Basketball Defense Drills
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Basketball Drills To Improve Your Game

Basketball is a game that requires physical ability, mental concentration, and coordination. These qualities can be improved through drills. Which are designed to improve various aspects of the game. The following article will detail basketball drills for people looking to improve their skills on the court.

Dribble Basketball Drills

Some basic basketball dribbling drills that can be done are the dribble crossover, speed dribbling drills, and figure-eight ball control drills.

Dribble Crossover Drill

The goal of this simple basketball workout is to increase both your ability to dribble with both hands and your hand-eye coordination by dribbling two balls simultaneously. The athlete should be holding a basketball in each hand while standing in an easy-to-dribble position, such as in front of them. They should start by touching the non-dominant ball with their dominant hand crossed over. After that, cross it back over and contact the other dominating one.

Speed Dribbling Drill

This drill involves quickly moving around while keeping control of a basketball. To complete this drill you have to dribble the basketball around in a circle while moving at speed. You should move fast enough so that it is difficult to control your ball. If done correctly, this forces players to keep their heads up and pay attention when dribbling with speed.

Figure Eight Drill

Basketball Drill-man attempting dribble

This drill involves dribbling a basketball around in an ‘eight’ shape, dribbling the ball between your legs, and moving it up to shoulder height. This drill improves the handling of the basketball at speed as well as hand control.

Ball Control Drill

Here’s another straightforward drill. It entails passing or bouncing one basketball while maintaining control of another by keeping it still on the ground with your foot. You hold another ball in hand that is moving around while passing the stationary basketball back and forth between your feet. The stationary basketball should be at about the height of your knee. This exercise enhances both coordination and simultaneous two-handed dribbling abilities.

Other ‘Handy’ Basketball drills

The drills described below will help you gain confidence and agility to handle a basketball in a power dribble. This will help you run a fast break, cut through the defensive, and outmaneuver your opponents. 

  1. Power Crossovers
    • Power dribble in your right hand, and then quickly bounce the ball to your left hand. Power dribble with your left hand for a few seconds before bouncing the ball back to your right hand. 
  2. Dribble Blindfolded
    • For at least 60 seconds, power dribble a ball. This exercise aids in improving your grasp of the ball’s texture. The drill can be improved by carrying it out in the middle of an empty basketball court while dribbling and moving around.
    • Try power dribbling two balls, one in each hand, while blindfolded and slowly walking around a desolate basketball court to make the exercise much more difficult.
  3. 10-5 Repeats
    • One hand at a time power dribbling is practiced in this workout. Choose the hand you want to practice. Power dribble for ten seconds, followed by five seconds of soft dribbling. Replicate several times. Your arm muscles will learn to switch between different dribbling speeds that happen during game play with the help of this workout.
  4. Dribble Between Legs While Walking
    • You will need a stretch of floor to perform this exercise, such as a basketball court, a sidewalk, or a large, empty hallway. While moving up and down the walkway, power dribble. To perfect your fancy dribbling techniques, power dribble the ball between your legs. Do the exercise at a faster walking or mild jogging pace to improve the drill.
  5. Power Dribbling Sprints
    • You must run back and forth across the basketball court while power dribbling for a prolonged amount of time throughout this exercise.
    • Place yourself at the far end of the court. Return to the baseline after dribbling to the nearest foul line. Return to your starting baseline after dribbling to the center of the court. Return to your starting baseline after dribbling to the farthest foul line. Finally, take a dribble the entire court’s length before going back to your starting baseline.
    • One whole cycle of the drill is the entire continuous power dribbling exercise. To improve your dribbling, speed, and direction-changing skills, repeat several times.

Passing Basketball Drills

Drills to improve your passing skills in basketball are the figure-eight passing drill, zigzag passing drill, and the combination pass.

Figure Eight Passing Drill

Two players, each holding a ball, stand at either end of a basketball court for this passing exercise. They ought to be separated from one another so that it takes them longer than three seconds to make a full circuit of the court. In the first step of the exercise, player one forms a figure-eight pattern between his knees before passing the basketball to player two. Finally, as they run around the court together, he should grab it back from player two in another figure-eight pass.

Zigzag Passing Drill

This is an advanced passing drill that involves three players who stand in the middle of a basketball court with one ball each. They should be spaced out so that there is enough room for them to run between players. The drill starts by passing the basketball from player A to B, then on receiving it back from B, player C passes it across to A and begins running around the outside of this triangle. Players B and C should be passing the basketball across in a zigzag pattern, and they all must move at a speed so to complete this drill.

Combination Pass

This complex pass entails dribbling around three cones that are arranged in a triangle arrangement on the ground. Player 1 begins with both feet outside of cone A, moves into cone B, moves outside of that into cone C, and then passes to player 2 from inside of cone C. The exercise continues by having player two give it back before passing once more in a combo play. Players’ passing abilities can be improved when traveling quickly if this is done quickly.

Finishing Basketball Drills

While developing diverse abilities away from the basket is important and is often the emphasis of players and coaches, it is irrelevant in the end if the player is unable to complete finishing near the basket. The finest athletes make finishing at the rim simple. To build confidence around the basket, we do these game-like finishing drills.

