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Individual Drills

Mikan Drill
Named after the first real big man in the NBA, George Mikan. Start on the right side of the basket, while standing within layup range, go off of two feet and shoot a right handed layup. As the ball comes down, keep your arms up, take two steps to the left side of the basket and repeat the same motion only shooting a left handed layup. Grab the rebound, take two steps right, keep your arms up, and shoot a right handed layup. Repeat this rhythm drill for a total of 10 rotations.

Superman Drill
This drill uses the same motion as the Mikan Drill only it is extended to the outside edge of the "painted area" (more commonly known as "the lane"). Start somewhere between the lowest block and the next block toward the free throw line. The difference in the drill is you are not trying to make a shot. Throw the ball off the backboard above the rim at an angle. You want to get grab the "rebound" from the opposite side of the lane without letting the ball touch the ground. Younger players will want to take more than the ideal maximum of 3 steps to get to the other side. This is also a "rhythm" drill. Keep your arms and hands up. This a tough drill used for rebounding and footwork. Keep the rotations to no more than 10. Remember, stay outside the lane!

Beat the Pro
Imagine playing 1 on 1 with your favorite player. You are trying to beat them to 21 points. You must take "game" shots. You must picture someone playing defense against you. For every shot you make, you get a point and for every shot you miss, your imaginary player gets 2 points. When you get to 20, you take one last "buzzer beater" shot and you must make that to win. These are the type of shots which, at the end of big games, make online betting experts miss a heartbeat, especially when it's someone like Kobe Bryant or Dwyane Wade taking the final shot. See if you can Beat the Pro.

Shoot the Shot
Remember that old shooting game, "Around the World". Now, try adding a percentage to the game. Also, add two more spots, one at each "elbow". You will be shooting 5 shots from each spot. Along with the original five spots, (1) right-side baseline at the short corner, (2) 15 footer half way up and out from the baseline and free throw line, [you must use the backboard on this shot] (3) free throw, (4) #2 on the opposite side, (5) #1 on the left side and the additional shots at the elbow gives a total 35 shots. You have to make 3 out of 5 to move to the next spot or start all over. As you progress, make it 4 out of 5. Also, add 7 more shots. All off the dribble from each spot. This drill will make a shooter out of you. Remember, always stay under the 3 point line!

Ball slaps and squeeze
Toss the ball up like it's a rebound grab out of the air with two hands then try to squeeze the air out of the ball. Go around the body( head, waist, knees, and ancles) starting at the top and work your way down changing directions with the ball.

Figure 8's - with dribble
Spread legs dribble the ball in a figure eight motion around and between the legs. Do this with a lot of dribbles and then with as few as possible. Stay low!

Figure 8's - without dribble
Hand the ball from hand to hand as you go around and through legs.

Quick hands
With legs spread, hold the ball between legs with one hand in front and one hand reaching behind you, drop the ball and switch hands catching the ball before it hits the ground. Repeat as quickly as possible. You can also do this with both hands in front then catch it with both hands behind.

Tom-Tom dribble
Spread legs, dribble ball with right hand passing it to the left hand, dribble ball with left hand between legs and to the right hand, dribble ball with right hand now behind you to the left hand that should also be behind you, then dribble the ball back to the right hand now in front of the body, repeat.

Drum dribble
Either standing or on one knee have players dribble ball changing hands with each touch. Start with a steady dribble then work down to super fast low dribbles. then have them dribble with one finger on each hand and with their balled up fist.

Team Drills

Spot Shooting Contest
Mark several spots on the floor, and give each player 1 minute to attempt as many shots as possible. 1 point for a short jumper 2 points for a medium-range jump shot, 3 points for a three pointer, most points win.

The Ball Saver Take the team outside line them up at a marked line and the coach rows the ball and then at the blow of a whistle the player runs and divies to try and save the ball before it rolls out of the set boundries this will get your team to dive and fight for the loose ball.

Half Court Shoot-Out Divide the team in half, form two lines at half court facing opposite baskets. Each person on each team must convert a layup, bank shot from outside the lane, a free throw and a three pointer, in no particular order. If they attempt a certain shot three times but are unsuccessful, they may go on to another shot, or pass it off if it was their last requirement. The first team done , WINS, and they determine the consequence for the losing team, i.e. 25 sit-ups, 15 pushups, etc.

Defensive Challenge
Each player takes a turn playing defense against every other player. Defensive player rolls the ball from endline to offensive player at the FT line. Coach counts down from 5 as soon as offensive player touches the ball. If defensive player stops them from scoring (or shooting) they get a point, if the offensive player scores, they get a point. Keep track of scores and stops separately to determine who is the most effective defender, and scorer. Stop play in event of foul, no points.

Steals Scrimmage
All FT, FG, and 3 pointers count as usual. Teams can also score with their defense, a "stop" earns one point, a tie-up earns two, and a clean steal earns three points. OR, only keep score from defensive plays, not offensive scoring.

