Our Favourite Individual Basketball Drills – 17 useful drills and more

Individual basketball drills are a great way of quickly improving your game. They are a great way of improving your match fitness as well as your skills.

Of course, some aspects of the game cannot be practiced with simple basketball drills.For example, to improve your court perception, defence skills, and game strategy skills you have to practice with other players. However, you can still improve your dribbling, speed, shooting and competitive edge using solo basketball practice drills.

Individual basketball shooting drills

Shooting is crucial to any player. Naturally, most focus on this skill. Simply dunking baskets is fine, but if you really want to improve as a player, you have to mix things up. It is important to work on your footwork and ball step coordination. When training alone it is easy to fall into a pattern and end up only practicing certain shots, mix things up as much as you can.

Here are some ideas.

  • Dribble the full length of the court and score
  • Practice your jump shot – if you want a challenge change the hoop height up a bit.
  • Dunk from each side, then switch it up and dunk from the front of the hoop
  • Change hands – you want to be able to shoot from any angle
  • Practice switch shooting
  • Practice spin shooting
  • Three in a row – shoot from five feet, step back and shoot more. Continue like that. As soon as you miss a shot, go back to the five feet mark and start again. You will be surprised how much your concentration will improve and how much your distance shooting will improve.
  • Box drills
  •  Pivot, pass to the block and do a jump shot

If there are any shots you struggle with focus your practice on those. Doing so will help you to gain confidence and turn something you struggle with into second nature.

Use your imagination. There is far from a comprehensive list of shooting drills you can do on your own.

Umass drills

Speed drills for basketball

Speed is critical in the game of basketball. The faster you are the harder it is for the opposing team to defend against you.

Here are some speed drills you can do on your own.

  • Sprints – straight sprints are fine, but are not enough on their own. In basketball, you need to turn on the speed at any time. Only practicing your sprints from a track start position is not going to help you much. Timing your sprints from different starting positions is the best way to improve your speed. On the court you have to be able to accelerate from different positions you cannot crouch down and assume a track start position, so don’t only practice this.
  • Acceleration sprints
  • Deceleration practice
  • Full court sprints
  • Strength training – a weak body cannot move fast, so you have to include strength training in your package. You can do a huge range strength drills on your own, however, be safe and only do lifts in a gym with a spotter to help you.
  • The ball drop drill improves reaction speed

Full court basketball drills

Basketball is a fast moving game, so drills that get you covering the entire court are important. Dribbling and running drills are great for this. However, make sure that you do not simply end up sprinting straight up or down the court. Mix it up. Zig and zag, imagine you are avoiding players.

It is vital that you use the whole court. If you do not do so when you play, you will automatically be drawn to the parts of the court you have been using during your drills. This will make you a less flexible player, so use the whole court when doing solo drills.

Individual basketball dribbling techniques

Some players assume that practicing dribbling alone is not as effective as doing so with others. In reality, solo dribbling drills are vital.

Practicing alone allows you to perfect your dribbling technique. You are not doing it under pressure, so can do it at a slow pace to hone the technique. Once it becomes second nature, you can speed things up and do your drills faster and faster. This way you get accuracy as well as speed.

Here are some solo dribbling drills you could do –

  •  Control dribbles
  • Speed dribble
  • Crossover
  • Spin
  • Zig Zag
  • Between the legs

Individual basketball workouts

As well as doing the solo basketball drills we also recommend that you do some basketball workouts at home as well as at the gym. Taking this approach will increase the amount of exercise you do. The fact that you do not have to travel to the gym makes it more likely that you will complete your extended workout regime.

Competitive basketball drills

There are some great YouTube basketball drills,but we recommend that you also consider investing in the Vert Shock course. This course is comprehensive and is definitely the best way to speed up your progress. It contains a range of effective basketball practice drills many of which you can do on your own. Importantly this course is written by a professional player, which means that the drills are designed for competitive players.