With the cold weather and pandemic making it more difficult for us to enjoy sports and recreation, we thought it would be a great idea to share some drills to improve your basketball skills at home. Instead of waiting around and allowing your skills to rust away, you can improve your skills from the comfort of your home to be ready for the next ball game in no time. The drills below will be home-friendly – meaning you won’t require a net and won’t even need to cause a ruckus through indoor dribbling. With your body and the addition of a basketball, there are several drills to improve your shooting form and ball-handling skills.

 1) On the Floor Shooting:

On the floor shooting is exactly how it sounds. You begin by laying down on your back and simply shoot the basketball in the air, catch and repeat. By doing this, you will strengthen your shooting muscles and practice the form of your shot. It is important to be mindful of your arm extension as well as the release to ensure you have the backspin, which is important as it gives the shot a better chance of bouncing in.

2) Defensive Stance

This defensive drill helps improve lower body strength and endurance and helps work on positioning when playing defense. For this drill, you place your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and bend your knees to enter a squatting position. While holding this position, spread your arms wide as if you are defending a player that is holding the ball. Feel free to spread your arms and move them around. It is important to time yourself each time to set new goals and hold the position even longer.

3) Dribble Eights

Overall ball handling and dribbling are key in basketball, which is why this is another vital drill. You begin by standing with your legs shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Now, the objective is to put the ball from your right hand through your legs to your left hand, and then back to your right. Just as the name suggests – you will be doing this in a figure 8 like motion. It is important to keep your head up and eyes straight to begin feeling comfortable about not having to look at the ball while dribbling.

4) Barber Poles

This drill is another great exercise to improve your ball handling. First, you stand straight with your feet planted on the floor. You want to carry the ball around your body starting from your right hand to your left. Begin from the top of your head and work your way down your body as if the ball is going 360 degrees down your body. From your head, you want to move down to your waist, and then down to your ankles. Keep your eyes up throughout so you begin feeling comfortable without looking at the ball. Also, time yourself to see how fast you can go and target to beat your own goal!