Warmup basketball drill: BRAIDS 3 COURTS

Warmup basketball drill: BRAIDS 3 COURTS

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Name: Braids 3 courts

Type: warmup, conditioning, fast break

Number of players: 6+

Time: 6-8min

Age of players: 12+

Equipment: 2+ balls, 2 cones

Main goals

This exercise is one of the type of 3 player weaves. The first objective I want to achieve with this fast break basketball drill is to do a little warmup on court.

I usually plan this exercise for the days we are not doing an outside court conditioning session before practice. Despite of always doing some soft warning up before getting in touch with the ball, “Braids 3 courts” helps the team to get focused on the practice while doing some in court conditioning.

It also helps with the fast break training and we can add some secondary goals. For example it is also useful as a fast break passing drill, for receptions and dribble starting while moving practice and for train how to finish to the rim.

When and how to use this basketball training drill

I tend to use “Braids 3 courts” as the first exercise of some of my basketball training sessions. It really helps getting the players focused and ready for the main part of our practice.

In my opinion it is easy enough to be done on youth teams, but maybe it is a bit long for young basketball players under 12 years. Do not take this as a golden rule, it always depends on the team itself. With younger teams, I would recommend to use some easier drills like “simple braids”, “shooting braids” or other similar 3vs0 fast break exercises.

The minimum number of players required to do this exercise is 6, but optimal number would be 9 or 12. Despite of being better to have a number of basketball players multiple of 3 (6, 9, 12) it is not required as we will see in the description of the drill.

One thing I want to point out is that giving names to your basketball exercises will help you to avoid losing time on your basketball training sessions.
Talking about time, I try to not be running this exercise for more than 6-8 minutes. If you do this drill longer than that, your players will get bored and his attention will be lost.


This is a simple 3vs0 drill. All you need are 3 players, 2 balls and 2 cones.

Players get distributed in 3 queues in the baseline. Players in the middle queue should have a ball. There are required at least 2 balls to be able to work good enough.

This exercise starts when the player in the center (1) passes the ball to the right side player (2). When he receives the ball, it should be passed again to the other player (3) who does a lay up.

The first pass player (1) always surrounds de cone and runs the court again. The second passer (2) goes for the rebound before it bounces on the floor. The player who scores (3), just runs open to get the first pass.


breads 3 courts, sketch 1



Then, we have the same exact situation of the begining. One player with the ball on the center (2) and 2 players that are running on the wings (1, 3).

So we repeat the process again: the player in the middle passes the ball to the one who have just scored (3). This player passes the ball to the player running in the opposite side of the court (1) who atack the rim. First passer(2) surrounds the cone and runs, second passer(3) goes for the rebound and the player who scores(1), runs open again.



Another time we get the same player positions so we do exactly the same for the third time.

I like to run the court 3 times for 2 main reasons:
  • Every player does a lay up, the first pass or the second pass just one time.
  • 3 courts has a grat transference from the game itself (There is usually one break in a real game every 3-5 possessions).


The players rotation is pretty simple. Each player should go to the next queue on his right. If there is no queue there, just go to the far left queue again.

Training tips and variations

As a basketball coach, you can change some small things depending on your secondary goals. Some examples are:

  • Obligate to dribble just once every time a player receives the ball (specific training for starting dribble while running)
  • Do not allow to dribble at all. This forces the players to look where his teammates are before receiving the ball.
  • Change the regular lay up for other ways to attack the rim.
  • Change the pass type: you can force bounce passes, one-handed passes after dribbling..

For my experience, there are 2 tips with this exercise:

  • Do an example. It is way more complicated to explain that to understand the exercise while seeing the players on the court.
  • Do not run this drill during too much time. It should be a high intensity exercise, if players get bored it will not be useful.



What do you think about this basketball training drill? do you use something similar? share your thoughts!

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