8-Week athletic development programme.

We care about you and your athletic performance.

We want to see everyone return to the court in good shape to enjoy the game, and to make sure you don’t get injured.

In line with the Basketball England Robustness Pillar of the Player Development Framework we have designed a conditioning programme that will keep you active through this lockdown period and will also make you into a better basketball player. Research shows us that if you are fitter and stronger, your time on the court increases as you do not get injured as much and you are able to outperform other players. 

You will enjoy your basketball more.

Mark Williams and Mike Carolan (UKSCA Strength and Conditioning Coaches), along with input from other experts, have put together The Athletic Development Programme. This programme is designed to increase your athletic ability and for U12s to U18s, Basketball England will increase its knowledge on training with younger athletes (see below). For these age groups we have a number of simple tests to complete prior to commencing the programme. The testing is intended to be completed at the start and the end of the 8-week programme so we can track how well you have progressed during this time. In the long term, we hope these tests will be able to inform us and the coaching staff, how to get the best out of our athletes. 

If you are not in this age bracket, the programme will be an excellent way to get you prepared to play basketball once lockdown has ended. Please follow the programme as described but without the testing.  For under-10s, we have a separate basketball-related programme that will be both fun and engaging and allow you to practice movements that can be put into any sporting arena.

The Athletic Development Programme

The 8-week Athletic Development programme will have you doing exercise almost every day of the week. We will be focusing on increasing your strength, your agility, your cardio fitness and your flexibility. Most sessions will take around 30-40mins to complete. There is a thorough warm-up you should do before each exercise. Each exercise is linked to a video of the exercise you can watch to make sure you are doing them correctly and safely. 

The programme is split into two phases; it is imperative to complete the ‘Master Your Body’ phase before you move onto the 'Build Capacity' phase.  You will notice that the difficulty of the exercises will increase throughout the course of the 8-weeks.  This will be seen alongside your increase in fitness. 

Your Health

Please do not start the programme if you are currently injured. We would advise getting a professional to look at your injury and to advise the best course of action. 

Please do let your medical practitioner know if you are in any pain during or after these exercises. Some people may find aching in the muscles the day after doing exercises for the first time. This is quite normal and is known in the medical world as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). If you experience this you may want to not train as hard the following day but be very mindful of good recovery options and good nutrition.

If you are recovering from COVID-19 and you are still experiencing some respiratory symptoms we would ask that you consult with your medical practitioner to get advice on whether you are able to take part in some or all of the programme.    

Other things to aid the 8-week Athletic Development Programme:

TESTING - U12s to U18s ONLY

In order for Basketball England to understand better how physical exercise affects our bodies as we move through different growth phases, we are asking this wide group of people to submit test results before and after the programme. 

We will get your results back to you as soon after the tests as possible, giving you feedback on how well you are doing and how much you have improved in 8 weeks!

We want to test the following areas:

  • Physical Maturity – how far have you got to grow, or are you near the end of your growing phase?

  • Jumping – testing both the power of your jump and the mechanics of the movement; a key basketball skill but one that often leads to injury.

  • Stability – are you able to hold yourself in the best position with good control. Good ability to stabilise your body will lead to reduced injury.

  • Strength – testing areas that we know are often weaker in basketball players.

You will be asked to record the tests on your mobile phone as you perform them and then send them through to us on a secure server where they will be analysed. You will be told of the results. At the end of the 8-week programme you will perform the same tests and see if you have improved. 

The testing and programme have ethical approval through University of Essex. Before you start the testing please could you follow this link to fill out the consent form for you and/or your child. This means Basketball England and the University of Essex will be able to use the data solely for the purposes of research.  

You are, of course, not compelled to complete the testing and you may withdraw from the research at any time, however without the testing we are unable to tell you how fit you have become.  We will also let you know if there are any obvious issues that need addressing from looking at the test results.    


Basketball England cannot be held responsible for injury whilst doing this 8-week programme.  Taking part in the 8-week Athletic Development Programme is at your own risk.  You should be confident to complete all exercises in the prescribed manner as the programme advises.  Should you require further help to complete the exercises, please talk to your coach or medical practitioner or contact talent@basketballengland.co.uk