How to Practice Basketball in Your House Without a Hoop
You can work on your basketball development at home even if you don't have a hoop in your driveway. There are numerous ballhandling drills you can do on the sidewalk, driveway or basement floors. You can also work on your passing form and shot release without going to the gym or playground.
Stationary No-Dribble Drills
You can improve your ballhandling inside without dribbling the ball. Whip the ball around your waist in a full-circle, going right, then left, then back-and-forth after each circle. Do figure 8s, taking the ball with your right hand and handing it through your legs to your left hard. Bring the ball around with the left hand and put it through your legs to your right hand. Go as fast as you can without letting the ball drop.
Stationary Dribble Drills
Dribble high, then low, hard, then soft with each hand, learning to change tempo and improve control. Pound dribble the ball back and forth between your right and left hand, picking up speed and lowering your dribble as you improve. Then pound dribble right to left through your legs, then left to right through your legs. Dribble behind your back, right hand to left, then left hand to right.
Dribbling Drills in Motion
Walk at moderate pace while dribbling a ball through your legs with each step, right hand to left, then left hand to right. Walk while dribbling a ball in each hand simultaneous. As you improve, practice yo-yo dribbles -- pounding one ball down as the other comes up. To improve your power dribbling, find a level dirt patch and pound dribble on it. That surface will force you to dribble harder to maintain control.
There are an almost endless variety of drills you can do with two basketballs. One is the lateral hop. Line up on one side of a sidewalk crack or a line taped on your basement floor. Start dribbling both basketballs simultaneously. Then start hopping back and forth over that line while maintaining your dribble. This improves your ability to control the ball by feel, without having to think about it.
If you have access to a concrete wall and a space devoid of breakable objects, pass the ball to yourself off the wall to work on technique and accuracy. Start with the simple chest pass, pushing the ball off the wall, catching it and immediately passing it again. As you become more skilled, practice trickier passes like a behind-the-back delivery to develop more dexterity.
Lay down flat on your back with a basketball in your shooting hand. With just one hand, shoot the ball straight into the air with good rotation. This drill helps you learn the proper release off the "shooting pads" of your hands. Use your off-hand to catch and balance the ball, if necessary, but shoot only with your strong hand.
Jeff Gordon has been reporting and writing since 1977. His most recent work has appeared on websites such as eHow, GolfLink, Ask Men, Open Sports, Fox Sports and MSN. He has previously written for publications such as "The Sporting News" and "The Hockey News." He graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism in 1979 with a bachelor's degree.