Skylar Diggins-Smith’s basketball workout

How to Become a Better Point Guard (and play like Skylar Diggins)

Do you want to become a better point guard? Try doing Skylar Diggins-Smith’s basketball workout to become more skilled and more athletic.

During Skylar Diggins-Smith’s first season in the WNBA, she was an average rookie; she was not a spectacular point guard.

Though she started the majority of the games in the 2013 season for the Tulsa Shock, she was definitely the worst player on the starting 5.

She played 26 minutes a game and only averaged 8.5 points on 33 percent shooting, and averaged 3 turnovers a game.

This poor performance, however, can be chalked up to nerves and inexperience. The reason why is because the following season, she balled out.

She started all 34 games in 2014 and averaged 20.1 points (second in the league) on 42 percent shooting, 5 assists, and 1.5 steals.

She averaged the same amount of turnovers, however, but she was playing more minutes per game (35 min.).

Diggins-Smith was also named the Most Improved Player and was also voted in to be an All-Star Game starter this season.

So, how did her numbers improve so much in one off-season?

 

Diggins-Smith’s Point Guard Workout

Well, the simple answer to how she improved as a point guard is that Diggins-Smith just got more skilled and athletic.

During this off-season, she worked on her weaknesses.

She did drills to improve her overall game. She did ball-handling exercises and ones to improve her finishing-at-the-rim skills.

Here are the exercises she did:

Ball-Handling Drills

  • Two-ball dribbling
  • Alternating two-ball dribbling
  • Side-to-side two-ball dribbling
  • Front-to-back two-ball dribbling
  • One high, one low two-ball dribbling

Finishing Drills

  • Left-hand finish, jump right foot
  • Left scoop finish
  • Inside-hand finish
  • Inside-hand reverse

Additionally, she also worked on her athleticism.

Diggins-Smith wasn’t the most athletic player in her rookie season. She’s also a small player.

Hence, to be able to compete with the pros, she had to become physically stronger and more mobile.

To develop this strength, she did circuits of multiple exercises, multiple times to improve her conditioning.

Here are the exercises she did:

Squats, jump squats, raised plank, low plank, lunges, jump lunges, three-point planks, and burpees.

How to do Diggins-Smith’s Workout

Okay, so it’s probably pretty overwhelming looking at all of these activities.

“What should I do first? How can I go about planning this workout?” you’re most likely thinking.

Well, don’t fret -I got your back.

When it comes to structuring the workout, I highly recommend splitting them into two-day splits.

What this means is that you will do the conditioning part one day and then work on your basketball skills another day.

As an example, you can split it like this:

Day A

Conditioning – Do 2-4 sets of the conditioning circuit. Each exercise will be done for 20-30 seconds each, depending on your cardio and stamina.

I also recommend adding in a set or two of 8-10 (reps) one-step box jumps to increase your explosiveness.

Mobility – I recommend doing the James Harden mobility workout.

Day B

For the ball-handling drills, I suggest you do one-ball drills, especially if you’re an average Joe or Jane.

The reason is that we’re just not skilled enough to do two-ball exercises yet. Also, you probably only have one basketball.

However, if you have more than one ball and are talented enough, feel free to do the two-ball ones.

Anywhoo…

Ball-Handling Drill:

To start, dribble with your non-dominant hand for 30 seconds then switch to the other one.

After 30 seconds has surpassed, do the following drill in the same order (weak hand then strong hand).

You can do one or two sets of this ball-handling circuit.

Finishing Drill:

For the layup and finishing portion, instead of doing the moves that Diggins-Smith works on, I recommend you do the Mikan Drill.

I suggest this because many times, recreational players don’t have the fundamentals of finishing at the rim down. They aren’t good at making simple close shots.

Additionally, a lot of players neglect this skill because they think it’s easy.

But it’s not.

Just think of how many times you missed a seemingly easy layup because you shot the ball too strong or you hit the wrong part of the backboard (these memories still haunt me sometimes).

This is why I think you should do the Mikan Drill instead of working on specific lay-ups.

However, if the basic Mikan Drill is too boring for you, you can do Dwyane Wade’s version of it.

You can learn how here.

Benefits of Doing Diggins-Smith’s Basketball Workout

This workout is good because it develops your fundamentals.

It helps you improve your foundational basketball skills while also training your conditioning via basic exercises.

Additionally, it’s not something super intense or time-consuming.

You can probably get away with doing it just for a couple of hours a day (max), twice a week (but you have to be consistent with it).

Then you can spend all of your other physical activity time playing basketball. You can also do the skills part prior to playing basketball.

Final Thoughts

Diggins-Smith is one hell of a player.

After her rookie season, she became a regular at the All-Star Game (5x) and a regular on the All-WNBA Teams (2x First-Team and 2x Second-Team).

But she wouldn’t have made these strides if she didn’t master her fundamentals and improve her conditioning.

So, if you want to get better at basketball -and become a better point guard- do her basketball workout.

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P.S. If you’re struggling to improve in basketball, you may be training wrong. This is why you need to check out my Old Man Game Activity Guide. It’s a convenient training system that will help you work on your fundamentals and conditioning. Click here to learn more about it.