I know what you’re thinking. Do I really need this many basketball drills for kids? There is only so much time for kids to practice and they can’t possibly get through so many. The great news is that with so many options, the players will never be bored. We chose experience level as opposed to age because age isn’t really as big of a factor in many of these drills. The techniques remain the same, but you can adjust space and speed to match the ages.
- 1 29 Basketball Drills For Kids
- 1.1 BEGINNER DRIBBLING DRILLS
- 1.2 BEGINNER SHOOTING DRILLS
- 1.3 BEGINNER PASSING DRILLS
- 1.4 BEGINNER DEFENSIVE DRILLS
- 1.5 BEGINNER REBOUNDING DRILLS
- 1.6 Extra Drills For Teamwork
- 1.7 Wrap Up
29 Basketball Drills For Kids
Here’s our list of the best youth basketball drills sorted in order of years of experience starting with Beginners who have no experience, then Intermediate and finally Advanced players with a few bonus drills at the end! Enjoy!
BEGINNER DRIBBLING DRILLS
These are the kids who have never played before and barely know the language of basketball. Start basic and go slow with these drills. Don’t worry about their age or speed because everyone struggles with the unique coordination of basketball.
The first drills we’re looking at are the dribbling drills. These are the absolute basics that kids must master before moving on to more advanced dribbling abilities. Obviously, you don’t want kids trying streetball moves or attempting to do what they see Steph Curry doing in the NBA. Start slow and build up.
Drill 1: Around The Waist
How To Do It: Have players start with the ball resting under their arm on their hip. The players brings the ball around the front of their body and transfers it into the opposite hand. Then the player keeps rotating the ball around their backside in the same manner. Start slow and just begin around the waist at first (practice circling both directions for 30 seconds). See the video below.
Next Level For This Drill: As players get more comfortable, they can switch to circling around the knees and around the head. Eventually, they can even do the full “figure-8” as shown in the video. The goal is to improve speed without watching the ball. If players can successfully do this “figure-8” for 30 seconds straight without looking (aka close their eyes), they have mastered it.
Drill 2: The Basic Dribble
How To Do It: The basic dribble in front of the player is the most fundamental skill they need to master. Have players get into athletic stances with knees bent and back straight and dribble directly in front of their bodies for 30 seconds each hand. Remember, players should use their opposite hand (not the dribbling hand) to shield the dribble by putting their forearm up parallel to the ground in front of them. Then, have them dribble to each side of their body for 30 seconds (again each hand). See the video.
Next Level For This Drill: In the beginning, players will be watching the ball like a hawk with their head down. When they are comfortable with this, have them look up at you while they dribble. Players need to learn how to “feel” the dribble and not rely on “seeing” it.
Drill 3: Running Dribble
How To Do It: Have the kids line up with a basketball on the baseline. At first, have them just walk up the court toward the half court line while dribbling the basketball. They will need to learn how to push the ball slightly in front of them while moving to keep their dribble with their bodies. As the players get more comfortable, they can jog up and down and eventually sprint. They players will learn that the faster they run, the more the ball will push out in front of them. Practice this for at least 2 minutes with each hand. See the video.
Next Level For This Drill: Again with this drill, in the beginning the players will keep their heads down as they watch themselves dribble the ball. That’s OK in the beginning, but eventually we want players looking up while dribbling. When they are comfortable going up and down the court dribbling, have them watch the hoop while they run. For an added fun twist, have the coach sit under the opposite basket shooting layups and the players need to count how many shots you make.
Drill 4: Backward Dribble
How To Do It: Have players line up on the baseline with a basketball just like with the Running Dribble. This time the player is going to dribble forward toward the free throw line and stop when they reach it (and keep dribbling). Then, they will back up while dribbling 3 steps by shuffling their feet and using their off-hand to protect the basketball. Keep dribbling with the same hand, the players should sprint forward after the third step back and repeat the entire process once they reach half court. Then, the players repeat again at the opposite free throw line and finish at the opposite baseline. Do this drill with the opposite hand dribbling on the way back. See the video.
Next Level For This Drill: Again, the same concept of keeping their eyes up is important to emphasize in this drill. However, players can also learn to mix it up with the number of steps they take back. For the players getting advanced with this, have them alternate between 1 – 3 steps back each time they do the drill and maybe even do a crossover at the last step. Another great idea is a 2-on-1 game-like approach where you station two defenders at each line so when the offensive players arrives, they try stealing the ball. The offensive player has to back up multiple steps and speed past the defenders.
Drill 5: Baby Crossover
How To Do It: The most basic move to shake defenders is the crossover, but let’s start with the small baby version first. Have players stand still (in an athletic stance with knees bent and back straight) and dribble the ball in front of them switching between left and right hand. The players should aim to keep the ball bouncing on the same spot in front of them and for the ball to stay at-or-below their knees the entire time. See the video below.
