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Unlike professional basketball players, kids tend to have one main motivation for doing something – fun! Unless it’s fun, they tend to get bored rather quickly and lose interest. That is why when you are looking for the best basketball drills for kids, you want to find something fun and that steers away from the three dreaded L’s – Laps, lines and lectures.
Many coaches realize this fact and that is why they came up with a “games approach” to conditioning kids. The idea here is to instill the kind of tactical and technical skill discipline you want in the children using fun and all-inclusive drills. In short, kids should learn these skills in a game setting where they get to use what they learn against opponents in real-time.
Three Best Basketball Drills for Kids
The drills listed below were modeled after kid’s games that are already popular and therefore much more acceptable to the team of children. These games have been modified to incorporate the crucial lessons that kids must learn in order to become excellent basketball players – dribbling, shooting and passing.
1. Home Run
This drill is designed to help kids learn how to shoot free throws when under pressure as well as develop high-speed ball handling skills.
How it works:
Set it up by dividing the kids into two teams. One team should form a line at the free throw line and the dribbling team should do the same at where the sideline and the baseline meet. The shooting team should have two balls while each member of the dribbling team should have their own ball.
- The dribbling team will be baserunners who must complete a circuit before they are struck out by the shooting team (making a jump shot constitutes a strike).
- As soon as the coach says so, a dribbler will dribble their ball to the half court and then down the opposite sideline. The idea is to get back to “home” as fast as possible before the shooter makes a jump shot.
- Should a player dribble their ball all the way back home before the shooter makes a jump shot, they get one point.
- Should the shooter make a jump shot before the dribbler gets back “home”, the dribbler is struck out and must wait until the entire team has a turn before they can join the lineup again.
- Each shooter is to take one shot and collect their rebound before attempting another shot.
As the coach, you can make things interesting by changing the shooting positions depending on the player’s skill level as well as changing the dribbling styles. The kids who learn how to dribble very quickly have a better chance of making it back home without getting struck out and the shooters who learn how to go for their rebounds faster and shoot more accurately have a better chance of striking out their opponents.
2. All Star Shootout
This is a drill that is designed to help the kids learn how to shoot from almost anywhere on the court. The competitive angle here helps them learn how to shoot accurately even when under pressure.
How it works:
Set it up by dividing the kids into two equally numbered teams. The teams should line up on opposite ends of the court (baselines). Place about 6 or 8 cones in different spots on the court (the cones should coincide with the same location on the opposite baseline so there are no unfair advantages.
- Each team should have one ball. On your signal, the first player from each team will run up to any of the giving spots marked by a cone and take a shot.
- If they make the shot, they then grab their rebound and the cone they used as they return to the baseline to release the next shooter.
- If they miss the shot, they grab their rebound and return to the baseline to release the next player.
- The team that successfully makes a shot from every single one of the preset locations and brings back their rebound plus all their cones wins.
Not only does this help your team members learn how to shoot from different spots on the court but it also helps them learn how to include every team member. You can make things harder by exclusively placing the cones on the three pointer line and even more difficult spots around the court. This helps them develop more complex shooting skills as well as condition them.
This is a fun and enjoyable spin on the typical 1 on 1 game. The idea is to help players learn how to use their skills and beat their opponents on a one on one scenario. This conditions them to performing under pressure.
How it works:
Have the players line up at center court and each of them sound off a number from one all the way to the last one of them. Once they all have their designated numbers, have the ones with even numbers pick a sideline and line up their while the ones with odd numbers line up on the opposite sideline. As the coach, you will stand smack in the middle of the court with the ball in your hand. You should then assign a basket to each team. The idea is for every team member to try and score in their own basket before their opponent does.
- Call out an odd and even number randomly as you toss the ball into the middle of the court.
- The called out numbers will then scramble for the ball with the first one to get to it playing offense.
- The offensive player is then required to try and score into his/her own teams’ basket as the other player defends it.
- Should he/she fail to do so; the two players will then play a round of one on one with the round ending as soon as one of them makes the basket.
You can make this more fun by throwing the ball to one side to avoid 50/50 collisions.
These are some of the best basketball drills for kids. They are designed to be fun and challenging. Feel free to add your own spin on things to make them more exciting for your kids.