By Cody Carter Published on Sunday, October 25, 2015

With basketball’s fast pace and constant change of direction, agility is the key to finding success on the court. Whether on offense or defense, players must be strong with their first step or movement and have the body control to decelerate and, ultimately, reaccelerate to where they need to go. Here are four agility drills we use at EXOS to improve multidirectional movement and ensure our athletes are ready on game day.


Zigzag Drop Step Shuffle


  1. The athlete should stand in a defensive position facing away from a line of 8 cones set up in a zigzag pattern, 4 yards apart at 45-degree angles.
  2. Instruct the athlete to drop step and shuffle to the second cone, plant the outside foot, and drop step and shuffle to the next cone.
  3. Continue through the remainder of the cones.

Coaching Tip: Make sure they keep their feet apart, weight on the balls of their feet, and hips low during each change of direction.

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4-Cone Random Agility 


  1. Set up 4 cones in a box with 10 yards between cones.
  2. Have the athlete stand in the center of the box.
  3. Randomly point to a cone and have the athlete immediately sprint to it.
  4. From that cone, immediately point to another cone to signal the athlete to cut and sprint to it.

Coaching Tip: Watch to make sure they’re cutting with purpose.

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Defensive Coverage


  1. Set up 4 cones in a box with 10 yards between cones.
  2. From 10 yards out, signal the athlete to backpedal to the box.
  3. When the athlete enters the box, randomly point to a cone to signal the athlete to immediately sprint to it.
  4. Immediately signal to another cone for the athlete to cut and sprint to.

Coaching Tip: Watch for a good crossover once the cone is identified.

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Reactive Speed Cut


  1. Set up cones in a “Y” formation.
  2. Start the athlete in a split stance at the first cone, and signal the athlete to sprint toward the center of the two cones.
  3. When the athlete gets to the cones, signal the athlete to the next set of cones.

Coaching Tip: Have the athlete use a ball in this drill and encourage them to make a quick reaction to your signal.

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Cody Carter Cody has spent the last 10 years coaching athletes at the youth, high school, competitive, collegiate and professional levels. During that time he has learned from and developed close relationships with some of the best performance specialists in the world. Growing up, he played football, basketball and ran track. He didn't specialize in one sport until college, where he chose to run track as a sprinter and high hurdler for Iowa State University. He has spent his entire performance coaching career in Southern California where he is now a Manager for the EXOS Performance Innovation Team. Now based at SKLZ Headquarters, directly above the EXOS San Diego facility, Cody is able to jump in for the occasional hands-on athlete training session. View all posts by

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