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Backyard basketball drills

Backyard Basketball Drills You Can Do at Home

Backyard basketball drills are at the heart of the sport. You’d be hard pressed to find a single NBA, WNBA, or otherwise pro player who didn’t grow up hooping on concrete somewhere, either in their own backyard, on a friend’s driveway, on the street block or elsewhere.

For so many players, backyard drills are how they learned the base of their basketball skillset. There are tons of ways you can improve your game from your own driveway, with or without a hoop. Here are some of the best, most simple backyard basketball drills you can do at home.

Backyard Basketball Drills You Can Do at Home


There are so many different dribbling drills that just require a basketball and a hard surface it can bounce on that listing them all would take a lifetime. But, here are some great examples that can help you better control the basketball:

Figure Eights

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees a bit. Begin dribbling the ball on either your left or right side at knee height, then start dribbling it back and forth between and around your legs from left to right to form a figure eight pattern encircling your feet. Gradually get lower and lower as you become more comfortable.

Go Around the World

The ball won’t, or at least shouldn’t, touch the ground at all during this backyard basketball drill. First, pass the ball from one hand to the other around your head clockwise as many times as you feel comfortable with. Then, do the same thing the same amount of times in a counterclockwise rotation. Next, do it the same amount of times around your waist, then the opposite direction. Follow these steps passing both directions around both legs, too. You can then put it all together in one motion to conclude your international trip around the world.

Practice Simple Moves

The more comfortable you are with the ball in your hands, the better your ball handling will be. You achieve comfort through repetition. Spend some time working on simple dribbling moves. Set aside a little time to go outside and dribble a ball stationary behind your back, back and forth like a behind-the-back crossover, for 10 minutes. You can spend time working on dribbling in and out, side dribbling, crossovers, between the legs, etc. It doesn’t have to be complicated to make you a better baller.


Obviously, you could shoot on a basket from any number of places, and that could improve your shooting. But these are three drills/games you can do at home, one without a hoop, to keep yourself engaged and getting better.

Mikan Drill

This is one of the most basic basketball drills there is, but it can do wonders for your game.

It’s simple: alternate taking a layup from the right and left sides of the basket over and over again, using the appropriate hand when you go up. It should look something like this:

Assuming you have a hoop and a ball, this is one of the lowest-level backyard basketball drills you can do that can make a world of difference.

Around the World

There’s more than one way to go around the world in backyard basketball drills – you can dribble around the world, but you can shoot around the world, too.

Mark spots around the basket, either with chalk, cones, chairs, or whatever else you have available, and give them all a number. Make the easier spots, so layup and closer jumpers, lower numbers, and harder shots, like mid-range distance and deeper, higher numbers.

Start at shot No. 1. If you make it on your first try, move on to shot No. 2. If you miss, you can “chance” it, meaning you get one more try to make the shot to move on to the next one. If you miss your “chance,” though, you have to drop all the way back to shot No. 1 or to a pre-determined checkpoint if you choose to play with one, assuming you’ve passed it previously. If you don’t take your “chance,” then you stay where you missed from.

These rules mostly apply if you’re playing against other people. If you’re playing by yourself, you can play in any fashion you’d like: force yourself to make five before you can move on, make one of each and go through the shots five times, anything really. The objective is to get your shooting from a variety of locations, so this backyard basketball drill/game will help you improve no matter how you do it.

One-Hand Shooting

When you shoot a basketball, your non-dominant hand should be used only as a guide – your shot should come from your dominant hand.

Get your feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent a bit, just like if you were taking a regular shot, and take the ball into your dominant hand. Put it right over the top of your shoulder so the back on your hand is almost flat and near your shoulder. Make sure your elbow is straight.

Shoot the ball straight up in the air, following through and “dipping your hand in the cookie jar,” and try to get it to land directly in front of you. You don’t want the ball to go far.

Do this over and over again. This backyard basketball drill will work on your balance, elbow, and follow through, three of the components of B.E.E.F., which is the basic tenant of how to shoot a basketball.

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