We often think of using the medicine ball to develop strength, power, and condition the muscles of the core. Lately I’ve begun to use it to help improve the performance of some of my basketball teams. I have found this to be a great tool to help with ball movement, passing, focus, and speed of movement. Here are several drills that I use to assist with this.
For this drill, arrange five players in a circle. Everyone should face in. One player will have a medicine ball. When the coach tells them to begin, the first player will perform a chest pass to a player across the circle. That player will catch the ball, then pass it to a different player across the circle. With this drill, the athletes pass to the same player every time. This drill continues until the coach stops it. As the players get more proficient, they should be able to perform this more quickly. For an advanced version, add a second ball!
Set up cones in a line across the width of the court. Line the athletes up at the beginning of the cones. On the “Go!” command, the athletes should run a zig zag pattern all the way through the cones. As they do this, the coach should execute chest passes using the medicine ball. The athlete should catch the ball and pass it back to the coach while executing the zig zag patterns. For an advanced version, also have the athlete do this while backpedaling through the cones.
Have most of the team line up on a sideline, have them face the court. One player should stand about ten feet in front of the line, facing his or her team mates. The first player in the line should be holding a medicine ball. The lone player facing his or her team mates should also be holding a medicine ball.
The lone player will chest pass the medicine ball to the second player in the line. As he or she passes the ball to the second player, the first player will pass the ball to the lone player. The lone player shuffles down and passes the ball to the third player in line while the second player in line passes the ball to the lone player. This continues until the lone player has worked all the way down the line, then players rotate in.