Basketball Drills You Can Do Anywhere

November 15, 2017
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To stay at the top of your game, drills are essential. Beyond keeping you in shape, they give you a greater range of control over your body. They enable quick bursts of speed when you need them and the agility to stop, start, change momentum, and outsmart your opponents at will. The best drills offer the same effectiveness no matter what kind of space you have available, so here are a few that can be done anywhere.

Around the World

The most basic of drills, but one of the most important. It doesn’t matter what level you play at, keeping the feel and physics of the ball ingrained in your memory is important. Stand with your feet together and bring the ball around your body from hand to hand. Start around your head, then move it down to your waist. Start varying the direction and the speed at which you do it. This not only simulates the behind-the-ball dribble, it keeps you aware of how the ball reacts as your maneuver it around yourself in play and increases your control over it even when you’re not looking at it.

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This is crucial for players who need to keep their hand-eye coordination on point and make sure they don’t fumble control of the ball. Stand with your legs apart, spread slightly wider than shoulders, with one hand in front of you and one behind with your knees locked. Practice dribbling the ball between your hands, bouncing it from the front at an angle between your legs to catch it with your other hand. Then pass it back between your legs to the hand in front. As you start to get better, increase the pace of bounces as well as the duration of the drill.

Dribbling Figure 8

Outplaying your opponent is all about how well you can bring the ball in and out of different spaces. Keeping it out of their reach and maneuvering through tight spaces allow you to maintain control in a variety of situations. This is what the dribbling figure 8 is all about. Once you’ve mastered the ricochet and implement it in your regular drills, stand in the same pose but give yourself more room to bend your knees and dip down low. Starting with your non-preferred hand, dribble the ball between your legs. When you catch it, keep dribbling as you bring the ball around your leg and pass it through again. Keep dribbling it around your legs, before you switch from hand to hand, keeping the ball moving in a continuous figure 8.

Shoot from the Floor

The best way to make sure you’re getting the muscle memory for a good shot, particularly by applying backspin, isn’t by practicing them on a hoop. Rather, it’s by lying straight on your back and taking a shot with your regular form. Catch the ball and do it again, repeating for about five minutes. Keep practicing until you’re able to do it consistently, working on the shooting muscles in your arm and shoulders while improving your range. Make sure your middle or index finger is the last thing touching the ball, creating the backspin essential for ensuring more accurate shooting.

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