Different types of drills needed to master basketball

Basketball is a complex game and to master it one needs to practice multiple according to the position one wants to play in.

Basketball is a skill that must be mastered through hours of practice and hard work. Players practise their fundamentals through a range of team and individual drills. Any area of the game, including shooting, passing, rebounding, court vision, defence, and much more, can be the focus of a basketball drill! This is a list of basketball drills that will help you get better. 

Shooting Drills 

The Mikan Drill 

The Mikan Drill is a solo exercise that emphasises footwork and finishing around the hoop. Beginner players and large men who need to work on finishing at the rim should try this drill. For this drill, all you’ll need is a basket, a basketball, and one participant. The player begins the Mikan exercise by placing the basketball under the basket. The athlete will then switch between making layups with their right and left hands, grabbing the rebound, and shooting their next shot right away. When finishing, players should pay close attention to their footwork and make sure they are jumping from the right leg. 

Partner Shooting 

For novice players, one of the easiest yet most productive shooting routines is partner shooting. One basketball and two players are needed for this drill. At a predetermined place, one player receives the ball first, shoots it, and then pursues the rebound. The player who just rebounded will then transfer the ball to the next player, who will move to the same location and shoot. Until they achieve their objective (e.g., ten made shots), the two players will switch off between rebounding and shooting. Choose five distinct locations on the floor to shoot from, and for each location, follow the earlier instructions. 

Form Shooting 

As the name implies, Form Shooting is a practice designed to teach athletes appropriate form when shooting. It’s a straightforward exercise that needs to be performed numerous times for each athlete to become second nature with the correct form. Three players must be at each hoop during the practice, one on each side and one in front, and they must all be no more than two feet from the basket. Next, players practice bending their legs, lifting their shooting arms, and using the proper hand motion—often referred to as “reaching into a cookie jar”—to shoot the ball into the hoop. This exercise should be performed somewhere between 50 and 100 times to help a young athlete polish their form. 

Rebounding Drills 

The Superman Drill 

Players can learn the fundamental motions of rebounding by doing the Superman Drill, which is a basic rebounding exercise. All you need for the drill is a basketball, a hoop, and one player. This exercise can be modified in a number of ways to focus on contact finishing and raise intensity by adding more players or balls. A player begins the Superman drill with the ball outside the paint, on either side of the basket. The basketball will be thrown off the chalkboard and land on the other side of the paint. The player should then keep their arms fully extended, follow the ball as fast as they can, and jump as high as they can to grasp it. The player should keep a firm posture and bring the ball down to the chin after securing it. For the designated number of reps or time, perform these movements while switching between the two sides of the basket. 

The Circle Box Out Drill 

A fantastic practice for practising boxing out and rebounding is the Circle Box Out practice. Any number of players—two, four, or six—can participate in this drill. At midcourt, players will line up against one another in the centre circle, with the offensive players on the outside and the defenders on the inside. The two opposing players should face each other, with the ball positioned exactly in the centre of the circle. The defenders have to turn and box out for a predetermined period of time (typically 10–20 seconds) or until the offensive player(s) recovers the ball. This is when the whistle blows. 

Passing Drills 

Three-Man Weave 

A staple passing practice in basketball at all levels is the three-man weave. A whole basketball court, one basketball, and a minimum of three players are needed for the workout. On the baseline, the players will first form three lines that are evenly spaced apart. The player in the middle receives the ball first and then passes it to a player on either side of them. The player should follow the pass and cut behind the person they passed to as soon as they make it. Now, just like the first player did, the second player to receive the ball will pass it to the third player on the opposite side of the court, cutting behind them to follow their pass. The players should keep passing and cutting to cover locations until they get to the other side of the floor. 

Three-on-Two, Two-on-One 

A fun team exercise to practise passing and finishing in transition is the Three-on-Two, Two-on-One Drill. Two baskets and a minimum of five players are required. One side of the court should have three players and the ball at the beginning, while the other two should be on the other side. While the other two players on their side race in front of the ball, the player in possession of the ball dribbles down the court towards the two defenders. The player has to make a nice pass to an open teammate in order to get a quick shot or layup when one of the two defenders approaches the ball. After shooting the ball or turning it over, the player will race down the court to guard the initial two defenders, who will be going for a two-on-one break. Repeat the exercise now, changing the participants from the 2 on 1 to the new group of 3. 

