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Basketball Drills for Large Groups

By Aubrey Warshaw

Basketball is a team sport requiring practice to succeed as a player. Basketball drills for large groups differ from those for small groups. For large groups, coaches should select drills that complement the number of players, balls and baskets available and that don't require participation from the entire group simultaneously. One way basketball players can improve is through designated offensive, defensive, agility and fitness drills.

Three-Man Weave

Have the large group form three lines at the baseline, each line spaced far enough apart from the other lines to make a pass. The player in the middle line starts with the ball. The middle player passes the ball to the player on the right side. Then the player who just passed the ball runs behind the player who caught the ball. Next, the player on the left passes the ball back to the player on the right, who started with the ball. Repeat the process until you make it down the court and a lay-up is attempted. Once a lay-up is attempted, the drill ends and the next three people in the group start the drill. If there is a bad or dropped pass, players should hustle back to the baseline to restart the drill. This is a good lead drill after warm-ups and stretching. The drill will help improve passing on the move, coordination and timing, team chemistry and team communication.

Mikan Drill

From under the basket, make lay-ups while retrieving your own rebounds. Alternate between left-handed lay-ups on the left side of the basket and right-handed lay-ups on the right side of the basket. This drill is designed to help all players. Inside players can use it for scoring in the paint and to develop timing for rebounding. Outside players can use it to improve lay-up skills.

Agility Ladder Drills

Start everyone from the large group at the same baseline. Blow the whistle to start. Players sprint to the free-throw line, then back to the baseline. Next, they sprint from baseline to half court, then back. The next sprint goes from baseline to the opposite free-throw line, and then back. Finally, players sprint from the baseline to the opposite baseline, and then back. Set a time to beat. Ladder agility drills are a great way to improve foot speed, agility, coordination and overall quickness.

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Two-Ball Dribble Drill

Start by dribbling two basketballs from the baseline to the free throw line, with both balls hitting the ground simultaneously. Once you reach the free throw line, dribble so each ball hits the ground separately. Continue until you reach the half court line, then switch back to a simultaneous dribble to the free throw line, then a stagger dribble to the baseline. Do this drill for two full length courts. Rotate turns among players from the large group. This drill is used to improve a player's dribbling and ball handling ability. Also, it helps players develop better one-on-one moves, as it is more difficult than dribbling with one basketball.

Full-Court Speed Dribble

Starting at the baseline, dribble at full speed up the court. Stay under control but push the ball up the floor as quickly as possible while keeping your head up and staying in complete control of the dribble. When you reach the opposite free throw line, make a strong on-balance two-foot jump stop and pass the ball to the next dribbler. Each player from the large group should repeat with varied types of passes.

Defensive Drill

Divide players into teams of five-on-five. Only the defense has the ability to score points either by rebounding a possession or by forcing a turnover. If the defense maintains a defensive stop, the team stays on defense. If the offense scores, the offense and defense alternate sides. Depending on group size, the offense will be replaced by the group waiting to play. This drill will help stress the importance of defense, especially as a team.

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