Explode Your Skills To New Heights With These Combination Drills

The following combination drills combine various skills while making sure you’re using the correct fundamentals and techniques.

Including these drills in your basketball drill regimen will be a wise decision indeed.

Make sure you’re developing a solid all-around game – offense, defense, ball handling, shooting, passing, rebounding, etc.

Become serious about the basketball drills you find on this page and you’re sure to become a more complete player.

And we all know what that means – your opponents are consistently wondering how in the world they can beat you!

By the way, would you like to learn how to dramatically increase your focus when using these combination drills without ingesting a pill or drink?

Basketball Combination Drills

Combination Drill #1) Sausage Grinder

Combination drill designed to work on dribbling and the outlet pass. Divide the team up into two groups – big men and guards. Position a big man under basket and the guards at foul line. Have the big man bounce the ball off the backboard and then make an outlet pass to the guard. They will both sprint to the other end of the court, where the guard will jump stop at the foul line or hit the big man for a lay-up. Be sure the big man sprints.

Combination Drill #2) Pass & Shoot

Works on fast passing and lay-ups. One player starts at the left elbow, one at the right elbow and one on the foul line. The players begin running down the court, the middle player passes to the left elbow player and then the left player passes to the player on the right elbow. The player on the right lays up the ball to finish the drill. Take it slow at first and be sure the players use hard, accurate passes.

As a variation, add in two defenders after the offensive players get the hang of it.

Combination Drill #3) Strawberries

Combination drill that teaches players how to be aggressive, get up the floor quickly and finishing with lay-ups. Start with two lines at the baseline and the ball sitting at mid-court. At the whistle, the first two players in line go out and slide and fight for the ball. Make sure the players actually do slide. Players can do anything they need to gain possession…anything! Whoever gains control of the ball, gets up and dribbles to the other end of the court for a lay-up. The player without the ball must get up as fast as possible and go play defense against the winner.

Combination Drill #4) Garbage Man

combination drillsThis game is a combination of the shooting games called “21” and “Around the World” and works on catching and shooting, foul shooting, footwork, finishing, rebounding and boxing out. Set up cones at different shooting areas at least three feet outside the paint perimeter and as far out as the three-point line perimeter. Assemble three to five pairs of players, each pair comprising of a backcourt and frontcourt player. All of the frontcourt players enter the paint and their teammates line up behind the first cone. The first player shoots and if it goes in, they advance to the next cone. The next player shoots. If a shot is missed, the ball is live. The players in the paint go for the rebound and attempt put back shots. If a player makes the put back, their teammate advances a cone. Basically, a team advances one cone once a teammate makes a shot and the first pair to make it to the last cone wins.

Call all fouls. After a team advances to next cone, the next team shoots. Ball is blown dead once the rebound attempt bounces outside of the paint. Make sure the players in the paint don’t dribble away from the hoop. Teach them to move toward the basket. Teach your players how to draw fouls, ball fakes, drop steps, up and under moves, foul shooting box outs, etc.

Variations: Once a team reaches the last cone, have them work back to the beginning. Or the frontcourt player can switch with the shooter who now has to play smart in the paint against bigger players. It also gives the other teams a chance to catch up.

Combination Drill #5) Numbers

This drill helps passing and awareness and is good for a warm-up or beginners. Number your team from 1 on up. Start the players running randomly around the half-court area. Pass the ball in to #1 and have #2 shout their number so #1 can pass the ball to them. This works on court communication. When the last player receives the ball, start over at player #1.

As variations for this combination drill, you can have the team work on different pass types or begin using two or more balls rather than just the one.

Combination Drill #6) Full Court Tip

Combines rebounding and conditioning. At both ends, form two lines to the right of the basket. The players begin to tip the ball off the backboard to the player behind them. Once a players tips the ball off the board, they must roll to the left and sprint down the court to tip the ball to the next player in line. Do this combination drill for two minutes and then repeat from the left side. If players are lagging, they can be passed up by the players behind them. You’ll see who’s in shape with this one.

As a variation, you can change the time limit or even re-set the clock each time the ball hits the floor.

Combination Drill #7) 10 Passes

Basketball drill that combines passing, setting good screens, rolling to the ball and fighting off screens. Start at half-court with three offensive and three defensive players. There is no dribbling at all during this drill. Once the drill begins, the offensive players try to get open to receive the pass. The only way to do this is to set good screens and then roll. The offensive players must be strong with the ball to avoid being over-powered by the defense and the goal is to make ten consecutive passes without any type of ‘bad pass’. Have the defenders yell “Dead”, “Hey” or whatever in the face of the person holding the ball. The defenders can get very aggressive in trying to get steals since there is no scoring or dribbling, but don’t allow them to foul, of course. Any touch of the ball by the defense results in a turnover. Have the losers do push-ups, sprints, etc.

As variations for this combination drill, you can allow switches on the screens or allow one or two dribbles after each pass.

Combination Drill #8) Chase Drill

Foul shooting, rebounding, speed dribble, lay-ups, defense and passing are worked on with this combination drill. A two person drill. Start with Player 1 positioned at the foul line and Player 2 at the block on either side of the lane. Player 1 shoots the ball and remains at the foul line. Player 2 grabs the rebound whether or not the shot is made, then takes the ball out of bounds and throws a chest pass to Player 1 at the foul line. Player 1 then dribbles quickly to the far basket. Player 2 chases Player 1, tries to beat them downcourt and either establish defensive position or tip the ball as Player 1 drives in for a lay-up. Now switch places and run the drill back the other way. Watch out for fouls.

Combination Drill #9) Two-Man Game

This drill teaches how to double-team a post entry pass in a man to man defense as well as teaching post players how to react to that double team.. It also teaches guards to move without the ball, post entry passes, closing out on a perimeter shooter and working on post moves. Split your team up into post players and perimeter players. Once the defense makes a stop or gets a rebound, bring in new players on offense. The former offensive players now play defense and the former defenders rotate out of the drill.

Have an offensive player post-up on the block with the defense playing from behind. The wing starts the drill and must try to get the ball into the post or take a jump shot while being pressured by a defender.
The offensive players can’t drive (must pass or shoot). If the pass goes in to the post, the defensive perimeter player doubles down on the post and tries for a steal if the ball is put on the floor. After passing, the wing player should slide to a new location and get open for a three-point shot. If the double-team is late, the post should try to score. If the double-team is effective, the post player should pass back out for a jump shot attempt.

Be sure the wing players slide over to the baseline so it’s hard for the defender to find them after the double-team. Pay attention to proper spacing for the post entry pass and be sure to get pressure on the wing to make the entry pass more difficult. If the offense makes the double-team happen more than one or two times, the defense will tire and they should get a wide-open shot.

As a variation, you can add weakside offensive and defensive players at the post and at the top of the key. Now the weakside post defender can front the post so the entry pass must be a lob. This weakside defender must allow the post player to catch the pass but should be right there. Since the “D” is fronting the post, the wing defender doesn’t need to drop down for the double-team, but the point defender has to drop down in front of the post player opposite the ball. If this defender doesn’t get there, there will be a post to post pass open for a lay-up. If the defender does get there, this forces the offensive post player to recognize that the open jump shot will now come from the top of the key.

Combination Drill #10) Gorilla Drill

This combination drill works on playing offense and defense in the post and makes it fun. Break up into three equal groups. Have each group form a line and space these lines around the arc. The coach stands in the middle and takes a shot. Whether the shot is good or not, the players in the front of each line battle for the rebound. Once a player gets it, the other two play defense and the player with the ball must try to score in the paint. Anything goes and the players keep playing until someone scores. As a variation, you can change it so they can only score inside the three-point line.