Boost Your Game with This Basketball Skill Workout

Written by: Chris Hungerford



Time to read 8 min

Coaches and parents, take note! To bring out the best in your young basketball player, focus on crafting a workout that balances skill-building with fun. By zeroing in on essential skills like scoring and ball-handling, you'll be amazed at the progress they'll make.

A well-designed basketball skill workout should be adaptable to various skill levels and age groups, ensuring that every player can benefit from the drills and exercises. Whether you're working with varsity-level athletes or third through sixth graders, the right approach to skill development can make all the difference in a player's progress.

Want to help your young players dominate on the court? Start by focusing on the basics: ball handling, scoring techniques, and targeted shooting drills. By prioritizing these essential skills, you'll be giving your players the tools they need to succeed and take their game to new heights.

Table of Contents:

Comprehensive Small Group Skill Development Workout

Get ready to boost your team's skills with this versatile workout designed for groups of 4-5 players. From varsity to third grade, every level will benefit from this engaging and challenging drill.

Want to power up your team's offense? Start by honing in on the fundamentals: dribbling, scoring, and shooting. Our drills are designed to be flexible, so you can adjust them to meet your team's specific needs and skill levels.

Adapting and Modifying Drills

As a coach, you know your team best. Feel free to get creative and modify these drills to really dial in on the specific skills your players need to work on.

A basketball skill workout should push players to new heights without pushing them over the edge. By making subtle adjustments, you can create a session that's both demanding and exhilarating the perfect blend for any aspiring baller.

Ball Handling and Dribbling Drills

If you want to take your team's offensive game to the next level, you've got to start with the fundamentals. And that means putting in the work on ball handling and dribbling.

Control, coordination, and are the building blocks of a top-notch player. Drilling down on your offhand skills can pay huge dividends when it counts most.

Offhand Coordination Exercises

One of my favorite ways to really challenge players and improve their offhand coordination is to incorporate smaller items into the drills. Things like cones or even tennis balls.

For example, have your players dribble around a set of cones using only their offhand. Or set up a drill where they have to dribble with one hand while tossing a tennis ball with the other. It might feel a bit awkward at first, but that's how you know it's working.

Navigating Around Cones

A great way to engage your players in ball control practice is to create a narrow, winding course marked by cones. Then, challenge them to dribble through it using a single hand, which will quickly build their skills and confidence.

To simulate game-like conditions, instruct players to keep their gaze forward and their heads swiveling as they navigate the cones. This exercises their ability to maintain control while sensing their surroundings.

Scoring Drills for Countering Defenders

Your players have got the essentials down pat, so let's move on to the fun part: crafting scoring chances and adapting to the ever-present threat of defensive shutdowns.

To take your offense to the next level, you need to master a range of techniques. From dominating with jab steps to owning the court with jump stops, we'll cover the essential moves that'll give you the upper hand.

Jump Stops and Finishing Moves

First up, let's talk about jump stops and finishing moves. Have your players practice these at the top of the key to simulate real game scenarios.

Boost their confidence on the court by encouraging them to mix and match different finishes. Suggest they try soft, floaty jumpers, powerful layups, or even a slick Euro step to keep defenders guessing.

Countering Shot Blockers and Aggressive Defenders

Your finishing moves might be silky smooth, but against elite defenders, they're only as good as your adaptability. To rise to the top, you need to develop a counterpunch to aggressive defensive pressure and shot blockers who'll do everything to derail your game plan.

Have your players work on high off-the-glass finishes to shoot over outstretched arms. Drill jab steps and spin moves to create space against handsy defenders. The more comfortable they get with these counter moves, the harder they'll be to stop on offense.

Shooting Drills for Game-Like Situations

Shooting is one of those skills that you can never spend too much time on. But the key is to make sure you're practicing in a way that translates to real game situations.

These drills are designed to do just that. From catch-and-shoot to free throws, we're going to put your players in high-pressure scenarios and keep them focused on maintaining proper form.

