Basketball Training Drills

Basketball training drills are the foundation of any good coaching program. Teaching your players offense, defense, and shooting skills is easiest when these techniques are removed from the game and isolated into repetitive exercises. Here are some examples of effective drills to try.

Ballhandling Training Drills

These basketball training drills help players to gain control of the ball and anticipate its movement.

  • Take your players to a gravel road and have them practice dribbling the ball without looking. The uneven surface will force them to maintain greater control of the ball with their hand.
  • Have your players take a walk down a long sidewalk so that they can practice walking and dribbling at the same time.
  • Throw your players tennis balls while they are dribbling, and have them catch it in the hand they aren’t dribbling with.
  • Have players practice dribbling two balls at once while running down the length of the court.

Passing Drills

Players need to know how to pass the ball to one another without having their shots blocked. Try these techniques to help your players pass more effectively.

  • Have players stand in a circle with an arm’s width apart. In order for a player to be able to pass the ball, he or she must make eye contact with the recipient and then make an immediate chest pass. When your players master this drill sufficiently, add a second ball to the circle and have players work on bounce passes at the same time.
  • Break players up into teams of two and give each player a ball. One player should throw chest passes while the other throws bounce passes. Mix it up by instructing players to switch passing styles or go faster or slower.

Shooting Training

Shooting is practiced more than any other skill in basketball. And for good reason – it’s what determines whether your team scores or not.

  • Break players up into teams of two. One player is the shooter and the other is the rebounder. After the shooter shoots the ball from his or her chosen position, he or she should immediately run to a new place on the court. The rebounder grabs the ball and throws it to the shooter in his or her new place. Do this for 2 minutes and then have the shooter and rebounder switch jobs.
  • Have each player start at the basket and shoot a jump shot. Every time a player makes a basket, he or she must take a step back and shoot again. The drill ends when the player successfully makes a three-pointer from both corners, both wings, and straight away.

Basketball training drills test a player’s strength and endurance while also helping him or her improve his or her skills. The drills listed above are a great starting point for players of every experience level, and produce fast and noticeable results.

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