Basketball may be a team sport, but your child can still practice drills independently to improve their skills outside of organized practice. Encourage them to try these beginner routines at home, in the driveway, or at the gym to help build dribbling, shooting, and passing skills.
Dribbling Drills You Can Do By Yourself
Work on coordination by guiding your child through the following dribbling drills:
- Fingertip Drill: Get your hands ready for a basketball workout with this drill. Simply flick the ball from one hand to the other, being sure to keep the ball on the fingertip and don’t let it touch the palms. For more difficulty, move the ball up and down and side to side while still only using the fingertips.
- Stationary dribbling: This drill improves ball-handling skills for beginners. Stand with your knees bent and feet shoulder-width apart. Dribble with one hand for a set time, such as 30 seconds. Then, cross over to the other hand and dribble for the same length of time. Try to keep your eyes and head looking forward as you dribble.
- Pound dribbling: It’s important to get comfortable with pound dribbles to eventually unlock advanced ball-handling moves. Start by dribbling the ball in one hand at waist height for several seconds. Then, slowly lower your hand toward the ground, increasing the dribbling speed in the process. Get as low as you can before the ball loses its bounce.
- Stationary dribbles and crossovers: This basketball drill is a simple combo anyone can try. Assume an athletic stance, with your knees bent, feet shoulder-width apart, and body leaning forward slightly at the waist. Do a pound dribble with one hand and cross the ball over to the other hand. Do a pound dribble with this hand, and cross the ball back over. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Jog-in-place dribbling: You can multitask with this drill to warm up your muscles and practice dribbling at the same time. Jog in place while dribbling the ball from one hand to the other. Cross the ball in front and behind you, if you can, while keeping your head up and eyes forward.
- Dribbling while running laps: Dribble with one hand around the perimeter of the court. When you make it all the way around, switch hands, and go around again. Complete a total of four laps, switching dribbling hands each time.
- Lateral dribbling: Dribble with your left hand while doing defensive slides to the left. Then, crossover the ball to your right hand and do defensive slides to the right. Maintain a defensive stance throughout the exercise, leaning forward slightly with a strong, straight back and your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
Shooting Drills You Can Do By Yourself
Help your child practice shooting from different distances with this simple shooting drill:
- Take 10 shots standing about 5 feet from the basket. If you make at least six of these shots, advance to the next position. If not, shoot all 10 baskets again.
- Take a big step back and shoot another 10 times. Make at least six of the shots before advancing to the next position.
- Continue this pattern until you reach the free-throw line. Beginners and intermediate players may stop here. More advanced players should continue the exercise until reaching the three-point line.
If shots consistently fall short, instruct your child to move closer and readjust their shooting form. Remember, the hand and elbow should make an L shape below the ball when they’re about to shoot.
Passing Drills You Can Do By Yourself
Passing occurs between teammates during a game, but your child can practice their passing and catching skills with help from a wall. Here are two drills to try:
- Wall passing: Aim for an imaginary target on the wall with a one-handed pass. Retrieve the ball when it bounces back and throw it again but with the opposite hand this time. Keep switching hands for a total of 10 to 20 passes.
- Wall toss, jump stop, and pivot: Stand 10 to 15 feet from the wall and pick a spot to aim for. Do a chest pass to the wall and let the ball bounce back. After catching the ball, dribble parallel to the wall for a few strides and back to the original position. Do a jump stop, pivot, and pass to the wall again. Repeat this drill 10 times.
Sign Up Your Child for Youth Basketball
Are you ready to instill a love of basketball in your child? i9 Sports®® has a league for you! Our programs teach the fundamentals like dribbling, shooting, and passing through fun, age-appropriate instruction. As players progress, they learn increasingly complex skills that build confidence for the next game. We emphasize good sportsmanship in our one-day-a-week classes that work for your busy family. In short, our youth basketball program is The Way Youth Sports Should Be®! To learn more, feel free to browse our programs or find an i9 Sports® office near you.