Timed Catch-and-Shoot Drills

Catch-and-shoot opportunities don't last long in a real game. That's why I love running timed drills to simulate that sense of urgency.

Set a time limit and a target number of makes for your players to aim for. This forces them to focus on getting their shot off quickly while still maintaining good technique. It's a great way to build muscle memory and confidence in those quick-fire moments.

Free Throw Shooting with Percentage Goals

Basketball Free Throw Shooting

Free throws may not be the flashiest part of the game, but they sure can make or break a close contest. That's why it's so important to practice them with purpose.

I like to set specific percentage goals for my players during free throw drills. This keeps them locked in and accountable. It also helps simulate the pressure of a real game situation where every point counts.

Ball Screen Reads and Passing

Ball screens are a staple of modern offenses at every level. But it takes a lot of practice to master the art of reading the defense and making the right play.

These drills are all about developing that basketball IQ and court vision. We want your players to be able to pick apart the defense and find the open man every time.

Making Reads Off Ball Screens

The first step is learning to identify and react to different defensive strategies. Have your players practice coming off ball screens and making quick reads based on how the defense is playing it.

Are they hedging hard? Trapping? Switching? Each scenario requires a different counter. The more reps your players get at recognizing and reacting to these situations, the more effective they'll be at exploiting them in games.

Delivering Accurate Passes

Of course, making the right read is only half the battle. You also have to be able to deliver an accurate pass to your teammate in a position to score.

That's why I always incorporate plenty of passing drills into my ball screen work. Have your players focus on hitting the roll man in stride, or finding the pop man with a crisp chest pass. The more comfortable they get at delivering on-time, on-target passes, the more dangerous your offense will be.

FAQs in Relation to Basketball Skill Workout

How should I work out for basketball?

Think of your basketball workout as a dish recipe, you need the right mix of ingredients (strength training, cardio, and skills practice) in the right proportions to get the desired outcome. Focus on explosive power, agility, and endurance exercises like the Upright Row, Tricep Extension, and Step Ups to build a strong foundation. Season with effective drills and ball-handling moves like the jab step, reverse lay-up, and high-off-the-glass finishes.

How to get a basketball player's body?

Becoming a well-rounded basketball player requires a strong foundation, just like a house needs a solid base. Prioritize building your legs and core through exercises like squats, lunges, and weight room work. Develop explosive power with exercises like the Tricep Dip and Shoulder Press. Add strength training for a jump shot-friendly upper body. Finish with conditioning drills to improve endurance and speed.

How can I be skilled in basketball?

Think of skill development building with blocks. You need a strong foundation, and then you can add layers of complexity. Start with fundamental skills like dribbling, shooting, and passing. Practice stationary dribbling, dribble moves, and shooting fake drills to build confidence. Add game-like scenarios to your practice, like ball screens and pivoting, to mimic real-game situations.

How can I practice basketball skills at home?

Transform your home court into a training ground. Use cones or tennis balls for offhand coordination exercises and work on your drop step and jab step. Set up a mini-court in your backyard or driveway and practice high-arcing shots, finishing moves, and jump stops. You can even do stationary dribbling drills in your living room. Be creative and focused, and you'll be on your way to mastering basketball skills.


A comprehensive basketball skill workout is a powerful tool for coaches and parents looking to help young players improve their game. By focusing on fundamental skills like ball handling, scoring techniques, and shooting drills, players can develop the confidence and ability to excel on the court.

For a basketball skill workout to truly pay off, coaches need to be willing to adapt. That means designing drills and exercises that cater to the unique strengths and weaknesses of each player, from seasoned varsity athletes to younger players still learning the ropes.

Imagine being able to dominate on the court, with the skills and confidence to outmaneuver even the toughest opponents. A well-structured basketball skill workout can help make that vision a reality, as players gain the skills, strategies, and know-how they need to succeed in the high-intensity world of basketball.

Make no mistake — crafting a comprehensive basketball skill set is a journey, not a destination. But with patience, dedication, and the right guidance, young players can unlock their full potential and fall head over heels for the sport.

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