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Good Team Basketball Drills in Various Categories

Practice makes perfect, you've heard that before. We say that practice makes good, confidence & heart makes perfect...

Below, you can browse the different categories and drills to run with your team...

Choose a category:  Youth / Kid Drills | Defensive | Passing | Rebounding | Shooting | Ball Handling | Conditioning |



Youth / Kid Drills


In a circle, you in middle. The kids copy you running on the spot, jumping etc. When you say quick they get into the defensive position. However if you say get down they continue to do what they were beforehand. They are only out if you see them.


Along the center court line space out 4 to 5 players facing you. You should be off the court at center court. Instruct your players to move while dribbling in whichever direction you move - side to side, forward and backwards. Change direction without words so they have to keep their eyes on you. As they progress change directions more quickly and move faster.


Have a group of kids start at one baseline, don't bunch them too closely together. Each child in the group has a ball. When the facilitator shouts green light the children dribble forward, blue and they dribble left, yellow they dribble right, and of course red they stop. All during this youth basketball drill the children keep dribbling.


Coach times player for 1 minute; team counts aloud number of shots made and encourages player along the way.

Player with a basketball stands to the right of the basket, coach says 'GO' and player shoots a layup (using backboard) from right side... then miss or make goes to left side. She continues to alternate sides, team counts how many are made in one minute.

Coach may decide to give stronger players 45 seconds, weaker players 1 minute +.f



Defensive Drills


The player(s) line up and get in a defensive stance. The coach/friend blows the whistle. They then begin to defensive slide to the right. When the whistle is blown again they slide the other way. They continue this until the coach stops.


First you need to be in a defensive position. With the butt down and knees bent, stay 1 step inside and and make sure there are 2 or 3 steps between you and your man. You stand there till you see the pass being made to another man. You got to look strait in the passing man's eyes and if he is about to pass it go for the steal and the easy layup. This drill works best 2 on 2.


This drill requires you to use 2 balls and about 8 players. First you have one player standing at the baseline three point area (Low) and another is standing at the top of the key area (High). The rest of the group is behind the baseline.

First the baseline player makes a two handed chest pass to the 'Low' shooter and immediately sprints and closes out with feet 'Squeeking' and one hand up challenging the shooter. Once they have tapped the ballhandler then that person is allowed to shoot. Once a shot has been taken immediately locate, blockout, then rebound and throw to the next person in line.

Once a shot has been taken from the first group the next player throws a ball to the 'High' shooter and repeats the process. As your team gets better at closing out and challenging the shooter then allow for dribble penetration (3 to 4 dribbles).


This drill requires 5 defensive players with 5 positions, and then 5 offensive players...

1 is a fast person down to 5 being the center. 1 and 2 positions are on the top corners of the free throw on your team's side. 3 and 4 are on the corners of half court and 5 are on the free throw line on other end. The other team passes the ball in, and the direction he or she chooses (if he goes left the 1 will pick him up) that person must force him to the corner to the 3 or 4, the 3 or 4 will trap with the 1 or 2. Say the ball goes left to the two and the 4 traps in the center corner. The other side watches for a long pass. The 5 are the safety valve to fill in for the 3 or 4.


The drill starts with 1 player on the foul line, one on the baseline, and two in the paint. A coach or manager will throw the ball off the glass.

Once one of the two players in the paint has control, the player on the foul line sprints back the opposite lane and faces the offense. The two players in the paint go on a 2 on 1 fast break. The player on the baseline follows the play to the top of the key and will become the defensive player going the opposite direction. Once the offense shoots, or the defense makes a stop, then first defensive player and the offensive player who first handled the ball go on a 2 on 1 fast break the other way, while the player who followed the play sprints back on defense once they have secured the ball.

This defensive basketball drill goes 4 trips up and down the floor, as each player in the drill ends up as the defensive player once.

A 2 on 1 break is a nearly hopeless situation for the defense. But if you can convince them that by taking a charge, or making a routine stop using good defensive principles in a game, that those types of play can be huge momentum boosters or changers, then they will buy into the concept.



Passing Drills


Make a circle at midcourt, diameter about 4 meters. One player in the middle. First player passes to middle player, and goes after his pass. Middle player passes to next player in circle (clockwise) and moves into circle to replace the spot where the previous player came from. Ball may not touch the ground, use chestpasses.

Make it a competition by demanding 100 passes from middle to outside of circle without dropping the ball. If ball hits floor, start over again, and let players count loudly. If done well, also try overhead passes.


Start of with a line in the middle of the foul line and another line on the out-of-bounds line. Start with the ball at the foul line. Face each other then start to side step down the court giving each other a chest pass every 2 o 3 steps. Do not let the ball hit the ground!

Instead of just a chest pass, also try a bounce pass and a over the head pass.


-Players start at the wing and post positions on each side of the key while the other players line up in two groups at the top of the key. The first player in each line has a ball.

-The first player in each line passes to the wing player, using a chest pass.

-The wing player on each side passes to the post player, using a bounce or lob pass.

-The post player on each side pivots and throws an outlet pass to the first player in the opposite line.

