Welcome Coaches! On this page, we’ve pulled together a collection of 22 simple, fun and effective basketball drills designed for all ages.

We’ve included a variety of drills, from basic fundamentals to more advanced game situation drills. So there’s something here for everyone, whether you’re coaching first-graders or high-schoolers.

To get started, click on any of the section links below. Or just scroll down to browse and find the basketball drills you’re looking for!

 

PRO TIP: If you want to get your coaching on the fast track, make sure you check out our Print n' Go Basketball Practice Plans collection. It's jam-packed with 18 proven basketball drills, all organized into 6 step by step practice plans you can print out and take right to the gym.

basketball drills - shooting

Basketball Drills for Shooting

 

One-Hand Form Shooting Drill

Purpose

Players work on shooting form.

Drill Setup

  • Players pair up and line up across from each other on different sides of the lane.
  • One player of each pair has a basketball.
Basketball Drills - Form Shooting Drill
One Hand Form Shooting Drill

How it Works

  1. Player with the ball starts by holding it out front on one hand.
  2. He then locks and loads into shooting position, putting the ball into the shooting pocket. The off hand stays off the ball.
  3. The player then shoots for the stars. He goes through his shooting motion and shoots a high, soft shot, letting the ball go out in front of him.
  4. Player holds follow-through until ball hits the court.
  5. The opposite player grabs the ball and then goes through the above steps.
  6. Once they get the hang of it, each player grabs their own ball. Set up 3-5 feet from the basket and take one-handed form shots at the basket.
  7. If a player makes 3 consecutive shots, he takes a step back. Repeat until the player reaches the free throw line.

Coaching Tips

  • Younger players should be practicing this drill with a smaller size ball and lower nets appropriate for their age group
  • The shot’s power should be coming primarily from the legs. Players should not need to hoist it up using a chest-push or throw it from the shoulder.
  • Wrist should be bent back in the load position so the ball is on a pedestal.
  • Players should be extending their shooting arm up and forming a parachute on the follow through.

 


Bunny Shooting Drill

Purpose

This drill focuses on coming to a stop under control, and staying balanced through the jump shot.

How it Works

  1. Starting on the right wing, take one dribble towards the hoop.
  2. Come to a jump stop at about 10-12 feet.
  3. Pull up and hit the bank shot.
  4. Secure your rebound, sprint out to the wing, and repeat.
Bunny Shooting Drill

Coaching Tips

  • Make sure to keep the amount of work balanced, working both right and left hand sides.

 


Power Layup Drill

Purpose

Players learn to shoot a power layup, which can be used when there is going to be contact or when a player is moving fast and needs to gain control before shooting.

Drill Setup

  • Players form two lines, one on each wing.
Power Layup Drill

How it Works

  1. Player on right dribbles in to the basket.
  2. Player executes a two-footed quick stop, goes up strong with both hands and shoots the layup off the glass.
  3. Player on left now goes and does the same thing.
  4. Action alternates from side to side.
  5. After shooting, player gets his own rebound and goes to the back of the opposite line.

Coaching Tips

  • On the quick stop, gather the ball, hop and land with knees bent and balanced on two feet
  • Players can use their strong hand on both sides of the rim because this move is more like a short jump shot than a layup.
  • On the quick stop, the players toes should be pointed toward the baseline.
  • You can also incorporate a pump fake into this drill

 


Jab, Pump & Go Drill

Purpose

This is a great triple threat drill that works on attacking both inside and outside off the fake.

jab pump go basketball drill
Jab Pump & Go Drill

How it Works

  1. Start on the right wing in the triple threat, then jab step with your right foot.
  2. Step back and pump fake, selling the shot.
  3. Explode out of the triple threat with a hard dribble.
  4. Finish strong at the rim with a right handed layup.
  5. Grab the rebound and sprint out to the wing to do it again.

Coaching Tips

  • Take your time with the fakes.
  • Keep the plant foot firmly on the ground.

 


Olympic Shooting Drill

Purpose

Being able to measure improvement over the course of the season can be difficult in some basketball drills, but not so in Olympic shooting. This is a great transition drill that will allow you to hold your players accountable and force them to strive to do better each and every practice.

The goal here is for the team to accumulate 150 points over a 4 minute period. They get one point for a layup, two points for a mid range shot, and three points for shots from behind the arc.

basketball drills - olympic shooting
Olympic Shooting Drill

Drill Setup

  • Your players will form three lines at each end of the court, with the player in the middle on one side starting with a ball.
  • The second players in the outside lines will also have basketballs, as well as the players at the front of the line on the opposite end of the court.

