Basketball is a widely followed sport in the United States, and so many people dream of becoming one of the greats and playing for their favorite team. Basketball drills are an integral part of becoming a good player. So are you just getting started on your dream to become the next Kobe Bryant?
Basketball is one of the most explosive games made. It is short and fast, with only 5-member teams. Although each member has their own role to play, everyone starts out at the same point, with the same exercises.
The following beginner drills will make sure you stay on top of the game right from the start.
Basic Basketball Drills
The main purpose for these exercises is protection for bones and ankles, before developing skills. The good thing about basketball is that you can do both at the same time. The point of these drills is also to get a young player acquainted with the game. It also helps the coach in discovering the core competence of a player, whether he is a good passer or a good dribbler.
But initially, I suggest that the coach ought to take the players through all the basic drills, identify individual aptitudes and liking and only then get the player to go through specialized drills. So these basic exercises include all the ones which a player is expected to go through while he/she is still in the learning stage.
This is a very basic and simple drill where a player has to stand 2 – 3 feet away from the backboard on either the left or right side of the basket. Take a shot and make sure that the ball goes in using the perfect form. Take help from your coach to get your form right. Take 15 shots from the right side and then 15 shots from the left. Then step back another 2 – 3 feet and repeat the drill.
Fake and One-Dribble
Here, a player tosses the ball to himself, catches it and stands in the triple threat position. Then the player makes a solid pump fake and takes a strong dribble towards the basket. The player then makes a stop and goes up for a jump shot. This drill can be done 5 times from the right side and 5 times from the left side.
It is essential that a player learns to take quick shots early. In this drill the player takes a shot, but tries to increase the speed of shoot. Take 25 such quick shots and make sure to time yourself so that you can monitor your progress.
Shooting with a Partner
If you have someone to practice with, this exercise is great to break into the flow of shooting and collecting. Player 1 takes the shot with player 2 nearby. Player 1 collects the ball and passes it to player 2 who then shoots. He will collect the ball and pass it back to player 1, who shoots. Repeat till you get a firm grip and a smooth form.
Passing the Ball
It is essential to develop this very common form of passing for beginners. Two players have to stand at a distance of 6 – 8 feet. Then one player steps forward with a right foot and makes a chest pass by flicking the wrists. Each player does it 5 times with the right footstep and 5 times with the left footstep. Repeat the drill by positioning yourself 5 feet further.
For this, two players should stand 6 – 8 feet apart. The first player takes a right step forward and shoots the ball in a way that it bounces at 2/3rd the total distance, and the other player catches it around waist-height. Make 5 passes each with the left step forward and then the right step forward.
Overhead Two-Handed Pass
Two players stand 25 feet apart. One player makes an overhead throw and steps forward while throwing it. The other player repeats it. The important point here is accuracy. Make sure that the ball reaches the other player perfectly.
Catching the Ball
Learning this is as important as any other action in the game. To catch the ball properly, you have to relax and slightly bend your knees, while keeping your hands open and at waist-height. Always remember to move into the pass and watch the ball till it lands firmly in your hands.
Figure 8 Dribble
Stand in the triple threat position. Here the player takes the ball and dribbles it around the legs in a figure 8 motion. The ball goes from the front of the front leg, behind the front leg, around the back leg and back to the front of the front leg.
Lunges and Dribbling
Keep your knees relaxed, back straight and lean forward a little. Then put one foot forward and bend that leg’s knee, till the other leg’s knee is almost toughing the ground. Dribble the ball in this position on both sides. Repeat for other leg. This helps you keep balance and increases leg strength for getting out of tight situations.
Full Court Speed Dribble
In this drill, the player stands at one end of the court on the back line and dribbles as fast as possible, taking the least number of steps forward. Reduce the number of steps and the amount of time taken in the next repetitions.
As always, remember to warm up properly before starting on these drills. If you’re a coach, make sure the player’s joints are strong enough. If you’re a player, the beginning phase is where it is most important to make sure you stay flexible and in control, until muscle memory sets in.