Mikans and reverse mikans

This is a great drill to work on shooting close to the basket. It’s a great warm up drill to start every shooting workout with. Rebounding and quick feet also play a role in this drill.

  1. Instructions:
    • Stand to one side of the basket slightly inside of the block facing the baseline. Jump and power the ball up for a lay up. Make sure to use the backboard.
    • Soon as you land, jump back up and rebound the ball out of the net. Try to rebound the ball as high as possible. When you grab the ball, keep it above your head.
    • Your jump should transition you to the other side of the hoop. If you shoot on the right side, your jump should take you to the left side.
    • Continue the process side to side working on your left and right hands.
    • Continue this pattern back and forth for a set number of repetitions.
  2. Points of Emphasis:
    • Explode towards the basket on every jump.
    • Get the ball up and off the glass. Aim for the top corner of the square.
  3. Variations:
    • Reverse Mikan – Mikan back and forth with your back to the baseline instead of facing the baseline.
    • One Leg – Jump off one leg back and forth. You can do this with Mikan and Reverse Mikan.

Warm Up Floater/Runner Drill

It is good for warming up, because after that drill players always hot and ready for tough work.

The main idea in this drill is to develop touch between the hands, ball, basket and range to the rim. A “floater” is designated as a high arcing shot from two foot, while a “runner” is a high arcing shot from one foot. Progression is as follows:

  • 15 floaters using the backboard
  • 15 floaters without using the backboard
  • 15 runners with using the backboard
  • 15 runners without using the backboard

Perform this drill on both sides, using right hand from right side and left hand from left side. It’s key to make sure floaters are shot outside of the 3-second zone (paint) to simulate shooting over a defender that will be protecting the rim.

Power Layup

This drill helps players improve their dribbling skills as well as finish shots with a high degree of accuracy. The player should start under the basket facing away from it. He or she then begins dribbling at speed while turning around quickly to face the basket and gets his body into a position where it is facing directly towards the rim. The drill ends with them making a power layup shot, while their opposite hand rests on top of or underneath the ball, depending on preference.

Off-balance Shot

This basketball finishing drill involves players lining up in front of an empty net – they dribble a basketball with one hand while keeping their body in the opposite direction to where the basket is. Players will turn around quickly, and make an off-balance shot by releasing it from their fingertips.- This drill helps players reduce unwanted movement when shooting so that they can improve on accuracy as well as the speed of release.

Basketball Drills-attempting shoot

Jump Stop

This drill involves two players who stand at the top of a basketball key facing each other. They should be about an arm’s distance apart with one ball between them. They then begin dribbling towards each other and must jump stop when they meet in the middle so that it is easier to catch their pass after completing this drill.

Shooting Drills

The very best drills for improving your shooting in basketball are the one-handed shooting drill and the alternating hand layup.

One-Handed Shooting Drill

This basketball shot drill involves players standing on either side of a basket with their backs to it – they should be spaced out so that there is enough room for them to make shots from all angles. Players then begin making three or five repetitions of a jump shot from their non-dominant hand – they must make sure to follow through with this release and aim for the rim rather than the backboard.

Alternating Layup

This basketball shooting drill involves players standing in front of an empty net under each basket with one ball between them. Player A starts by making a left-handed layup, then player B follows by making a right-handed one in succession. Once they have both made their shots, the drill begins again with another combination of layups alternating between players A and B – this is to help them get used to different release angles when shooting so that if ever required to make a shot while off balance or sideways on it will be easier for them.

Drills Involving Contact

Drills involving contact could be considered one of the most important aspects in basketball – players can improve their hand-eye coordination, body control, and agility with these drills.

Basketball drills-attempting finishing

Two-Player Weave

This drill involves two players who begin by standing on either side of a basket while holding onto it for support – they then weave around each other twice before coming to an abrupt stop just inside half court while facing away from the net. They both cross over once quickly so that they are now heading towards the rim. Where player B must finish with a layup after making contact with player A’s arm which is extended outwards behind him or her. The drill continues again only this time at high speed to help them get used to moving faster when required during gameplay situations.

Contact Drill

In this exercise, players line up in a row. Around halfway through, the first player hands the next player the ball they started with. Next, after pushing off of each other’s backs, they make contact before taking two crossover steps and another contact-making inside layup shot.

The person after them must rebound their ball quickly so that they can begin passing it back between themselves. As well as performing this same layup move for three repetitions or more depending on preference.

Defensive Slides

Another exercise involves two persons facing each other as they stand at half court. The basketball should be held by both players with their arms extended forward (one arm straight ahead and one arm diagonally from the top right).

A basketball is passed to player B to start the practice. she takes two crossover steps and then sprints as far back as she can. They did this, always maintaining their outstretched arms in contact. Player B must make sure to maintain contact with the ball while moving forward in tandem with it after they have passed each other.

Players should focus on quick deceleration and acceleration movements, rather than slowing down completely which will help reduce injury risk.


If you want to improve your all-around basketball game, we recommend that you try these basic drills. However, there are many more great drills out there and the best way to find them is through trial and error. So if any other basketball drill comes to mind please share it below!


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