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Basketball Training Drills for Players

March 04, 2022 4 min read

Basketball Training Drills for Players

Do you want to take your game to the next level?

Check out these basketball training drills given to us by proven coaches with years of experience.

We created this blog for you, so you don't have to search and sort through all of the drills to find what basketball drills will work for you.

Many of the basketball drills can be done by yourself, but there are a few that you need a partner to perform the basketball drill.

Running Basketball Drills the Right Way

The first thing to realize is that great players focus on the little things.

Too many players make the mistake of starting the basketball drill and just running through the motions.

To get better, each basketball drill needs to have a purpose and you really need to focus and work hard to improve.

We urge you to take the time to learn the detailed fundamentals of basketball. And then run the drills to train your body to perform those fundamentals without even thinking about it.

You'll notice that we tried to categorize the drills for you, but many of the drills here are multi-purpose which means they work on other skills as well. A ballhandling drill may include footwork and passing. A shooting drill may include conditioning. The multipurpose format helps to simulate gameplay and is time-efficient to get the most out of the skill work.

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We recommend starting with a good warm-up, then spending 20-60 minutes on skills (which includes dribbling, passing, footwork, finishing, and shooting), then you split up the rest of the practice based on your team’s identity and what you feel is important. That will include team defense, team offense, rebounding, and special situations.

So your practice plan format might look something like this:

    Warm-up (in the hallway before practice)

    45 minutes of basketball skill drills

    15 minutes of defense & rebounding drills

    15 minutes of team offense drills

    15 minutes reviewing special situations (inbounds plays and press break)

    30-minute scrimmage

Note, we suggest utilizing small, sided games to enhance skill development, team defense, and team offense sessions. You might do that by alternating “drills” and “small, sided games”. Example: start with partner pass & pivot drill and follow it up with 3v2 passing games. Then repeat the cycle with dribbling, defending, shooting, and so on.

By incorporating small, sided games you’ll make practice fun, keep players engaged and enhance their skill retention.

Dribbling Drills for Beginners

For beginners, you should start with very simple stationary drills. Here's a good stationary dribbling progression for beginners. This allows you to introduce the skills, concepts, and basic terminology.

Once players grasp the basic skills, you can introduce movement and fun games. Here are a few fun dribbling drills that are good for beginners:

2 Fun Drills: Pirate Dribbling, Mr. Fox

Pirate Dribbling

For this drill, you'll need to assign a couple of pirates. Everyone else has a basketball.

Everyone with a ball starts dribbling in an area of the court. If the pirate touches the ball, you are now a pirate and you give the ball to the person that touches your ball. You can't go after the person you just touched and get the ball back right away.

A good drill for all ages. 

Mr. Fox?

This comes from soccer. I have seen several youth soccer coaches use this drill. It works for basketball too. 

Each player needs a basketball. The coach stands at the foul line. Players line up along the baseline.

When the players are ready, they yell "What time is it, Mr. Fox?”

The coach then calls out a time. In this example, the coach will say "six o'clock".

So, the players take 6 dribbles toward the coach.

Then the players ask again, "What time is it, Mr. Fox?” And the coach calls out a time that signifies the number of dribbles that players should take.

Repeat until some of the players get close to you. Then when players ask, "What time is it Mr. Fox?".... you instead yell "It's dinner time!!!"

When players hear "dinner time" they are supposed to dribble back to where they started as fast as they can. You (coach) run after them trying to tag them before they get back to the baseline.

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