The only way to be the best at anything is to practise, over and over again. So, if you want to improve your basketball skills, you can’t just rely on training programs and game days, you need some simple drills to practise at home.
The most effective skills-based drills to practise can be broken down into three categories: dribbling, passing, shooting/rebounds. Here are some drills that can be practised at home as a group or by yourself.
When dribbling, practise the power of your downward force and controlling the ball with spread fingers and alternating hands. Whilst it might be easier to use your dominant hand to practise dribbling, using your weaker hand and opposite arm to defend is a great skill to develop to improve your game.
Drill: Walk along, dribbling the ball through the legs and out behind the back, swapping hands. Work on increasing the speed of each pass once you’ve mastered the movement of the ball.
Drill: Set up a line of cones and dribble the ball between them. Spacing the cones closer together will increase the difficulty of the drill and encourage a quicker pace, developing advanced decision-making skills.
Passing is a crucial skill for ball movement up and down the court. Whilst practising passing ensure your stance is strong and balanced and focus on having the right grip when catching and passing the ball – spread the fingers to improve control.
Your passing technique should also include bent knees and a snapping of the wrist to pass the ball quickly. Passing drills will also build muscle strength, which will improve the power and force used for other skills as well.
Drills: Overhead passes, one hand passes and one hand alternating passes. These can be done with a partner or against a wall when practising solo. Overhead and one hand passes will develop your strength, whilst the alternating passing will develop your hand-eye coordination.
Making baskets and defending them wins games. Ensuring you have the right shooting technique and that you can make the shot from any area of the keyway is what you need to practise to improve your game.
Shooting technique can be a complex movement with many different mechanics to get right. You can practise shooting drills such as free throw shots and “Around the World”, but without guidance on the correct technique, you might be practising bad habits.
To learn the mechanics of your shooting style, it’s beneficial to attend a basketball program with professional coaches. Then once you’ve got your technique down to muscle memory, it’s time to practise, practise, practise.
Basketball drills teach hand-eye coordination, agility, split decision making and discipline and with the help of professional coaching, you can improve your skills and gameplay. There are many basketball training programs available to eager basketball players looking to improve their game, including personal basketball trainer and school holidays programs.
Once you’ve mastered your skills it’s important to practise whenever possible to be the best play you can be.