I have never worked with a player who was able to make as much improvement by working on their own as they could working with a coach. But, the problem is, you can’t always have a coach with you when you are able to work on your game. There are some alternatives that will help you to both push yourself and evaluate your performance when you don’t have a coach with you. They aren’t as good as a coach, but they are a good substitute when you can’t work with your coach.
This article will focus on basketball training aids that you can use to elevate your ball handling game, but will not include shooting aids. For our thoughts on basketball shooting aids, check out the rundown we made of some of the top basketball shooting aids.
Not all training aids have to be purchased. There are several that almost every school has and some that you might even have at home. The aids in this list can be used during in-season practices or as a part of improvement workouts. The majority of these products are priced so that an individual could buy them to use on their own, or a coach can obtain for use with the entire team.
Chairs. Sometimes it is helpful to set chairs up to simulate defenders. In addition to using them as defenders, you can also use them to simulate taking a handoff and flowing into a shot. You can also use chairs to represent a teammate who is setting a screen for you.
Cones Most PE storage closets have orange cones. You can use them as obstacles when you are working on your dribble moves. Think of the cones as the ankles of a defender that you are working to beat.
Dribble sticks are a step up from using cones to simulate defenders. They are about 3 feet high and have adjustable “arms” that can be positioned to allow you to make plyometric moves while working on your ball handling.
Dribble Goggles. If you have the bad habit of looking at the basketball when you dribble, dribble goggles are an inexpensive solution for your problem. When you wear them, they block you from being able to look down at the basketball.
Heavy Basketball. This basketball is the same size and has the same feel as a regulation basketball. The difference is that a heavy ball weighs about twice of what a normal basketball weighs. It is a good aid to use to develop wrist strength in passing, dribbling, and rebounding drills.
94fifty Smart Sensor Basketball. Has a sensor inside. It measures the quickness and force of your dribbles to give you numerical data to compare your weak hand to your strong hand. You can see the data via an app on your phone. The app provides different drills, tracks your scores each time you work out, and allows you to establish your own workout goals.
The 94fifty can also be used as a shooting aid.
There are hundreds and hundreds of basketball training aids—this list is a small starter sample and not an all inclusive list. To decide which ones are right for you as a player, or for your team if you are a coach, define your objective and what areas of the game you are looking to improve before deciding what training aids to use.
Don’t overlook the two most valuable training aids that every player has at your disposal—your will and your imagination. Basketball training aids can help players who have the will to get better, but there is no aid that can put that fire into a player who doesn’t have it. Even with the use of basketball training aids, the player still has to use their imagination to push themselves to workout at game speed and with game habits.