Best Basketball Drills for Beginners to Help You Own the Court
by Chance Team·
Once you’ve grabbed one of Chance’s unique basketballs, put it to the test with these drills that are guaranteed to improve your ability on the court.
After sinking a third bunker shot in a row on a golf course in Texas, winning a cool $100 in a bet with an onlooker, Gary Player was told something. The nine-time major winner was told: “I’ve never seen anyone so lucky in my life.” Player immediately responded: “Well, the harder I practice, the luckier I get.”
The balls may be a little smaller and the sport may be a little more mundane (unless you’re coming down the back nine at Augusta on Masters Sunday), but the point certainly stands for basketball. The more practice, the more comfortable you’ll become playing a sport and the more willing you’ll become to take more chances. Practice may not quite make perfect, but no-one gets to the level they want to in a sport without putting in the hard work when the spotlight is off.
The Best Basketball Drills for Beginners
Sport is all about fun and self-expression. There’s also fun to be had in the challenge of improving your game, giving you the chance to express yourself on a bigger stage. Basketball is no different and, fortunately, some of the most beneficial basketball drills for beginners are not boring, laborious tasks. They’re genuinely enjoyable drills that’ll take your game on the hardwood to new levels — and you’ll be having too much fun to even notice.
Basketball Drill 1: Loose Ball Drill
Basketball is as much about your mental toughness as it is your physical stature or technical ability. The loose ball drill manages to focus on all three of these aspects, as well as recreating the crucial in-game scenario of an open ball and a turnover to be won.
The best part? It’s as simple as it comes, and you only need a couple of buddies on the court to make this drill work. Two players line up on the baseline, back to the court, evenly distanced. Another player rolls the ball onto the court and tells the other two when to turn and sprint to the ball. It’s then a scramble for possession, and whoever wins the ball goes on offense for a classic one-on-one drill.
It may not feel like a realistic drill at first, but the loose ball drill centers on parts of the game that can’t be predicted or coached in. It’s all about awareness, speed, and willingness to get possession for your team.
Basketball Drill 2: Catch & Shoot
Here’s an entry-level, two-player drill that can become scarily addictive, and allows both participants chances to practice on offense and defense.
Five points are marked out on the edge of the three-point line, evenly distanced — so one directly in front of the hoop, one on either far side of the line, and one to the left and right of the center mark. Player A begins under the hoop, with the ball, and passes it out to Player B (chest or bounce pass), who is standing on one of the five three-point marks. Player A looks to close-out the shot, whilst Player A goes for the shot, without dribbling, and follows in for the rebound. Player B moves to the next mark of the three-point line and the process begins again until all five marks have been used. Player A then switches out to receive the ball, and try to make more throws than their opponent.
Evenly assembled and touching on a number of key areas (passing, receiving shooting, close-outs, rebounds), Catch & Shoot is simple basketball drill that’ll serve you well in any practice session.
Basketball Drill 3: Alternating Tips
Looking for a valuable drill to try out on your own in the backyard? Rebounds and tips may not be the most glamorous aspect of basketball, but the points to be gained from mastering it often decide games, so this drill is a must.
Head to the hoop and place yourself just to one side of it, facing the backboard. Starting with your outside hand, play the ball onto the backboard five times and tip it back onto the board, each time alternating which hand you use. On the fifth tip, aim for the hoop. Head to the other side of the hoop and repeat the process, once again starting with your outside hand.
Tip drills like these focus on creating soft hands and a consistent touch when you’re looking for some finesse on those rebound efforts. High school and college games are always filled with missed shots and potential rebounds from under the net, so mastering how to explode off the court, get up to the ball and control the rebound is a massive tool to have.
Basketball Drill 4: Curl, Fade, Cut
Slightly more complex, but still easy to get to grips with, this drill focuses on how to give yourself opportunities to make plays in a game by outwitting the movements of a defender.
As an offensive player, knowing what’s going on behind a screen with your guard is key, and it often comes down to picking one of three options: curl, fade, and cut. Recreate these scenarios using an extra player on the court and something just inside the three-point line acting as a screen (something hefty, like a box or trash can). Have the defender pass you the ball and then choose a defensive option around the screen, like gambling on an interception or coming over the top of the screen. Read it, react to their choice, and go for the best scoring option from there, whether it be a layup or a three-point attempt.
Basketball Drill 5: Close-Out
Of course, it’s not all about shooting and offensive plays. To get in the head of coaches and scouts and youth and amateur levels, you’ve got to show both the ability and the desire to carry out defensive assignments whenever needed.
The close-out is the most basic of defensive plays, coming out to the offensive player with the ball and aiming to deny them a chance to score. There are countless close-out drills to be done with multiple players, but even if there’s just two of you, you can work on technique and body position.
With the offensive player receiving the ball on the three-point line and the defender under the net, the defender should rush out in a low stance, shortening their final steps so they are able to react to any movements the ball-holder makes. Keep the inside hand high to work against the shot, and the outside hand low to try and defend against cross-overs. Try to force the offensive player outside with your baseline foot further back. Run the same drill 10 times and keep working to reduce the number of points scored on you each time.
Get the Right Ball to Ensure Your Basketball Drills are Effective
Of course, there wouldn’t be much point in following these basketball drills for beginners if you weren’t using the correct ball. Any scenarios and skills you’re working on will feel totally different come game-day if the ball you’ve been using is all worn out, or not the correct size.
Here at Chance, we stock both leather basketballs and rubber basketballs in multiple sizes that are used in official matches at youth, amateur and pro levels. Just as importantly, our ball designs are bold, unique, and expressive, adding another layer of style when you next take to the court and aim to perfect your game.
Now you know the best basketball drills for beginners, get the gear to put those drills into action — in style. Chance basketballs are all about bringing you a totally unique blend of quality and style. Find out more about our story here.