Basketball is a fast-paced and physically demanding sport that requires players to have exceptional skills and conditioning. Whether you’re a coach looking to improve your team’s abilities or an individual player aiming to take your game to the next level, this article introduces a series of skill development drills that can help enhance your game and boost your physical conditioning on the court.

Handling Physical Contact and Ball Control

Getting Used to Contact

Basketball often involves physical contact, and it’s essential for players to be comfortable with it. This drill focuses on helping players adapt to contact while maintaining ball control.


  • The player starts dribbling with a coach or partner providing light physical contact, such as arm hacks and gentle pushes.
  • The player dribbles for about 15 seconds while getting used to the contact.
  • The level of contact intensity can be gradually increased as the player becomes more comfortable.

Two-Ball Dribbling for Ball Control

Dribbling is a fundamental skill in basketball, and mastering ball control is crucial. This drill combines two-ball dribbling with ball control techniques.

Two-Ball Dribbling:

  • The player practices dribbling with two basketballs simultaneously, focusing on pounding the balls hard to improve ball-handling skills.
  • Start with stationary two-ball dribbling and transition to moving while maintaining control.

Dribbling with a Balloon

Dribbling with a balloon is an unconventional yet effective drill that enhances ball-handling skills, agility, and concentration.

The Drill:

  • Players must dribble a basketball while simultaneously keeping a balloon afloat using their non-dribbling hand.
  • This exercise promotes ball control and multitasking abilities.

Agility and Defensive Skills

Chair Agility Drill

Improving agility is essential for both offense and defense. This chair agility drill focuses on developing lateral quickness and defensive movements.


  • Players start in the middle of the paint.
  • The coach calls out numbers (e.g., 1, 2, 3), corresponding to different locations on the court.
  • Players sidestep to the indicated spot and then simulate closing out on a defensive play.

Key Emphasis:

  • This drill enhances defensive footwork and agility.
  • Players develop the ability to react quickly to offensive movements.

Conditioning & Mental Toughness: The TeachHoops Conditioning Challenge

This conditioning challenge is designed to push players physically and mentally, improving their overall conditioning and determination.

The Challenge:

  • Players must complete a sequence of running and dribbling while multiplying the numbers assigned to each segment by 5 seconds.
  • The sequence typically includes numbers like 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 (and then back down).
  • The goal is to complete the entire sequence in one attempt.


  • Initially, players may aim to reach a specific number (e.g., 11) before progressing to the full sequence.
  • Coaches can make it a prerequisite for accessing certain team privileges, promoting dedication and determination.

Explore TeachHoops for More

Don’t forget to explore TeachHoops, a valuable resource for basketball coaches. It offers a range of resources, including one-on-one coaching calls and a supportive community. Whether you’re coaching youth or high school teams, TeachHoops can provide you with the tools and knowledge to become a more successful basketball coach.

Basketball is a game that requires continuous skill development, conditioning, and mental toughness. By incorporating these drills into your training routine, you can improve your abilities and elevate your performance on the court. Whether you’re a player or a coach, the right drills and resources can make a significant difference in your basketball journey.

Related: Basketball Conditioning Drills for Skill Development


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