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Basketball Training Ideas

While the best training to improve your basketball skills is done by playing the game (five-on-five, three-on-three, one-on-one), there are many ways to improve your conditioning and skills during the season and in the off-season. If you're limited on the amount of time you have available each day, consider doing one drill each for shooting, ball handling, defense, rebounding and overall conditioning. Or work on one aspect of basketball each day by doing a few activities for one of those parts of the game.

One on Two
This is a classic drill that helps players master ball-handling skills. Coaches can divide the court in half lengthwise and group players in sets of three. One player is the offense and the other two are on defense. The offensive player has to dribble the length of the court while being guarded by two defenders. You can run two drills simultaneously, using both sides of the court. If the ball is deflected or stolen, the offensive player gets the ball back on that spot to keep going. In its library of free drills, recommends telling offensive players to be aggressive, work on their moves and not worry about losing the ball.

Turn About
This can can be done as a team drill or by yourself. The player starts in one corner of the court and sprints down the sideline to half court, spins around and continues the rest of the way to the other baseline by running backwards (to simulate hustling back on defense). At that corner, the player gets in a defensive position and slides down the baseline to the basket, where she stops and jumps up to touch the backboard. The player then continues the defensive slide down the baseline to the next corner. There the player repeats the sprint/backward run all the way down the sideline and then repeats the defensive slide/backboard jump down the baseline to the starting corner.

This is a conditioning drill to help get players in basketball shape. Line up the players at one baseline. On the coach's signal, the players spring to the closest free-throw line, touch the line with one hand and sprint back to the baseline and touch that with one hand. Without pausing, the players then sprint back to the half-court line and back to the baseline. Then sprint to the farthest free-throw line and back and then to the far baseline and back. It simulates the quick bursts of speed you need when the flow of the game changes direction and develops the kind of cardiovascular and muscular fitness you need in basketball.