The Hero Drill 

Another easy passing activity that helps students learn the mechanics of passing the basketball is called the Hero activity. Three players, two basketballs, and a complete basketball court are needed for the workout. With the ball in the hands of one of the outside players and the centre player, the players will begin the game in three lines that are evenly spaced apart on the baseline. Next, as they run up and down the court, the players will pass and catch the ball. The outside player will pass to the middle player as he turns to collect the ball, and the middle player will pass to the outside player without the ball. As they go down the court, the middle player will then hand the ball back to the guy who gave it to him and continue. Players should alternate after making a full circuit up and down the court; it is crucial to notice that they do not change positions throughout this practice. 

Defensive Drills 

The Zig-Zag Drill 

One of the most well-liked basketball drills for ball handling and defence is the Zig-Zag. One attacking player with the ball and one defence player is needed for this drill. The defender will be in a correct defensive stance in front of the offensive player as they begin the play at the baseline in the corner of the court. Until they reach the opposite end of the court, the ball handler will dribble quickly and forcefully from the corner to the foul lane and back to the sideline in a zigzag pattern. The defender’s objective is to stay in front of the ball handler at all times, adopting a strong defensive posture and dropping steps whenever the offensive player takes a turn. As they return down the court, the two players will trade roles. 

Defensive Shell Drill 

One of the most popular team drills for defensive posture and rotations is this one. This practice is used by coaches to instruct players on how to play appropriate assistance defence. Four attacking players and four defensive players are needed. The defence will create a box on each corner of the foul lane, while the offence will form a shell around the perimeter of the arc. The defence then shifts into position to play both on-ball and assist defence while the offence steadily distributes the ball around the perimeter. The coach has to make sure that every defensive player is in the right position before the ball is passed. Gradually raise the pass speed and integrate driving into the lanes for defensive slides as the players become used to the movement. 

Ball Handling Drills 

Two-Ball Dribbling 

A simple but useful technique for honing ball handling is two-ball dribbling. You can practise this drill with one player at a time or with several at once. With two basketballs in hand, the player or players should begin the game on the baseline. Then, they will dribble both balls simultaneously as hard and quickly as they can while moving up and down the court. Players can add variants for dribbling moves or pace after they become comfortable with the drill. Practising crossovers, between-the-legs, and behind-the-back manoeuvres are a few examples of how to move up and down the court while dribbling the balls alternately and running instead of walking. 

Chaos Call Out 

Basketball players can practise attentiveness and ball protection with the Chaos Call Out drill. Players dribble in a predetermined circular area to begin the practice. In an attempt to grab the balls from opposing players, one or two players will take on the role of defender. The coach will hold up one of five cards, numbered one through five, while the players are dribbling. Before the instructor sets the card down a few moments later, players must call out the number on the card. A player will be eliminated if their ball is stolen or if they don’t call out the right number in time. Players must stay aware of their surroundings during this practice in order to evade defenders and yell out the numbers on the card.


In summary, honing basketball skills requires commitment and focused practice, with drills acting as the foundation for development. There are numerous workouts available that are intended to improve players’ performance, whether they concentrate on shooting, passing, rebounding, or defence. Shooting drills that focus on basic principles, such as the Mikan Drill and Partner Shooting, help players become proficient in finishing around the rim and making accurate shots. By repeatedly practising, Form Shooting improves shooting mechanics and instils good form. Players can improve their ability to secure rebounds and hold their position against opponents by practising rebounding drills like the Superman Drill and Circle Box Out Drill, which are crucial for dominating the boards. Passing drills that promote collaboration and accuracy in passing, which are essential for smooth ball movement and scoring possibilities, include the Three-Man Weave, Three-on-Two, and Two-on-One Drill.

Defensive drills that emphasise posture, footwork, and team communication, such as the defensive shell drill and the zig-zag drill, also serve to emphasise defensive basics. Drills involving ball handling, including Chaos Call Out and Two-Ball Dribbling, improve players’ situational awareness and dribbling abilities, which are essential for retaining possession and dodging opponents. All things considered, these workouts are designed for players of all abilities and offer systematic ways to improve on particular areas of their game. Basketball players can improve their abilities and help their team succeed on the court by practising consistently and intently.

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