Speed Workouts for Youth Basketball
Improve Your Reaction Time & Quickness

Speed workouts are the best way to improve your reaction time and foot speed on the basketball court so you can cut sharper, get down the court faster, and defend better.

Truth is though, we aren't all blessed with incredible speed.

But regardless of your genetic make-up, body size, and position, all athletes can benefit from speed training.

Playing basketball at a high level demands a lot from a player in terms of conditioning. No doubt you need excellent basketball skills, but if you don't have the physical strength, stamina, and agility to move up and down the floor effectively and quickly, the other parts of your game like shooting, dribbling, passing, and defending will really suffer.

In addition to strength, endurance, and agility, you need speed.

Speed, as it relates to basketball, doesn't necessarily mean you have to be the fastest person down the court. Though that's certainly a benefit for the guards and wings who are likely to lead the fast break, youth speed training really involves working to improve your reaction time for movements in all directions.

Training for Speed, Agility, and Quickness
speed workouts
Developing Agility and Quickness

Basketball involves much more than just forward acceleration. Players frequently need to move laterally, backwards, and at different angles. With all of the stops and starts and changes of direction, players need to have great multi-directional speed if they hope to be competitive on the court.

It may sound kind of strange, but decelerating and stopping are an important part of speed. If you can't stop quickly to keep from running someone over or slow down to be able to change direction, you'll be pretty limited in what you can do.

Speed workouts for young kids under the age of 10 should be fun and game-like. Avoid technical footwork training until kids get a little older. Tag games are perfect for youth speed and agility training because they require quick, short bursts of activity and lots of direction changes.

Below you'll find some excellent resources for speed workouts that are perfect for youth basketball players.

Lee Taft, Performance Director of Sports Speed Etc, is the creator of Ground Breaking 2, and he's an expert when it comes to increasing multi-directional speed.  

Youth Speed Training Drills
Free Videos for Your Speed Workouts

For more great drills to improve your speed and quickness, check out the FREE youth speed training videos below.

These short videos provide easy-to-understand instructions and coaching tips. The first group of videos are geared directly toward kids, but the ladder drills are great for all ages.

Visit SKLZ Performance Training Tools for more sprint training aids for your basketball workouts.

4-Cone Agility

Great drill that helps players improve their multi-directional speed, balance, and athletic base.

Ball Pick Up

Fun competitive game for youth basketball players that works on hand-eye coordination and moving in multiple directions.

Get Up Tag

Fun chasing game that teaches kids how to get up from the floor quickly after they fall and how to explode on their first step, which is really important for making quick offensive moves or defending a ball handler.


Kids love to race! By adding an element of competition to sprint training, players are motivated to work harder and move faster. This drill works on quick changes of direction and lateral shuffling while racing through a set of cones. Come up with your own patterns and cone spacing and require players to move in a variety of different directions. 

Mirror Game

This is an excellent activity for improving 1-on-1 defense in your basketball workouts. It's a 2-person game using a reaction belt that teaches players how to keep their balance and move quickly in lateral directions while sticking with another player. 

5-Yard Box 

A tag game for multiple players that focuses on balance, coordination, acceleration, and speed.

Ladder Drills

Youth basketball training aids like an agility ladder are excellent for improving speed, quickness, balance, multi-directional speed, and acceleration. As athletes repeat ladder drills over and over again and push themselves to go faster each time, they train their nervous system to make faster movements.

If you're interested in basketball speed workouts, you might also be interested in:

Basketball Agility Drills

Speed Workouts for Basketball

Weight Training

Jumping Drills

Resistance Band Workouts

Basketball Training Aids

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