How it Works

  1. To begin the drill, this player will push the ball up court aggressively, as if they were attacking the middle on a fast break.
  2. After crossing halfcourt and before crossing the three point arc, the ballhandler will pass to one of the two wings, who will catch the pass and finish with a layup at the hoop.
  3. The passer will fill in behind the player he just passed to, receiving the pass from the corresponding line on the baseline.
  4. The player on the opposite wing who did not receive the pass will also catch a pass from the baseline.
  5. From here, they have the choice to take a three point or mid-range shot, while the passers will take off downcourt as the drill continues.
  6. The player who took the layup will then grab his own rebound and push the ball immediately up to the other hoop, again passing to either wing and then taking his shot.

Coaching Tips

  • A good starting goal for the team is 150 points, and generally we have the players run sprints for every point they're short of the goal.
  • You should keep note of the final result each time you finish the drill and adjust the goal accordingly as to keep your players engaged and motivated to improve.
  • It's also a good idea to have the whole team count out each basket made, keeping everyone aware of the total.

Need more? Check out our complete collection of basketball shooting drills.

 

Basketball Drills for Dribbling

Ballhandling Circuit

Purpose

Helps players warm-up and get a better feel for handling the ball.

Drill Setup

  • Each player has a ball and 3-5 feet of space around him.

How it Works

Coach takes the players through a series of ballhandling drill:

Ball Wraps - players move ball around the head. Then around the waist. Then around both legs. Then around each individual leg. Repeat each variation for 30 seconds, then repeat going in the opposite direction.

Ball Wraps

 

Figure 8 - pass the ball around one leg, through the legs, then around the other leg, forming a figure 8 pattern. Repeat for 30-60 seconds, then reverse direction.

Figure 8 Dribble - repeat the figure 8 pattern, this time dribbling the ball around and through your legs. . Repeat for 30-60 seconds, then reverse direction

Figure 8

 

Lying on Your Back - Start by sitting down while dribbling the ball beside your hip. Slowly lie down until your back is flat on the floor, keeping the dribble going. Repeat for 30 seconds, sit back up, transfer the ball to the other hand and repeat

Lying On Your Back

 

Coaching Tips

Ways to make this drill harder:

  • Close your eyes
  • Wear mittens or garden gloves
  • Use a slightly deflated or worn out basketball

 


Corkscrew Ballhandling Drill

Purpose

This is a great ballhandling drill for beginners.

Drill Setup

  • Start holding the ball with two hands at about ankle length

How it Works

  1. Start wrapping the ball around your ankles, then slowly begin to move up to the knees.
  2. Wrap the ball around your hips.
  3. Then up around your head and shoulders.
  4. Go back down to your ankles doing the same thing in the opposite direction.
corkscrew basketball drill
Corkscrew Drill

Coaching Tips

  • Swing the ball around your body as many times as possible on both the way up and down.
  • Keep your head up.
  • Go as fast as you can to increase the difficulty.

 


Cone Crossover Drill

Purpose

In this drill, players dribble as they change speed and direction.

Drill Setup

  • Set up 5-10 cones in a line roughly one large stride apart.
cone dribbling drill for basketball
Cone Crossover Drill

How it Works

Beginning at one end, move through the cones, zig-zagging back and forth between each one, while performing a series of dribble moves.

    1. Crossover - dribble the ball from one hand to the other while changing direction between each cone
    2. Inside Out Crossover - take one "fake" crossover dribble, pulling the ball in toward the middle of your body, then back out to the same side, while keeping the ball in the same hand.  Then make a real crossover dribble as you move past the cone, dribbling the ball into the opposite hand.
    3. Between the Legs - dribble the ball through your legs from one hand to the other, while changing direction between each cone.

Coaching Tips

  • Use change of speed along with your change of direction. Explode from slow to fast on each move.
  • Keep your head up and see the court.
  • Make it easier: Increase the space between cones.
  • Make it harder: Use a flat or weighted basketball.

 


Yo Yo Dribbling Drill

Purpose

Helps players improve their dribbling, especially for the around the back crossover and the front crossover.

Drill Setup

  • Players line up anywhere on the court.
  • Coach stands in front of them.

How it Works

Side to Side Yo-Yo: Using the right hand only, dribble the ball back and forth in front of the body, going from side to side. Repeat for 30 seconds then switch to left hand.

Basketball Drills - Side to Side Yo Yo Dribble
Side to Side Yo Yo Dribble

 

Front to Back Yo-Yo: Using the right hand only dribble the ball back and forth beside the body, going from front to back.

