The game of basketball is a very popular team sport. It is a game that highly relies on teamwork to gain the advantage over their opponents. Every member of the team, the five that are playing, plays a specific role. They are the point guard, the shooting guard, the small forward, the power forward, and the center. The position they play are mostly based on their skills, height, physique, and playing style. Despite having specific positions, every member of the team should be a team player. In order for a person to be a team player, the player must not hog the ball and know when to pass, especially when the teammate has a better scoring opportunity.
While it is true that basketball is a team sport and every member of the team should be a team player, it doesn’t hurt though for a player to strive to get better. Besides, a good player will always be able to create scoring opportunities for the team. However, a good player does not always start as a good player. Although there are certain individuals who have talent for the game, it is practice, practice, and more practice that makes a player better (that of course along with passion, dedication, and a little bit of talent). In order to improve your game, a player needs to practice and improve his fundamentals of the game – dribbling, shooting, running, jumping, and rebounding. Aside from those, a player will need to practice individual drills so he stays sharp during the heat of the game.
9 Individual Drills to help you Improve your Overall Game
Mikan Drill – this is a drill named after George Mikan of the NBA. The drill starts while standing on the right side of the basket, somewhere within layup range. Jump with both feet to make a right-handed layup. When the ball goes down, get the rebound and position yourself on the left this time, jump with both feet and make a left-handed layup. Grab the rebound and repeat the drill over at least 10 times.
Superman Drill – this drill has the motion as the ‘Mikan Drill,’ the only difference is that the drill is extended on the outside of the paint. The drill starts on the lowest block towards the next block until the free throw line is reached. However, with this drill, the goal is not to make a shot. Instead, you throw the ball towards the backboard and attempt to get the rebound from the opposite side of the paint without allowing the ball to touch the floor. The ideal way for this drill is taking 3 steps to get to the other side. Younger players on the other may need to take more steps to get to the other side. This drill is quite tough as it involves footwork and rebounding. Continuous practice of this drill will help a player develop a rhythm. Repeat the drill with at least 5 rotations.
Beat the Pro – this drill is similar to how boxers play shadow boxing. However, instead of boxing, you try to imagine playing a one-on-one game against an imaginary player. The game is won by the first player to reach 21 points. When taking your shots, imagine your imaginary opponent trying to defend against you. Each shot you make will grant you a point, while each shot you miss will grant your imaginary opponent 2 points. Once you get to 20 points, try to take you last shot as if it was a buzzer beater shot. The only question with this game is can you beat the pro?
Shoot the Shot – this is similar to the ‘around the world’ shooting drill. However, instead of taking the shots outside the three point line, the shots are made inside. You will be shooting from five shooting points and you need to make 5 shots from each shooting point. All-in-all, you will be shooting 25 shots. You need to take 5 shots from right side baseline corner, 5 bank shot halfway between the free throw line and right baseline corner, 5 shots from the free throw line, 5 bank shot halfway between the free throw line and left baseline corner, and 5 shots from the left side baseline corner. Try to increase the percentage of your shooting. If you feel you have increased your percentage, try adding 2 more shooting points to have a total shot of 35. This drill will help to increase your shooting accuracy.
Ball Slaps and Squeeze – toss the ball up and get the rebound with one hand and slapping the ball to the other hand as if squeezing the air out of it. Try using different variations of the rebound squeeze, such as the on the head, torso, waist, knees, and on the ankles.
Figure 8 with Dribble – spread both legs and lower your torso and try to dribbling the ball in a figure eight motion. The dribble is meant to go in between the legs. Try doing it with as little dribbles as possible.
Figure 8 without Dribble – use your hands to pass the ball through your legs towards the other hand. Try to increase your speed when doing this.
Quick Hands – hold the ball in between your legs with one hand in front and one hand at the back. Drop the ball while switching hands and attempting to catch the ball before it touches the floor. Try to do this as fast and as quick as possible. To make this drill tougher, you can lower yourself and attempt to do the drill. You can also hold the ball with both hands in front and catching it with both hands from the back, and vice versa. This drill will help to develop hand speed.
Tom-tom Dribble – this dribble is similar to the figure 8 dribble as the ball is meant to be dribbled and go in between the legs. Spread your legs and stay low and dribble with small low dribbles and directing the direction of the ball with the small dribbles. You can also dribble the ball behind you going from one side to the other and to the front.