Basketball Practice Drills

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Basketball practice drills help teams improve everything from their shot selection and low-post game to full-press defense and isolation plays. In short, if a potential game scenario exists, there are applicable basketball practice drills that cover it. There are even drills that focus solely on last-second plays in which teams are down by two points with a second left on the clock.

It's impossible to fully prepare for every possible game situation, which is why most coaches run drills that cover the broad strokes. These include fast-break and free-throw drills, two-on-one defensive maneuvers (tandem defense), alternating layup lines, and spot-shooting drills. They also include more specialized drills such as tip-off exercises, "box out" exercises, penetration strategies, and defensive techniques such as drawing charges.

Basketball Practice Drills for Starters

Weave drills are a great place to start for coaches who have never supervised their own practices before. Here, players form three lines at the far end of the court and take turns passing and weaving in a braid-like fashion. This not only gets athletes used to moving the ball at full speed, but polishes their hand-eye coordination and teamwork skills as well.

There are several different basketball practice drills that are designed to hone rebounding skills as well. You may choose to have players line up at the foul line and dribble toward the hoop, then bounce the ball gently off the backboard. Players take turns jumping, catching the ball, and bouncing it back off the glass (all in one motion), so that the ball never touches the court. This may seem like an easy drill at first, but after a few rounds it can prove utterly exhausting, which is all the more reason to do it!


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