Next Level For This Drill: This has so many options for increasing the difficulty to go next level that you can choose for your players. First, make sure they focus on keeping their head up. Second, have players work on increasing their speed back and forth. Third, have players start taking steps forward while dribbling to get in the habit of attacking after crossing over. Fourth,
BEGINNER SHOOTING DRILLS
Shooting basketball drills for kids can be the most challenging to recommend because it is so highly dependent on the players’ age. For young players (5th grade and below), it is highly recommended to lower the hoop to 8 feet. The players need to learn proper form for shooting and they haven’t developed the muscles yet at that young age to throw a basketball up 10 feet correctly. Many coaches and leagues don’t do this which is why we see so many basketball players with terrible shooting form in high school and college. Trust me, no one wants to end up on this list of the ugliest shooting forms in history.
These drills should focus on two things only: FUNDAMENTALS and HABITS. Helping players forms good shooting fundamentals and habits will set them up to be good shooters later on. Who knows, they may even end up like this someday.
Drill 1: Shooting Form
How To Do It: Teach players the proper shooting form is the most difficult thing in basketball because there are multiple ways considered “correct” with shooting form. The greatest shooter right now is Steph Curry and he shoots with a completely different form than someone like Kobe Bryant. Here are the general guidelines, but let players find the rhythm that works for them.
Assuming a right-handed player, have the player face the basket with their right foot slightly in front of their left foot (both feet should still face the hoop). Players should bend their knees and keep the back straight. The right bicep should be parallel to the ground and the forearm should be perpendicular. The ball should rest on the right hand fingertips and not the palm with the left hand resting on the side of the ball for support only. The player will then jump and release the basketball around the top of their jump for a jump shot. The right arm should extend forward to push the ball and the right wrist should snap down after the ball is released to provide spin. The left hand only helps guide the ball forward while the right arm is extending and should release from the ball just before the right hand snaps down.
Have players practice getting in proper shooting form. It should be practiced while dribbling and passing. Have players dribble in place and coach yell “shoot” and players should pick up the ball and immediately get into proper shooting form. Also, have players pass to each other and repeat so players can feel comfortable getting into shooting form after receiving a pass. See the videos below (we chose two of the best shooting forms since there are so many that can be considered good).
Next Level For This Drill: After players hop into proper shooting form, have them actually jump up and shoot the ball. They can shoot at the basket, at a spot on the wall, or just straight up in the air. Players need to get comfortable going through the entire motion of shooting from the start to the follow through.
Drill 2: Basic Layup
How To Do It: Have players line up at just a few dribbles distance away from the hoop and slightly off to the right (about 45 degree angle from the front of basket). Have player 1 dribble (walking or jogging) toward the hoop and as they get close, have the player put the ball in their hands similar to the proper shooting form. Then have players leap off their left foot with the right knee coming up in conjunction with the right elbow. The player should release the basketball at the top of the jump. Practice on both sides of the basket and using both hands for layups. See the video below.
Next Level For This Drill: Have players try dribbling from further away and running at full speed toward the basket. They need to learn to gather themselves and stay under control the entire time. Remember to reinforce dribbling with their head up.
Drill 3: Mikan Drill
How To Do It: Have the players stand on the right block with the basketball. The players should shoot a basic jump shot on the right side using the backboard and their right hand. Then, rebound the ball and move to the left side of the basket and repeat using the left hand. Continue repeating back and forth (right and left) until the players makes 10 on each side. See the video below.
Next Level For This Drill: For the advanced players who are getting the drill quickly, have them focus on rebounding the ball at it’s highest point. Make sure players understand how to jump for rebounds. Then after they have the rebound, the players should try keeping the ball up near their head while they switch sides and shoot again. This focuses on getting shots up quickly after rebounds. Finally, include a timer that players have to make 10 on each side in 30 seconds.
Drill 4: Dribble-Jump Stop-Shot
How To Do It: Have players start at the the free throw line with a basketball and facing the hoop. The player should take one or two dribbles toward the basket then do a proper jump stop and a jump shot. Have players focus on proper form for both the jump stop and jump shot as these are essential basketball drills for kids and beginners. See the video below. The video even uses cones to direct players to the spot coaches want.
Next Level For This Drill: Have players do the this drill starting at different locations on the court (the elbow, the wing, and baseline) so they get a feeling for shooting from all areas on the floor. Also, have players dribble faster up to their jump stop as they get more confident. Finally, if players are really doing well, have them take 2 steps back and add in extra dribbles.