Front to Back Yo Yo Dribble Basketball Drill
Front to Back Yo Yo Dribble

 

Combination Yo-Yo: Using the right hand only, dribble once from side to side, then once from front to back, combining the two yo-yo dribble into one continuous motion.

Repeat for 30 seconds then switch to left hand.

Coaching Tips

  • Snap the wrist to drive the ball hard into the ground and move it in the required direction
  • Keep your off hand up as an arm bar

 


2 Ball Dribbling Drill

Purpose

A more advanced ballhandling drill to challenge your players' concentration and hand-eye coordination.

Drill Setup

  • Players line up on the court in front of the coach.
  • Each player has two balls
Basketball Drill - Machine Gun Dribbling
Machine Gun Dribbling Drill

How it Works

  1. Coach calls out dribbles from the two ball sequence:
  2. Low Rhythm: dribble both balls simultaneously to knee height
  3. Low Alternating: dribble both balls one a at time, to knee height
  4. High Rhythm: dribble both balls simultaneously to chest height
  5. High Alternating: dribble both balls one a at time, to chest height
  6. One High, One Low: dribble one to knee height and the other to chest height
  7. Players perform those dribbles as called.
  8. Coach critiques form and offers tips.
  9. Coach can then have players walk to half court and back executing the 2 ball dribbles he calls out.

Coaching Tips

  • On low dribbles, ball should stay below the knees, back should be straight, head up.
  • On high dribbles, ball should go to chest height. Hands should always stay on top of the balls.

 

Need more? Check out our complete collection of basketball dribbling drills.

 

Basketball Drills for Passing

 

Flick Pass Drill

Purpose

Players learn to properly execute a one-handed flick pass.

Drill Setup

  • Players pair off and line up across from each other in the lane area.
  • Each player should be on the edge of the lane.
  • One player has a ball.

How it Works

  1. Player with ball passes to the other player.
  2. They take turns passing the ball back and forth using a flick pass, snapping the wrist and releasing the ball with one hand.
  3. Start with the right-hand flick pass, then move on to the left-hand flick pass.
  4. Rule of thumb - work weak hand three times more than strong hand.
Flick Pass Drill

Coaching Tips

  • Passers start in triple threat position, catchers catch in triple threat position.
  • With a flick pass, players should step to throw and snap the wrist.
  • Follow through with your passing hand extended and fingers pointed
  • Catch the ball with "feet in the air" meaning you should jump forward to aggressively receive the ball.

 


V-Cut & Catch Drill

Purpose

Players practice cutting and passing to the cutter.

Drill Setup

  • Two players line up on opposite sides of the court at the free throw line extended.
  • One player has a ball.
V-Cut & Catch Drill

How it Works

  1. Player without the ball runs down and executes a V cut.
  2. Player with ball passes to the cutter, who catches and squares up to the basket.
  3. At this point, the person who passed, executes a V cut and receives a pass.
  4. Repeat

 

Coaching Tips

  • Players should catch and square to the basket in triple threat position.
  • Look for good timing of the pass  - should be delivered right when the player comes off the cut.
  • Players should hop off their inside foot to square to the basket.
  • You can also try L-cuts and back door cuts

 


5 Man Swing

Purpose

Breaking the zone defense can be tough - this drill will help condition players to pass quickly to spread the zone out.

Drill Setup

  • To start, you only need 5 players on offense to begin the drill, spread out over the perimeter. Later, you can add defenders to help provide more game-like situations.

How it Works

  1. Player 1 will start with the ball just outside the three-point line. He or she will pass the ball to either Player 2 or Player 3 to start.
  2. Then, the pass goes to the post position, and then cycles back around - 3,1,2,4 - and then cycles back again.
  3. Players can add a fake in here one way, and go back the other, but they should refrain from throwing the ball across the court - this type of pass is often intercepted.
5 Man Swing Basketball Drill
5 Man Swing Drill

Coaching Tips

  • This is a great chance to practice the overhead pass - which is often used to skip the ball against a zone
  • Adding a defense running a zone will help your players develop their swing pass timing and quickness, and help them spread a zone defense out.

 


Triangle Pass Drill

Purpose

To work on passing, catching and communication

Drill Setup

  • 3 Players grab a ball and form a triangle
basketball drills - triangle passing
Triangle Pass Drill

How it Works

  1. One player counts out "1, 2, Pass!" and simultaneously all 3 players will make a bounce pass to the player to their left
  2. Players repeat, continuing to pass to their left
  3. After a couple of minutes, have players switch directions, and pass to their right
  4. Make to mix in some variety and have players work on chest passes, flick passes and overhead passes as well

Coaching Tips

  • Players should be catching the ball in triple threat position.
  • To begin, you may need to slow the drill down and ensure players are using the correct fundamentals before doing the drill at full speed.
  • Remember, "ball in the air, feet in the air". This means that players should be catching on a jump stop, or by stepping into the catch - watch out for travels!

