Listen to 300+ podcasts by best-selling authors, published Wednesday, 4pm EST!


Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Basketball Conditioning and other Basketball topics.

What are gassers?


Suicide drills involves acceleration, deceleration and change of direction. Start on one baseline, sprint to the nearest freethrow line and back. Sprint to the half court and back, sprint to the far free throw line and back, and finally to the far baseline and back. At the end of each sprint, your foot must touch the line before you turn and sprint to the next line. Running time should be 30 seconds or less with 90 seconds of recovery time between repetitions.



10/12/2009 5:20:17 AM
Jesscia said:

at what age should it take 30 sec??

10/16/2009 7:37:45 PM
Brian said:

not sure. it would vary

12/15/2009 3:55:25 PM
Kevin Whittington said:

Last night my 10yr daughter broke her arm in a backward suicide drill? It is only a recreation league, first time he had asked the girls to do this and he did not explain or demonstrate but expected them to go full speed. Most of the girls are not very good (including my daughter) a couple have never played before. They do try very hard. I am not real happy with this coach.

12/15/2009 9:22:57 PM
Brian said:

I'm sorry that happened to your daughter. And I'm sure that the coach feels absolutely awful that it happened also. It is a pretty standard drill though, sometimes things like that just happen. It's unfortunate and I hope that this incident doesn't push your daughter from the great game of basketball.

12/16/2009 12:01:57 PM
Kevin Whittington said:

Thanks for the quick response! so it is common practice to run the suicide line drill backwards? To be clear, the 10yr old girls (5th grade) were asked to turn around and run the drill backwards, not forwards, not sided to side but backwards. I looked on the web and could not find any site (including yours) with specific descriptions about running the drill backwards, maybe you could add that to your site? Most sites will discuss variations in a drill, your site says "Change of Directions" in your description, my assumptions of that description was a forward motion to a sideward’s motion as they hit the line and bent the knee to touch the line?, but it sound like you mean backwards as well if the coach determines it is necessary? Every site I visited described a forward and side to side motion, a couple did discuses changing feet so not to hurt ankles and knees. I would have thought they would mention the backwards motion if it was common practice. Again thank you very much, arms will heal, I am not angry but only concerned for the young players who are not developed if this type of backwards motion on such an intense drill increases the risk of injuries for really no gain to the girls skill set? I coach softball and have my girls run bases, slide and steel. I would never expect them to run the bases backwards, it is still my responsibility as a coach to run drills that develop the skills of the girls but are also responsible to their safety. That is why leagues create rules within the game to protect and penalize the actions of the players. Thank you so much for being upfront and direct with my question. Have a GREAT day!

12/16/2009 2:01:35 PM
Kevin Whittington said:

After sending you the note, I thought of searching on Backwards Running. There are allot of good things said about this activity and sports. So it does look beneficial to run backwards. I only wish the coach would have taken the time to explain and shown them the drill first. He had taken the time to demo other drills, I think this would have prevented the broken arm. Good talking with you. Thanks!

12/16/2009 7:01:54 PM
Brian said:

I have done the drill myself as a player, but never really taught it as a coach, but it is done. In basketball it's very feasible to run down the court backwards in certain game situations, so your analogy to softball doesn't really apply because you would never actually slide to any base backwards in a game situation. Again, when an accident happens like that, it's a natural reaction as a parent to figure out what went wrong, but I honestly don't think that showing the girls how to do the drill would've prevented this "freak" accident, because from what I understand, she was doing the drill correctly. But again, I wish her the best, and hope she comes back stronger than ever.


URL: (optional)


Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Basketball Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Ray Lokar