-The first player in the line moves to the wing, the wing moves to the post, and the post moves to the end of the opposite line (everyone follows their own pass).



-Player 1 has the ball and stands under the basket. Player 2 and player 3 stand on each side of the baseline.

-Player 1 throws the ball off the backboard and makes an aggressive rebound.

-As soon as player 1 grabs the ball, player 2 and player 3 sprint to the outlet areas.

-Player 1 then throws an outlet pass to either player 2 or player 3.

-Player 1, player 2, and player 3 now stay in their lanes and pass the ball up the court by passing the ball from sideline to middle to sideline and back.

-The first pass received by either player 2 or player 3 beyond the half court line is taken on the dribble to the basket for a layup.

-The player on the opposite side of the player making the layup hustles and contests the layup.

-Player 1 rebounds the shot and the drill is repeated.


-Player 1 and player 2 stand 3-4 meters apart. Player 1 has the ball. Player 3 is the defensive player, and stands between players 1 and 2.

-Player 3 guards player 1 and tries to deflect the pass from player 1 to player 2.

-Player 1 works on ball fakes and steps through the defense to make the pass.

-When player 2 receives the ball, player 3 hustles over to contest player 2's pass to player 1. Player 2 must wait until player 3 is on him before he attempts a pass.

-Player 3 stays in the middle and defends both passes until he gets three deflections.

-Players rotate so that all three defend the passes.

Rebounding Drills


3 people line up in the paint. The first one is #1, the second is #2 and the third is #3. Put one person on the top of the arch and one outside the 3-point line down in the corner and another in the same position on the other side of the 3-point line. Someone should call 1,2, or 3 and then pass to any of the lines. When they shoot, the number of the person they called should go box them out. If the shooting team rebounds it, they can keep playing.


One line is behind top of the key. Two players are in each outlet spot, free-throw line extended. One defensive player is in the lane. Player number 2 in the line takes a shot on the basket. The first player in the line tries to grab the offensive rebound while the player in the lane tries to box him out. After taking the rebound the defensive rebounder passes an outlet pass to the same side the rebound was taken. The outlet player passes the ball to the second player in the line who now takes a shot and the drill moves on. After going to offensive rebound, players rotate to the same outlet spots as the outlet pass was made to. The players from the outlet spots rotate behind the line after making the pass to the second man in the line.

If offensive player does not get the rebound he should press the rebounder when he's making the outlet pass.

The number of rebounds each player has to collect can depend on the player's size and strength.


Two players begin on either end of the foul line (the elbows). Standing opposite them on the baseline are another two players. One of the players on the baseline has a ball and passes out from under the basket to either player on the foul line. The player on the foul line will catch and shoot the ball.

As soon as the player on the baseline passes out he will run out his opposite player on the foul line. He knows that he will shoot the ball immediately so he is aiming to get to the player and prevent him from rebounding the ball (ie block him out). As soon as the shot is taken the players on the foul line will contest the rebound.

If the players who started on the baseline have done their job they should have blocked out the two players on the foul line and rebounded the ball. If they have done this they then pivot away from the basket and make a quick outlet pass to a coach standing there - with the emphasis on a quick pivot and pass to initiate any fast break opportunities. If they have not done their job and the players on the foul line get possesion they simply try to score in a two on two situation.


At half court, designate a set number of players (I use 5) as defense and an equal number as offense. Set the ball at the center of the jump ball circle. With the defense on the inside of the circle, match the players up according to position.

With the players matched up facing each other, the coach blows the whistle. Offense (on the outside) attempts to get the ball, defense attempts to box out the offense. This drill can get a little physical but it teaches players the amount of contact that is necessary to be a good rebounding team. Try the rebounding drill and I'm sure you will see a change in your teams intensity level.


Place 1 player at foul line, one player approximately in the center of the paint and two players at low post. Player at foul line passes the ball to one of the low post players. The player in the center of the paint first defends the ball until shot goes up, he then gets back to box out the other player at the low post and make the rebound. If he does not get the rebound he defends the ball until the shot goes up again. He again boxes out and goes for the rebound.  

Shooting Drills


One player starts with the ball under the basket. The other player spots up from any spot on the floor. The ball is passed to the shooter who catches the ball low with his knees bent and shoots a jump shot. He gets his own rebound while the passer now spots up to shoot. After a pass is made get a hand in the shooter's face and go game speed.


Have a player shoot 10 free throws. However many he misses have the team run that many conditioners. Then have the same person shoot how many he missed the first time, and have them run how many he missed the second time. Repeat until he gets to zero.


Start at the top of the key and sidestep down to the base line, outide of the 3 point line. When you get to the baseline, sidestep back to the top of the key then sidestep to the opposite base line. When you get warmed up have some one pass you the ball as your keep sidestepping from baseline to baseline. Where ever you get the ball, shoot it. Have the person keep getting the rebounds and passing them to you. This basketball shooting drill is also good for three-point contests.


You should have teams of 4,5, or 6 players each. Divide them at the baskets. Line up at the low post, facing the basket. There are 4 shooting spots, low post right, elbow right, elbow left, low post left. Each player has to make 10 shots + 10 lay ups at each spot. Loser gets push-ups, winner encourages the loser.


