Take The Ball Out Of Your Hands For A Worthwhile Basketball Training Drill

Posted on: 23 October 2018

When people think about basketball training drills, they often conjure up thoughts of dribbling around obstacles and shooting from various points on the court. There's little doubt that these drills can dramatically improve your game, but they're far from the only ways to become a better basketball player. If you're looking for a new training drill, consider leaving the basketball on the sidelines. Moving around the court on your own in a variety of ways provides several benefits and can actually improve your skills for the next time you hold a ball in your hands. Here are some things to know about this type of drill.

The Benefits

When you train without a basketball, you won't be focused on how you're dribbling and shooting. While these two elements are critical to any player's success, they can pull your attention away from other fundamentals when you're training. Training without a ball in your hands is beneficial because it allows you to focus on a wide range of other elements, including your positioning, the spacing between you and your teammates, and your spacial awareness. For example, when you aren't thinking about the basketball, you're more apt to move with your head up, thus allowing you to improve your ability to see the court.

Setting Up The Drill

Whether you're physically leading a group of teammates in this drill or you're teaching it to younger players, there are some different ways to set it up. One approach is to arrange the players on the court as though they're ready for a jump ball, and then blow the whistle to mimic the ball being thrown in the air. Choose one team to "win" the jump ball, and then have the team that is possessing the ball begin to move around to execute a set play. The "opponents" — likely other players on the same team — are tasked with playing defense against the team that has possession of the imaginary ball. You can run the drill in 30- to 45-second increments to mimic the shot clock, and then switch things up so that the players on defense are now acting as though they're on offense.

Coaching Points

If you're running the drill for a basketball team that you coach, you can watch the action unfold from the sidelines or from the court itself, moving behind the play. Since no one is focused on dribbling, passing, and shooting, you have the ability to offer various coaching points based on what you see. For example, if two teammates get closer to one another than you'd like, you can blow the whistle to have everyone freeze so that you can point out the issue. If you incorporate this drill into your practice sessions with regularity, you're apt to see improvements once you reintroduce the ball.

For more information, contact your local basketball training course instructors.