Advanced Defensive Slide

This basketball drill will focus on putting pressure on the opposing team’s offense.  In order to be strong defensively, you need to have good focus on the ball, and also be able to get your arms and hands up to not only attempt to block shots, but put pressure on your opponent.

When practising the Advanced Defenside Slide basketball drill, stand defensively at the corner of the court. Begin to slide as fast and as forcefully to the free throw line.  As you reach your destination on the court, pretend that you are defending an opponent who is about to go up for a shot.  At this point you will want to jump with as much strength as you have to pretend to block the shot.  When you reach the ground, rotate and pretend to block your opponent. Perform this basketball drill a total of ten times, alternating your starting point from each side of the court.

As you get more comfortable with this drill, you can add a twist to it to help you rebound the ball better once your opponent has missed the shot due to the pressure you put on them.  Similarly to the last drill, begin at one corner of the court and slide as fast and strong as you can to the middle of the lane.  When you reach your destination, pretend that your opponent that you are guarding is going for shot.  Jump up with as much strength as you can to attempt to block a shot.  When you return to the ground, rotate to block your opponent.  In this situation, pretend the ball is bouncing off the rim, take a couple of steps towards the rim, and jump as high as you can for the rebound.  Be sure to land safely with balance, and rotate in the direction of your basket and pretend to pass the ball to your team mate.  Perform this basketball drill ten times, alternating your starting position from each end of the court.

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Speed Defense Drills

If you take a look at the best defensive basketball players, you will notice they all have one thing in common and that is their speed and quickness to react on the court.   In order to become quicker on the court their are are few things you can work on.  I recommend performing foot speed types of drills which include defensive slides, jumping rope, and practising your sprints. 

To perform defensive slides, begin at the corner of the court on the baseline.  Slide to the middle of the lane, and then slide back to the sideline.  You want to continue performing this drill up court until you reach the opposite baseline.  This drill will really improve your quickness when it comes to switching directions and staying focused. See the video below for an example of defensive slides.

When it comes to jumping rope, you will want to begin with a 60 second warm up.  During the warm up phase, jump rope as a slow pace.  Once your warm up is complete, begin jumping rope with both feet for 60 seconds, then alternate feet for 60 seconds, then jump on one foot for 60 seconds, and finally jump on just the other foot for 60 seconds.  Perform five sets of this basketball drill and watch your foot speed really improve!

Lastly, you will want to focus on building up your sprinting ability.  This will help you catch a quick offensive player running down the court.  The best way to build up your sprints is to go to a track and begin with an easy warm up lap.  Take this initial lap at a jogging pace.  Once your done with the warm up, make your way over to the longer straight away portion of the track and just run sprints back and forth.  Start with a shorter distance and work up to more as time goes on.  I recommend beginning with about twenty five yard sprints.  Perform at least twenty sprints, resting when needed.

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The Bounce Pass

In this basketball drill, stand aproximately six to eight feet away from a partner and throw a bounce pass.  When performing the bounce pass, you should attempt to have the ball hit the ground about two thirds of the way to your partner and bounce back up so that it meets the player at around his/her waist.  When making the pass, ensure that you take a step forward with one leg.

Your goal in this basketball drill is to make ten passes at the distance mentioned above.  Once that has been accomplished, take about four to five steps back and successfully make another ten passes. You should continue tp move backwards until you are no longer able to make a successful pass to your partner.  Remember to focus on your form first and make the passes accurately.  Once you feel you have mastered the form, work on building up speed.

Being able to accurately perform a bounce pass will improve your offensive game.  Their are many situations in which a bounce pass is better utilized over a standard chest pass.  For example, when a defender is in between you and a teammate, a bounce pass would be much hard to defend against versus a standard chest pass.

Take a look at this video for more information on how to execute a bounce pass and when to use it.



