Quickest way to improvement? Practice. It’s a simple bit of advice that rings with absolute truth. Articles, tips, mentors, and study will never get you as far as rolling up your sleeves and getting down to work, be it animation or any other skill.
adapted from animator island:
Level 1 Exercises
(Do not discount their simplicity! Here you have the principals of animation, which all other animation is built on. They are worth your time and effort.)
-Ball Bouncing in place, no decay (loop)
-Ball Bouncing across the screen
-Brick falling from a shelf onto the ground
-Simple character head turn
-Character head turn with anticipation
-Character thinking (tougher than it sounds!)
-Character waving (loop)
-Character falling (loop or hitting the ground)
-Character kicking a ball
This video describes how to create simple animations in Photoshop CS4.
Do your best.
There is no reason to do these exercises poorly.
Give it your all.
You owe it to yourself to try your very best.
Something not quite right? Take the time to fix it.