 

Need more? Check out our complete collection of basketball passing drills.

 

Defensive Basketball Drills

 

Defensive Stance - Chair Drill

Purpose

Players learn the proper fundamentals of a defensive stance

Drill Setup

  • Have your entire team stand with their backs to a bench, bleachers, or a row of chairs.
  • If there's not enough space for the entire team, split the team in half and take turns.
chair slide basketball drill
Defensive Stance - Chair Drill

How it Works

1. On the coach's signal, all the players will sit back slowly into the chair.
2. Assume the defensive stance position while sitting - feet shoulder width apart, back straight, head up, hands in front, palms up.
3. On the coach's signal, rise out of the chair while staying in the defensive stance.
4. Hold that position for 10-15 seconds.
5. On the coach's signal, take one step and slide to the right. Then one step and slide to the left.
6. Sit back down and repeat.

Coaching Tips

  • This is a great chance to walk through the ranks and review individual defensive stances. Make corrections, point out the best stances.
  • Keep the head level and torso centered on the step and slide. Maintain the space between your feet - never cross the feet over.
  • This can also work as a conditioning drill if you have players hold the defensive stance for an extended period.

 


Step and Slide Drill

Purpose

Players learn defensive footwork fundamentals.

Drill Setup

  • Set up two lines on the baseline.
  • The first player in each line stands on the block in a defensive stance, facing the baseline
defensive slides basketball drill
Step and Slide Drill

How it Works

  1. Coach says, "Go!"
  2. Players step and slide, zigzagging from the baseline to halfcourt. Step with front foot and slide the back foot.
  3. When first group reaches the free throw line, the next group goes.
  4. When all players reach halfcourt, players turn and step and slide back to the baseline.
  5. Next, run the drill with partners. One will be on offense. He will start in Triple Threat Position and then dribble an imaginary ball. The other will be on defense and will guard the offensive player using the step and slide technique.
  6. The players will zigzag to halfcourt. Once all players reach halfcourt, they will switch positions and zigzag back to the baseline.
  7. In the third version of this drill, the offensive player is given a basketball and he dribbles while being guarded to halfcourt.

Coaching Tips

  • Stress "step and slide, low and wide." Players should be pointing the outside step foot toward the direction they are going.
  • Make sure players don't cross their feet orbunny hop.
  • Players heads should be level.
  • When doing the partner version of the drill stress to the defender"ball, you, basket." Defender must always stay between the ball and the basket.

 


Take the Charge Drill

Purpose

Players learn how to get into position to take the charge.

Drill Setup

  • Player 1 has the ball at the top of the key.
  • Player 2 stands in the foul line extended area.
  • Player 3 is a defensive player guarding an imaginary player on the block.

 

Take the Charge Basketball Drill
Take the Charge Drill

How it Works

  1. Player 1 passes to Player 2 and makes a give-and-go cut directly into the lane.
  2. Player 3 leaves his imaginary defender and steps up to cut off Player 1 and take the charge.
  3. Rotate positions

Coaching Tips

  • The offensive player should make contact with the defender at medium speed. Use common sense to make sure players are not injured
  • To take the charge, players should get low to the ground and protect their groin area.
  • Players should absorb the contact into their chest and torso, falling back slightly as they are hit. Players should fall with their hands pointing forward. They should avoid bracing their fall with their hands backward, as this can lead to wrist injury.
  • Players should let the official know the extent of the contact by making a loud yell or grunt.

 

One on One Defensive Drill

Purpose

Players learn to put defensive fundamentals into play in real game-like action.

Drill Setup

  • Set a line of offensive players at the wing.
  • The defender stands on the same side block

 

one on one basketball drill
One on One Defensive Drill

How it Works

1. The first offensive player starts at the block. The defender goes into three-quarter denial from the high side
2. The offensive player cuts hard to the three point line to receive the ball. The defender closes out on the catch
3. They play one on one until a score or defensive rebound. Offensive player is allowed a max of four dribbles
4. Repeat, with the same defender guarding each offensive player once
5. Rotate a new defender in and repeat

Coaching Tips

  • On the post denial, the defender should keep his body on the basket side, and use one hand to obstruct the entry pass
  • You can also practice a baseline three-quarter denial and full front in the post
  • This is a chance to reinforce the proper fundamentals – don’t be afraid to stop the drill and point out specific corrections and pointers: defensive stance, closeouts, lead foot step and slide

 

Need more? Check out our complete collection of defensive basketball drills.

basketball drills for rebounding

Basketball Drills for Rebounding

 

Recycling Drill

Purpose

This is a great rebounding drill that focuses on securing a rebound with 2 hands and not taking the ball down too low.

basketball drills - recycling drill
Recycling Drill

How it Works

  1. Starting on the block, throw the ball up off the backboard.
  2. Jump towards the ball and secure the rebound with two hands.
  3. Come down with the ball. sell the pump fake.
  4. Finish strong with a power layup off two feet.
  5. Grab the rebound, step out to the other block, and repeat.

