Young man practicing free throws on basketball court.

Individual Drills That Will Prepare You For the Basketball Court

3 Individual Drills to Get Ready for the Basketball Court

Although basketball is a team sport, developing skills as an individual player is vital. Whatever your position on the basketball court, practice is key. But what drills should a player work on when they aren’t practicing with the team? Today, we discuss some great individual drills you can begin on your own.

Individual Drills for the Basketball Court

1 – Full-Court Ball Handling – Basketball has undergone a big shift in the last decade. As players like Steph Curry, Lebron James, and youngsters like Ben Simmons have taken over the game, teams have begun to focus more on full-court handling and conditioning. Their success has caused college and even high school teams to adopt a much quicker pace.

One of the best ways to improve your ability on the basketball court is to work on your ball handling and conditioning with full-court dribbling drills. Work on controlling your dribble while sprinting full court, using multiple dribble patterns. Work on your crossover, behind-the-back dribble, and inside-out move. Envision that you are trying to break a full-court press at full speed. Regularly performing this drill will greatly improve your performance on the basketball court.

2 – Shooting Off the Dribble – Once you have warmed up with your full-court ball handling drills, begin taking shots off the dribble. Start at half court and sprint towards a spot on the basketball court before quickly pulling up and taking a shot. One of the reasons that the quicker paced full-court game has become so popular is because of the difficulty defending a pull-up shot. Steph Curry has made his name by perfecting his pull up three-point shot from a dead sprint. His quick release makes it nearly impossible to defend.

Practicing your shot off the dribble can bring your game to a new level. Make sure that you aren’t simply taking three-point shots. Mix things up and take shots from the wing and the key as well. You want to be dangerous from any area of the basketball court to keep your defender off-balance.

3 – Defensive Footwork Drill – This drill is excellent because you can do it without a basketball; you don’t even need to be on a basketball court. One of the most important aspects of perimeter defense is your footwork. Working on your slide step, drop step, and defensive posture improves your shut down defense on the basketball court. Make sure your posture is perfect, with a straight upper body and bent knees at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Keep your arms wide and your head up. Imagine that you are staying in front of a defender and quickly slide your feet laterally in one direction.

Start out simply going in one direction for about 20 feet before reversing. After you are warm, start throwing in drop steps (where you angle back as if the offensive player is trying to drive past you) every few feet. Mastering this drill will help you to keep up with even the quickest of ball handlers.

Looking for a Basketball Court to Improve Your Game?

Visit the Rocky Mount Event Center. Our state-of-the-art center is coming to Rocky Mount in Fall 2018. Our basketball court is the perfect place to improve your game or even play some pick-up games for fun. To learn more about our basketball court and offerings, visit our basketball page here.

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