Women’s Basketball: What Is A Black To Black?

The women’s basketball programs, one of the most successful teams at Mitty, spills one of their secrets to success.


April Chan, Staff Writer

A black to black: 40 seconds of hell and the most infamous conditioning drill in the Archbishop Mitty Women’s Basketball program. In this exercise, players dribble the ball from sideline to sideline ten times in forty seconds with the fastest players completing it in merely 36 seconds.

This simple drill and its rules may seem arbitrary, but the exercise was specifically designed to mimic the conditions of a real game. The forty-second threshold is approximately the length of one offensive and one defensive possession; running from sideline to sideline (fifty feet apart) instead of baseline to baseline (84 feet apart) resembles the constant change of direction employed by elite basketball players; and the requirement to dribble a ball while completing the drill is to increase difficulty and utilize conditioning time to practice ball-handling skills. 

Black to blacks are a staple in the women’s basketball program and have become a measuring stick for coaches to evaluate players’ fitness progress and conditioning level. Head Coach Ms. Sue Phillips has set this clear fitness standard for players due to her belief that “numbers don’t lie” since they “provide a measurable and tangible goal for players.”

However, this standard isn’t only physically challenging, but mentally as well. After a long practice, running a black to black can be just as mentally challenging as it is physically. 

“Our mental toughness is put to the test through this drill because it shows who pushes even harder when they’re tired” says sophomore point guard Morgan Cheli

The ability to persevere through both physical and mental fatigue is what makes these Monarchs special. Clearly this type of training works, seeing as in the first game of the season, the Monarchs defeated Santa Cruz High a whopping 81-7. With the team preparing to embark on the rest of their basketball season, the infamous black to blacks push the Monarchs beyond their perceived limits as they pursue their ultimate goal: a state championship.