Ball Handling Challenge
Two lines in opposite corners of the same sideline. The first person in one line is going to dribble around the perimeter of the court with their left hand. The first person in the other line is going to jog backwards around the perimeter of the court two times and back to his line. The ball handler is trying to catch the backpedaller before he gets back. This drill practices speed dribbling with the off hand and footwork.

5 Second Denial Drill
Two lines behind endline, One line in outlet position First two players from end line lines box each other out as the coach (or someone else) shoots the ball. Whoever rebounds takes the ball out of bounds, hands it to another coach (acting as a referee), and is handed the ball back to inbound. The person who didn't get the rebound must deny the first person in the outlet for 5 seconds (the coach counts) If they are successful in denying the ball, the drill is over. If the inbound pass is allowed, the non-rebounder must play defense as the outlet person attempts to score AT THE OTHER END of the court.

Option: Skip the inbound pass and have the rebounder outlet the ball while the non rebounder has to bust his tail to get up the floor to catch the outlet person trying to score at the other end. When the same person has to sprint up the floor several times, he'll catch on to rebounding real fast. You can even keep track of who grabs the most rebounds and recognize them at the end.

Pass and Cut
Two lines: post players on the block and guards on the same side wing. Have post players take turns posting each other up.

  • The guard will make a post entry past once the designated player is open and calls for the ball. (This is a good time to emphasize the fundamentals of a proper post entry pass if you have not already done so.) The guard will follow the pass to position himself for the weak side rebound while the post player practices his drop step move.
  • Option #2: Instead of the drop step score, have the post player pass it back to the guard on the give and go, and then roll to the hoop so he seals off the defender. The guard can either shoot the short jumper or give it back to the post for the lay in.
  • Option #3: Have post players and guards trade lines and have post players work off the give and go.
  • Option #4: Add Defense on the wing so players must jab step or V-cut to get open As simple as this drill may sound, it really helps develop the two man game, getting in position for rebounding and there are many options (drop step dunk)

Box Out Drill
Partner group up, one player practices boxing out for 10 seconds while the other attempts to get to the ball which is placed on the floor in front of them. If player is successful in boxing out for the 10 seconds the other player does 10 pushups, 15 sit ups etc. If the other player gets to the ball, the box out player has to do the exercise. Players trade spots and repeat.

Team Rebounding Drill
Partner everyone up, one player is on offense, the other is on defense. Coach will shoot 5 shots from around the arc, the defense must box out to get all 5 rebounds. Penalty: 1 lap around gym for every rebound the offense gets. Switch up offense and defense, repeat the same drill.

Rebound Drill
Do you have a kid who gets a bunch of offensive rebounds and just can't seem to put the ball back into the hoop. Try this drill. Two people at a basket a shooter about foul line and the other kid in front of the hoop. Tell the shooter to shoot the ball and try to miss, have the underneath kid rebound the ball and put it back into the basket. (This drill paid immediate dividends)

Dribble Tag
Everyone dribbles a ball and they play tag, must be in control of ball when tagging someone, you may want to limit the area of play.

Knock Away
Everyone is in a confined area of the gym, everyone has a ball ready to dribble, when coach says go everyone must dribble while at the same time trying to knock the ball out of the other players hand. Players who go outside the zone, have their ball knock away or is not aggressive enough is out of the game.

Divide into two groups for full court races, i.e. dribble down right handed and back left hand. Dribble down backwards, and back frontwards. Dribble down and shoot till you make a basket, or shoot once and keep track of points. This might seem like a fairly simple exercise. But, speed makes all the difference, both on defense and when running the offense. When it comes to professional basketball, some live betting sites automatically give an advantage to teams with a high possession-per-game ratio similar to the '05-'06 Phoenix Suns or the '06-'07 Golden State Warriors.

During a scrimmage coach should start counting down from 10 (10-9-8-7-6 ...) Giving the players an idea what the end of a quarter is like, it cut down on the those wild half court shots with 5 seconds to go.

Freeze Scrimmage
Kids love to scrimmage and coaches try to coach with drills. Do freeze scrimmage, coach blows the whistle and everyone was to freeze right where they are. Explain who was out of position, missed a open person or someone was doing something right.

Corner Drill aka Bull Rush
It really emphasizes hustle, one-on-one moves and strong defense. Plus, the kids really enjoy it. You have the group divided up into two equal teams. Each team stands along the same baseline (separately) under a basket on opposing corners, with the first two players up for each team. Place the ball at half court. Coach will say "go", both players run to the ball, trying to get it. They are allowed to dive and hustle their best to get the ball. Once they get it, they have to dribble back to the basket and try to score, with the other player playing defense. If the ball is stolen, then they switch offense/defense. I usually give a time limit of 30-45 seconds and that makes them concentrate on end-of-game situations.

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