Today’s coaches know that basketball drills should be tailored for specific age groups. Kids of varying ages require different types of skill development, since many of them are just starting out in the game while others need more technical instruction.
However, there are different learning styles to take into account, as well. You want to develop discipline, get the kids in shape and, of course, have fun. After all, a love of the game is one of the most valuable tools you can leave your kids with, long after the youth basketball drills and practices are done.
Although basketball coaching requires more than just a series of drills, these are some of the top choices for young players. Quick to learn, easy to master, and focused on a group effort, these are the types of basketball drills that engage young players and instill a love of the game from the start.
In this drill, supply each player with a ball. Place yourself within eye range of all of them, but make sure you allow them ample room for maneuvering around the court.
Start moving in a direction (right, left, forward, backward, diagonal), and require the players to dribble that direction with you. Change your direction every so often, without giving a verbal cue. The players will have to keep their eyes on you in order to follow suit.
Ask the kids to line up in front of the hoop. The player’s non-shooting arm should be bent behind his or her back. The shooting arm should be bent to make an “L” shape, with the elbow placed directly above the foot and tucked in.
With the shooting hand, the kids should make shots from just underneath the rim. All strength will have to come from the form, the shooting arm, and the motion of the body behind the arm. Require each player to make five baskets without hitting the rim before switching to another player.
This can be adapted for almost any old-fashioned kids game. The first drill in this list is much like “Simon Says,” which means that your players will recognize the familiar game and connect with it on a more enjoyable level.
Do the same for “Red Light, Green Light,” wherein players dribble down the court after you yell “green,” slowing when you yell “yellow” or stopping when you yell “red.”
You can also play “Red Rover,” wherein players line up in two separate, facing lines. Using one ball, a player in one line must pass to a player in the other, repeating the action between different players.
Other games to consider adapting include “Mother, May I” and “Hot Potato.”
There are literally hundreds of different youth basketball drills out there.
No matter what skill you’re trying to develop or what age group you’re coaching, the most important thing is to make the drills challenging while maintaining an overriding sense of fun.
The basketball drills for kids outlined above do just that; recognizable, challenging, and interactive, they’ll require your players to develop skills without knowing they’re doing it.
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