Top basketball drills are different from other basketball drills. Some drills develop an individual skill, such as shooting, or passing; others focus on improving a team element, for example, executing a pick and roll. But the drills on this page offer practice of so many elements that they are absolutely necessary for any basketball practice. I mention a few of the benefits of these drills in my discussion of why these top drills are also fun basketball games that players love.
Every basketball practice should include some of these drills. You may switch up which drills you use on any given day, but you will likely be using at least one or two of them every practice if you are coaching high school basketball.
I use many of them as warm up drills, after my players have finished a light warm-up and some dynamic stretching. They can also be integrated into pre-game warm ups as well (check my Warm Up Drills page for ideas). These drills make the players run – i.e., good conditioning drills – execute several skills in game-like conditions, and reinforce previously taught skills while at the same time preparing them for the new basketball skills to be introduced that day.
A few of these basketball drills I sometimes use at the end of practice, as an immediate reinforcement of skills introduced or focused on that day, and as a way to finish practice on a high energy note, giving players a chance to run and compete in game-like situations without the structure and restrictions of a full game of basketball.
The top basketball drills that follow are drills I continue to use season after season, that I have found exceptionally useful to developing my teams. Some of them – the 3 man weave and the 3-on-2 to 2-on-1 for example – I tend to use almost every practice as warm ups, but try to mix it up and add in some new stuff every now and again so your players don’t get bored and your practices stale. Always be moving forward.
Top Basketball Drills
The Drills You Need to Know
Exceptional Warm-Up Drills
- 3 Man Weave (passing and receiving skills, finishing the fast break)
- 3-on-2 to 2-on-1 (defending when outnumbered, scoring aggressively on the fast break)
- Lakers Drill (speed dribble and fast break finish against pressure, defending against a fast break)
- Zipper Drill (passing and receiving skills, finishing the fast break)
- Piston Drill (fast break dribbling, catch-up defense against fast break)
- 90 Shot Drill (shooting off the fast break pass, finishing the fast break)
Combination Drills To Work into Practice
- The 2 Man Break (fast break dribbling and conditioning)
- Give and Go to Break (give and go, fast break dribbling and finishing fast break lay-ups)
- The Circuit (control dribbling moves, conditioning)
Excellent Drills to Finish Practice With
- 11 Man Drill (my favorite drill – develops everything, but especially aggressive rebounding)
- 2 on 1 Fill-In (passing, finishing fast break quickly, catch-up defense against the fast break)
Why These are Top Basketball Drills
These are excellent drills that are essential when you are coaching high school basketball, because they do so many things:
- All require players to run full out, so they are sport-specific conditioning
- Each requires the players to execute at least 2 skills – maybe passing and dribbling, or passing and scoring – while moving at full speed, or in game situations
- All require team work and strategies
- All are fun – like I said earlier, they offer the excitement and competition of a game without the restrictions placed on players during an actual game. They’re like 10 minutes of fast breaks. Players love them and they are all really effective basketball workouts.
Be sure to integrate these drills into your basketball training. They’re called “top basketball drills” for a reason – they are so important to developing player skills and abilities, allowing players to use their developing skills in game situations without the added pressure of an actual game.
Don’t change them up too often – we don’t want to confuse the players too much or have to spend half the practice explaining how to run the drills – but mix them up every now and again for variety and perhaps a slightly different skills emphasis. They make for a great beginning and an exciting finish to any basketball practice.