Coaching Tips

  • Squeeze the ball tight with both hands.
  • Do not bring the ball down low - you'll get stripped by the little guys.
  • If you can slap the backboard on the finish, do it!“  If not, jump as high as possible and focus on going up strong.

Glass Cleaner Drill

Purpose

This drill focuses on grabbing the rebound with two hands and landing firmly on two feet.

Glass Cleaner Drill

How it Works

  1. Start on the left lane, and throw the ball up off the backboard.
  2. Secure the rebound with both hands.
  3. Come down with a strong base on the outside of the opposite lane line.
  4. Throw the ball off the backboard going the other way, and repeat.

Coaching Tips

  • Land on the balls of your feet so that you're ready to spring right back up.

 

Need more? Check out our complete collection of basketball rebounding drills.

 

Transition Basketball Drills

 

3 On 2 To 2 On 1

Purpose

Players learn to make the right pass in fast break situations.

Drill Setup

  • Begin with three lines evenly spaced across the baseline, similar to a three man weave.
  • On the opposite side of the court, place two defensive players - One standing under the basket, one at the foul line.
3 on 2 to 2 on 1

How it Works

  1. Begin in a three man weave. Once the ball reaches halfcourt, it becomes a live game of three on two. The play continues until the ball is scored, rebounded, or turned over.
  2. The offensive player who last touched the ball (made shot, missed shot, or turnover) sprints back to the opposite end of the court. He is now on defense. The two other offensive players remain.
  3. The two players who were originally on defense now come back up the court and attempt to score. It becomes a live game of two on one.
  4. The play continues until the ball is scored, rebounded, or turned over.
  5. The drill restarts with the next three offensive players in line.

Coaching Tips

  • Players should attempt to score quickly (3 passes or less), simulating a real fast-break situation.
  • Players should move the ball up the court by passing, not dribbling.
  • Players should talk on defense.

1 on 1 with Trailer

Purpose

Learning to score and defend on the break as well as hustle and battle for loose balls

Drill Setup

  • Players will form 3 lines at half court, with a coach in the middle holding a basketball
1 on 1 with Trailer

How it Works

  1. The coach will roll a ball towards the basket, with both players in the outside lines fighting to secure the ball.
  2. Once a player has won the ball, the player in the middle line will join the play as a trailer the offensive player can use.
  3. The play is dead after one shot, and the coach will start the next group.

Coaching Tips

  • The offense must make a pass before scoring - this makes for a great opportunity to work on passing in transition.
  • Great for assessing a players skills in transition on both offense and defense.
  • The offense must score within five seconds or it is an automatic win for the defense.

5 on 3 + 2

Purpose

To make the defense get two consecutive stops or a three-stop total before they rotate out.

Drill Setup

  • Five offensive players are across the baseline.
  • Five defensive players are across the free throw line extended.
5 on 3 + 2 Drill

How it Works

  1. Coach passes the ball to one of the offensive players and yells a defensive players name.
  2. The defensive player whose name was called and the defensive player whose man received the ball both have to touch the baseline and then chase.
  3. The other three defensive players immediately sprint back.
  4. One defender (first back) yells, "I got hole! (rim protector)". The defender closest to ball yells, "I got ball! (stopper)".
  5. The third defender will take the first pass.
  6. The three defenders must slow the offense in a 5-on-3 situation until the other two defenders can recover and we can match up 5 on 5.
  7. The offense pushes the ball and runs the floor looking to score quickly before the defense can recover.
5 on 3 + 2 Drill

Coaching Tips

  • If you have 15 players, rotate offense to defense and then defense rotates out. New five come in on offense.

Need more? Check out our complete collection of transition basketball drills.

 

The Fastest, Easiest Way to Run a Killer Basketball Practice

Our Print n' Go Basketball Practice Plans are jam-packed with 18 fun and effective drills, all organized into 6 printable practice plans you can take right to the gym! Helping you save time, eliminate stress. And rapidly improve your team!

Click here to get instant access!