Weightlifting is a skill

This is from the blog of Shawn Windle, the strength and conditioning coach for your Indiana Pacers. If you want to get stronger on the court, you must lift and lift in the right way.


The more you practice a skill, the more efficient the motor pattern associated with that skill becomes.

Powerlifting is no different, except that a loaded barbell is heavier than other sporting implements. Who wants to make 90% of their free throws, or practices by shooting basketballs once per week until they’re unable to lift their arms? Yet that’s exactly what people do when they want to improve their squat.

The more you practice, the more you improve muscle recruitment, firing rate, and inter and intra-muscular coordination. It makes you approach powerlifting as a mechanic trying to fine-tune an engine, trying to get every last bit of horsepower out of the machine he’s working with.

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Workouts for December 16-21

This week continue to work on your ball handling, shooting, and conditioning. Set a goal of spending at least one hour everyday working on your game! This might sound like a of time, but it isn’t. If you jump rope, lift weights, or do some other workout for 15-20 mins, go out and shoot for 20, and then work on your ball handling or shooting form at night while you watch TV, you will get at least an hour in. Make sure you are working hard, having fun, and getting better! 

I have re-posted two of the shooting workouts below, but you can go back to the previous week if you want to work on something different. I’ve also posted a link to a video with some pretty good exercises that you might want to incorporate into your strength training routine.




5 Minutes Warm-Up
1. Lay-Ups 1 Minute
2. Block-to-Block 1 Minute
3. Short Corner 1 Minute
4. 12’ Bank Shots 1 Minute
5. Mikan / 3 Pt. Shots 30 / 30 Seconds Each

Drill                                        Goal    Time
1. Elbow Jump Shots        20       2 Minutes Each
2. Wing Jump Shots 17’   18
3. Runners                             15
4. Back to Basket Shot 10’-12’  16
5. Running Hook Shot     16
6. 1 Dribble Pull-Up          14
7. Spin Dribble into Jump Shot  15
8. 3s                                          15
9. Step Back Jumpers
Alternate Right to Left     12
10. Shot Fake 1 Dribble Jumpers 12

Cool Down
5 Minutes of Free Throws

Workout Goals
150 Attempts / 98 Makes
65% Make Rate


5 Minutes Warm-Up
1. Lay-Up 1 Minute
2. Block-to Block 1 Minute
3. Short Corner 1 Minute
4. 12’ Bank Shots 1 Minute
5. Mikan / 3 Pt. Shots 30 Seconds Each

Drill                                                                                     Goal                    Time
1. Multiple Ballhandling into a Shot                       10                       2 Min.
2. Up and Back                                                                 10
RH into crossover                                                                                      1 Min.
LH into crossover                                                                                       1 Min.
3. Scissors                                                                           10                      2 Min.
4. Behind Back                                                                  10                      2 Min.
5. Back Pedal into 1 Dribble Pull-Up                       10                      2 Min.
6. Combination Moves                                                   10
Behind Back – Behind Back                                                                    1 Min.
Thru Legs – Thru Legs                                                                              1 Min.
7. Combination Moves                                                    10
Thru Legs – Spin Dribble                                                                          1 Min.
Spin Dribble – Spin Dribble                                                                     1 Min.
8. Combination Moves                                                     10
Inside Out – Crossover (Use R & L Hands)                                        1 Min.
Change of Pace                                                                                               1 Min.

9. Combination Moves                                                      10
Pull Back – Thru Legs (Use R & L Hands)                                          1 Min.

Behind Back – Thru Legs (Use R & L Hands)                                   1 Min.

10. Shot Fake at End of Dribble
Use R & L Hands                                                                   10                   2 Min.

Cool Down
5 Minutes of Free Throws

Workout Goals
100 Attempts / 70 Makes (1 Shot Attempt Every 12 Seconds)
70% Make Rate