and pushing through the uncomfortable. Once you have trust in yourself, you’ll see what you can accomplish.

2. Never confuse memory with facts.

The memory is going to tell you that you have shot 60% for three in the last practice. If you do not practice your shot more, you are going to shoot 30% in the games.

How to make it work for you:

Forget the past. Work now. Accomplish tomorrow.

3. Talk to yourself.

You know yourself the best. You are obligated to tell yourself everything both good and bad.

How to make it work for you:

Be positive. This is just a game.


4. Think positive to overcome your negativity bias.

Sometimes you win, the other times you Learn!

How to make it work for you:

The games are made for the kids to play and enjoy. Love the game and the game will love you back.

5. Raise your curiosity levels.

Read basketball, listen to podcasts, watch the games, watch the clips on youtube. Follow fitness, fellow gym rats, listen to the nutritionists.

How to make it work for you:

The Internet has it all. It is up to you to find it.

6. Overcome self-doubt.

There are things that you want to do, and there are things that you do not want to try and do. You...this is the main factor.

How to make it work for you:

Just Do It. Nike knows better.

7. Face your fears.

The fastest way to improve is to go in the uncomfortable zone.

How to make it work for you:

It is not important how many times you fall. It is important how many times you get up.



We all know that the human body is actually learning new skills while resting. The training and everything that we do in order to be better is just the activation of our learning.

The sports are a vast consumables of our body and our mind, it is crucial to spend time outside the drills and training and striving for greatness. More about this topic you can read in this section:

Strive for Greatness - Can Youth Athletes Carry the Load?

If you want to learn more about basketball team training, go to Hoopsking and rent a DVD that you find most appealing, by clicking on the link below:

Apr 05, 2020 Viktor Sadikovic

Recent Posts