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Dual Basketball Dribbling

Improving your basketball handling on the court can best be achieved when practising with two basketballs.  Dual basketball drills allow you to really focus on using both of your hands at the same time to control your dribble and flow in the game.  This basketball drill will also help you build strength and movement when you are dribbling with your weaker hand.

To perform this basketball drill, begin by dribbling both basketballs from center court to the free throw line.  You want to focus on having both balls hitting the ground and bouncing back up to your hands at the same time.  Keep the balls in sync while are are dribbling to the free throw line.  Once you reach the free throw line, you will want to change up the dribble so that each ball hits the ground at a different time.  Use this form of dribbling as you make your way to the baseline.  Once you reach the baseline, turn around and dribble the balls in sync again back to center court.  Perform this drill accurately for five sets.  If you need to go slowly at first to build up your skills with two basketballs that is okay.  As you get comfortable handling two balls at one time work on your speed.

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The Chest Pass

The chest pass is an awesome basketball drill for building on your accuracy and passing ball movement.  In order to perform this drill, you want to begin by standing approximately six to eight feet away from your partner.  To throw a chest pass, step forward with your dominant foot,  extend your arms fully, and make a pass.  Your partner should grab the ball and return the ball back to you using the same chest pass.  Your goal is to perform ten successful chest passes.  Begin by stepping forward with your dominant foot for the first five passes.  With the next five passes, alternate your feet and step out with your less dominant foot.

To get more advanced with this basketball drill, move back about four or five steps and repeat the drill.  Once you have completed ten passes successfully at this range step back further and repeat the steps.  Continue moving back and repeating the steps until you cannot make a successful pass to your partner.

The chest pass is an integral play in any game of basketball.  To strengthen your offensem you must be able to perform this pass with accuracy, speed, and strength.

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Power Stairs Speed and Endurance Drill

Another excellent way to increase both your speed and vertical leap is by exercising with either a stair climber, or utilizing stadium steps.  This is an old method but works extremely well to build power and strength to assist in your jumping ability and overall speed on the court.

To perform this basketball drill, either utilize a stair climber type of product and set it so that the stairs move with very little resistance.  You want to be able to run on these stairs without having to wait on the machine.  If your going to attempt this at a stadium start at the bottom and run and power off of each step on your way to the top.  Sprint up the stairs and as you push off each step you want to leap from step to step.  As you get more experienced with this drill, you can start skipping steps to really improve your vertical leap.

See the video below for an example of how one should perform the Power Stairs basketball drill.

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Power Jumps Vertical Drill

This basketball drill will really work on improving your vertical leap!  This can be done in one of two fashions, one legged jumps or two legged jumps.  We’ll begin with the method for one legged jumps.

One-legged jumps are done as follows:

Jump as high as possible off of one foot.  Land carefully and balance, and jump as high as possible off the other foot.  Repeat this for a total of twenty jumps.

The two-legged jumps are done as follows:

Start by squating down with your knees bent and body in a defensive position.  Power jump as hard as you can off the ground.  Land carefully and banalcned, pause for about two seconds, then jump up again as high as possible.  Perform this drill ten times.

Improving your vertical leap is primarily increasing the strength in your legs and also building power in your jump.  You really want to focus on your form when jumping and constantly trying to push yourself higher when performing your power jumps.  Over time your muscles in your legs will grow stronger and your jumps will improve.


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Agility Cone Drill

This is another drill that will really build on your speed, agility, and balance on the court. To perform this basketball drill, you will want three cones. Place each cone approximately two to three large steps away from each other.

Start in a balanced position facing forward behind the middle cone, push off the floor with your left foot laterally and move either to the right cone. Quickly push off of your right foot to move back to the center cone, and again push off your right foot and move to the left cone. Push off of your left foot and return to the center cone. At minimum perform this drill for five sets at one minute per set.

As you progress with this drill, you will want to change it up a little to include cross over movements with your legs. Instead of moving your feet in a lateral motion, you will cross over your feet when moving between the cones.

Check this video out for a clear explanation of this basketball drill.

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