You get a partner that is standing near the goal. You move to either elbow and your partner feeds you the ball. You then square up and shoot. Right after you have released you turn and run and touch half court and come back to the other key. Then your partner feeds you the ball again and you repeat. - Concentrate on hustling back and forth between shots(this will simulate getting tired in a game) - Also focus on your form and don't let it collapse after you start to get tired


Stand under basket as far as you can and still shoot a bank shot. Do 50 to 100 reps.

This is one of the most under rated drills because its so simple. It promotes proper form while strengthning the arm. The number of reps also promotes instintive ablity to square up properly and shoot with good form.

Also the speed at which you can rebound and go back up allows you to do this drill in a short amount of time. You can also do several sets of 50-100 reps as you advance and still finish ibn a short period of time.The key to this drill is to stand as far under the basket as you can and still bank the shot.


The passer has the ball and stands on the perimeter. player 2 stands outside of the three-second area. Player 1 is the defensive player and stands between player 2 and the baseline. The other players form a line behind player 3 behind the baseline.

Player 2 posts up, raises his ballside hand, and receives the ball. He pivots on his outside foot away from player 1, squares up, and shoots a jump shot.

If player 1 moves in front of player 2, player 2 steps to his non-pivot foot, sealing off player 1, and then makes a power layup to the basket.

Ball Handling Drills

1 ON 2

Divide the court in half lengthwise. Make up groups of three players to do the drill. You should have two groups going at a time. One on each each half of the court. Give a ball to each group. One player on each group is on offense and the other two are on defense. The offensive player must reach the other end of the floor, trying to beat both defenders. If a steal or deflection occurs, the offensive player gets the ball back at that spot. At the other end of the floor, the offensive player moves to defense and one of the defensive players goes to offense and they come back. Then let the next groups go.


This drill must be done on an open court. Have the players ready for the 4 dribbling drills starting at the endline. When the whistle starts, the player/s must dribble starting with either hand then perform the cross-over dribble, between the legs, behind the back dribble and the spin dribble. Each dribble must be performed each step. Meaning if we have 4 kinds of dribble, the player must accomplish all 4 dribbles at four steps. After they accomplish the 4 dribbles, they already accomplish 4 steps at the same time...


This drill, devised by the great Pistol Pete Maravich is an excellent drill for developing ball-handling and dribbling skills.

For this drill, all you need is a basketball and a circle to dribble in. (ie. free-throw or half-court circle). For anywhere from three to five minutes you dribble in the circle using all dribbling moves that you know of, ie. crossover, behind the back, spin, change of pace, under the legs, inside out, etc.

Do not leave the circle and do this drill as rapidly as possible without rushing. Start one day at three minutes and add a minute everyday until you can reach five. You should feel tired after completing this drill.


As the line jogs around the outside of the court, the ball at the front is passed back over the heads of the players, and the ball at the back is dribbled forward through the line, weaving between the players. As the ball reaches the back, it is dribbled forwards, when the ball reaches the front, it is passed back over heads.


At the half court circle place the first 5 or 6 players, each with a ball, they start to dribble within the circle trying to maintain their dribble while attacking the other players within the circle trying to knock their ball away. If a player loses his dribble/stops his dribble or is out of the circle, he then leaves the circle and passes to the next player in line. This teaches them to keep their heads up, use their peripheral vision, protect the ball and maintain their control upon contact, switch hands and keep calm upon pressure.

Conditioning Drills


Get in to defensive slide position (this can be used with or without a coach) if there is no coach picture one. Shuffle in defensive slide in the direction that your coach points. When the coach blows the whistle stop shuffling and pitter patter until he blows the whistle again. Then when he blows the whistle again do a push-up, get up and repeat.


You put a deck of cards at half court. Hearts represent lane slides, diamonds represent sprints, clubs represent wall touches or plyo jumps and spades equal pushups/situps. The whole team lines up on the sideline. The first person comes and gets a card. Whatever number he draws that is the number the team does. Jokers equal waterbreaks.


The player faces the backboard and stands one foot away from it. The player jumps with both feet and touches the backboard with both hands.

After he hits the floor, the player sidesteps with his inside leg to the other side of the rim. The player then brings his legs together and jumps to the other side of the rim.

The player should repeat the drill ten times and should then complete three sets of ten repetitions.


The player stands at the baseline. The player runs to the foul line extended area. The player plants his outside foot and shows his outside hand. The player stays low to the ground, pushes off his inside foot while showing his inside hand, and looks for a pass for a layup.


Players shoot jump shots at five different spots on the floor. In between each shot they sprint and defensive slide. Outline five spots, all on one half of the floor (left or right) for the kids to shoot their jumpers from. Players start at the first spot with a jumper, after shooting they sprint to the point where the half court line intersects the out of bounds line. (note: the spots for shooting should start at the baseline and move up towards the free throw line). After sprinting there, they reverse pivot (as to face the baseline underneath the rim) and defensive slide to the middle of the court, defensive slide back to the point where the half court line intersects the out of bounds line and sprint to the next shooting spot. Shoot at spot number two and repeat the sprint/slide sequence.