Fundamental Drills For Overall Improvement
You can’t just go from 0 to 100 without years of dedicated practice and effort, make no mistake. There’s no way you can pass effectively without strong wrist skills; additionally, you can’t hit difficult shots without having worked your core leg muscles to the extreme. Improving core, fundamental skills of basketball are key to all players – not just beginners - and will vastly improve your game. These drills are simple enough that they can be done every day in almost any environment and are not those that you would normally work on at practice, so check out a list of CoachUp’s favorites!
The Wrist Skills
Shooting, passing, and dribbling all involve the motion of the hand and wrist, this rarely practiced motion reaps incredible benefits. While standing, put your arms straight up overhead, palms facing forward. Keep your elbows straight and do not move your arms throughout the exercise; remember this is a wrist exercise.
With your hands in a slightly ‘clawed’ position, flick your wrist backward and let it come forward without additional effort. Continue to flick your wrists backward. If your hand and wrist go back and forth with little effort, you’re doing it correctly. Do this for one to two minutes, even if the motion is initially very difficult.
The One-Foot Shot
You don’t even need a basket for this, but it will greatly help you with the form of your shot. Too often, players will shoot too far away and not use proper technique. Focus on the normal form of a quality shot – shooting with your legs, squared to the basket, good hand placement on the ball, good follow through with your off-hand providing balance, keeping your hands held high to look for mistakes, good ball rotation, etc.
Take ten one-foot shots from the right side of the basket, then ten from the left, and then ten from the center. Make sure to use the backboard from all three positions. This drill will help you develop the core skills necessary to get a shot off at the end of fourth quarter even when you legs are shot. Utilize the quality of the shot – not the quantity and as you expand your range work to keep the core tenants of your shot in check.
The key to defense is playing with your feet and not with your hands. Stay active on the balls of your feet – stay off your heels! – and slide in any direction without crossing your feet. Work to stay active, on your toes, and in balance with your feet at an even distance from your shoulders. In a standing position, move your feet to your shoulder width apart. Bend your knees, keeping your back straight and vertical, with no bend, and get in a comfortable, athletic position. Don’t let your shoulders get over your toes because it will eliminate your balance and speed.
Get big by fully extending your arms, this will help keep your hands in the passing lanes. As you get more comfortable, you can pretend there’s a ball handler in front, keeping a hand on the imaginary ball. Of course, if they cross over you’ll need to switch hands. Make sure to take advantage of the fast feet drill, tapping your toes as quickly as possible on the floor in front of you. For a more varied approach, change the direction of your movement without crossing your feet.
(Related: Read about proper shooting form here.)
As we’ve addressed before, learning and mastering your fundamentals are an absolute essential building block in any aspiring player’s repertoire. You can’t run before you walk, right? The same applies here and practicing these basic fundamentals with help you out so well down the road. The best thing about these drills? You can do them anywhere! In your driveway, kitchen or living room, just practice -- that alone will make the biggest differences of all.
If you’re curious about some more basketball fundamentals, consider booking one of CoachUp’s private trainers to set you on a path of awesomeness. Our staff will have you practicing the most key traits and ideals, and you’ll almost certainly see a rise in your skills in no time! What are you waiting for?