Basketball Drills

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Basketball Drills

Basketball drills are the backbone of any good training regimen, helping you build skills, develop muscle memory, and become a more confident and capable player on the court.

Drills are designed to develop the physical and mental abilities of players through repetition and deliberate practice, helping them to perform better in games and reach their full potential as players.

By performing a specific drill repeatedly a player can develop muscle memory and hone their technique, leading to improved performance in game situations. 

Types of Basketball Drills and Examples 

Whether you’re working on dribbling, shooting, or defensive techniques, there’s a drill out there that can help you reach your goals. 

Dribbling Drills – These drills focus on improving a player’s dribbling skills, such as their ability to control the ball, change directions, and maintain possession.

Some examples include – 

  • Crossover Dribble: Start with the ball in one hand, dribble it low, and switch hands when the ball reaches the other side.
  • Figure 8 Dribble: Dribble the ball through your legs in a figure 8 pattern, switching hands at the crossover point.
  • Speed Dribble: Dribble the ball as fast as you can, keeping it low and controlled, and making sure to maintain good form.

Layup Drills – These drills help players practice their layup shots, which is a crucial aspect of offense in basketball. This can include stationary layups, power layups, and more.

Some examples include – 

  • Stationary Layup: Stand in front of the basket, dribble the ball two or three times, and then make a layup shot.
  • Power Layup: Start under the basket and make a powerful leap, slamming the ball into the basket with one hand.
  • Drop Step Layup: Start on the baseline and dribble the ball toward the basket, using a drop step to get around a defender and make a layup.

Shooting Drills – Shooting drills focus on helping players improve their shooting accuracy and consistency, including drills for jump shots, free throws, and more.

Some examples include – 

  • Spot Shooting: Stand in various spots around the perimeter and make shots, focusing on form and accuracy.
  • Free Throw Shooting: Practice making free throw shots, focusing on mental preparation and a consistent routine.
  • Game-Speed Shooting: Work on making shots at game speed, simulating the
  • 3-Point Shooting: Practice making 3-point shots from various spots around the perimeter.
  • One-Dribble Pull-Up: Start with the ball in your hands, take one dribble, and then pull up for a jump shot.
  • Shooting off Screens: Practice shooting off screens, simulating how you would receive a pass and shoot in a real game situation.

Footwork Drills – These drills help players improve their footwork and balance, which is important for maneuvering around defenders, jumping for rebounds, and making shots.

Some examples include – 

  • Slides: Start in a defensive stance and slide from side to side, working on footwork and balance.
  • Jump stops: Start with a dribble and then stop quickly, making a jump stop and landing in a balanced position.
  • Pivot drills: Practice pivoting on one foot, keeping your body in control and your eyes on the basket.

Ball Handling Drills – Ball handling drills are designed to help players improve their ability to control the ball, including dribbling with one hand, dribbling with both hands, and more.

Some examples include – 

  • Pound Dribbles: Use both hands to pound the ball against the ground, working on hand strength and control.
  • Behind-the-Back Dribble: Practice dribbling the ball behind your back, switching hands and maintaining control.
  • In-and-Out Dribbles: Dribble the ball in and out of your legs, focusing on quickness and control.

Passing Drills: Passing drills help players practice and improve their passing skills, including chest passes, bounce passes, and more.

Some examples include – 

  • Chest Pass: Practice making chest passes to a partner, working on accuracy and power.
  • Bounce Pass: Practice making bounce passes to a partner, focusing on getting the ball to the target quickly and effectively.
  • No-Look Pass: Practice making no-look passes, focusing on reading the floor and making quick decisions.

Rebounding Drills: These drills help players practice and improve their rebounding skills, which is an important aspect of both offense and defense in basketball.

Some examples include – 

  • Box-Out Drill: Practice getting in position to box out an opponent and grab a rebound.
  • Tip Drill: Practice jumping and tipping the ball to a teammate, working on timing and hand-eye coordination.
  • Rebound Relay: Divide the team into two groups and have them compete in a rebounding drill, with one player grabbing a rebound and then quickly passing it to the next player in line.

Agility Drills: Agility drills are designed to improve a player’s overall quickness, coordination, and ability to change directions quickly.

Some examples include – 

  • Agility Ladder: Work on quick footwork and coordination by running through an agility ladder.
  • Shuttle Run: Practice changing direction quickly and efficiently by running a shuttle drill.
  • Cone Drill: Set up cones in a zig-zag pattern and work on changing direction quickly while dribbling a ball.

Defensive Drills: Defensive drills help players practice and improve their defensive skills, including footwork, positioning, and more.

Some examples include – 

  • Closeouts: Practice closing out on a shooter, getting into a defensive stance, and then challenging the shot.
  • Help Defense: Practice rotating to help a teammate, learning how to take away passing lanes and challenge shots.
  • 1-on-1 Defense: Work on individual defensive skills by playing 1-on-1 defense against a partner.

Conditioning Drills: Conditioning drills are designed to improve a player’s overall fitness and endurance, which is important for playing at a high level for extended periods of time.

Some examples include  – 

  • Suicide Runs: Run a series of sprints, touching different spots on the court and then sprinting back to the starting line.
  • Conditioning Relays: Divide the team into two groups and have them compete in a conditioning relay, with each player running a certain distance and then tagging the next player in line.
  • Wind Sprints: Run full-court sprints, working on speed, endurance, and mental toughness.

These basic basketball drills are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to improving your skills, there are hundreds of combos or variations you can implement on your own. 

The key to success is consistent practice and repetition, so be sure to incorporate these drills into your routine as often as you can. 

Don’t be afraid to try new drills and challenge yourself – the more you push yourself, the faster you’ll see progress. So stay motivated, keep working hard, and never forget to have fun! 


Hey, I’m Nick the creator of Basketball State…this site is a collection of hard work, research, and testing of everything the basketball world has to offer.