Drill 5: Around The World
How To Do It: The basic shooting game. Split players into two teams and each line up on one of the blocks. Give one basketball to the first player in each line. The goal is to have each player make a basket from that spot before the team can move to the next spot. The next spot is on the wing at about the same distance from the hoop as the first shot. The third spot in in front of the free throw line and the final two spots are mirror images of the first two on the opposite side of the hoop. The team that gets all players to make a shot from each spot wins! See the video below. You can ignore the part in the video about “chance” and only getting two shots. The goal for beginners is just to take a lot of shots to get familiar with the game.
Next Level For This Drill: Have players take a step or two back away from the hoop for each spot. You can also split them into smaller teams and work on 2 baskets if that’s available. Lastly, coach can make each players make 2 baskets from each spot before moving on. Remember to have players focus on proper form!
BEGINNER PASSING DRILLS
Passing is one of the most beautiful aspects of basketball to watch. Take a look at this video of the Spurs amazing passing ability that lead them to the NBA Championship in 2014. What many people misunderstand about passing is that it provides so many more opportunities for players to score if they are also fantastic passers. Today’s game centralizes around one-on-one play and dribbling past your defender. But we’ve seen time and time again that TEAMS that are better passers can beat teams with better players.
However, it’s not only passing that makes teams great, it’s also the ability to move without the ball. For beginners, we don’t always expect them to understand that concept and do it naturally, but as players advance, it can be the most lethal aspect of their game. So let’s get into the basic basketball drills for kids first.
Drill 1: Chest Pass
How To Do It: Split your players into two lines on each side of the key facing each other. Every player should be directly across the lane from another player (have a coach or parent help is you have uneven numbers). Give a ball to each player on the left line. Note: If you don’t have enough basketballs for the entire line, don’t worry. Skip to the Triangle Pass below. Have players put their hands on each side of the basketball with fingers pointing up and slightly away from their body and hold it in front of their chest. Players should aim toward the opposite player with the goal to hit them in the chest. Take one step forward and push the ball forward in the same motion while keeping the other foot firmly planted. Obviously, you want the opposite player to catch the ball around chest height and return the pass to the original player. Repeat this for 30-60 seconds. See the video below.
Next Level For This Drill: Taking this drill to the next level is fairly basic. Have players take one or two large steps backward to increase the distance between them. This works on their power while maintaining accuracy. Another advancement to this is to have the players take 3 dribbles before catching the ball, securing it with proper hand position, and passing to the opposite player. This helps players get the feeling of dribbling and passing in one smooth motion.
Drill 2: Bounce Pass
How To Do It: The other fundamental pass is the bounce pass. Players should line up exactly as they did above for the chest pass. Everything is the same from the hand position to the step forward, the only difference is where the players are aiming the ball. Players should aim to bounce the ball about half way between them and the opposite player. Note: As players get a better understanding, they will actually want to aim for about 60% of the way toward the opposite player for optimum bounce. The opposite player should catch the ball and return it in the same manner. Repeat for 30-60 seconds. See the video below.
Next Level For This Drill: Again, have players take one to two steps back to increase the distance between them. It will increase their power and ability to judge the half-way point for effective passes. Also, feel free to incorporate the dribble-catch-pass method again to get players comfortable with that motion.
Drill 3: Triangle Pass
How To Do It: This drill is perfect for teams with less basketballs, but still can be incorporated any time you want a fun game too. Have players split into groups of three and form triangles with one basketball per triangle. Players should face the middle of the triangle. The person with the ball turns to the person on their right and makes a chest (or bounce) pass and the receiving player catches the ball and throws it to the third player. Keep repeating the process in one direction for 30-60 seconds and reverse the direction. Note: If you still don’t have enough basketballs to accomplish the Triangle Drill, use a square formation instead. All basketball practices should have at least 4 basketballs to be effective. See the slightly modified version in the video below. This video should only be used once players are more established with passing.
Next Level For This Drill: Taking this drill to the next level involves some fun games. First, have players race to see how fast they can do 10 rotations around the triangle. Also, you can have players catch the pass and perform an Around The World around their waist (or get into Shooting Form) before passing on to the next player. This really helps them develop the coordination to do something with the ball immediately after catching it.
Drill 4: Monkey In The Middle
How To Do It: A very fun game for young players to work skills while enjoying the game. Have all players circle up in the middle of the court and have one player in the middle of the circle. Give a basketball to one player. The rules are simple; players have 5 seconds to pass the ball to another player using either chest or bounce passes. The player in the middle is trying to steal any pass they can while staying inside the circle. If the defensive player ever steals the ball, or the ball goes out of the circle, switch defenders. On both occasions, the passer is the one switching with the defender. If a player holds longer than 5 seconds, they switch to be the defender.
Next Level For This Drill: Going to the next level is a little challenging, but you can find small ways to improve. First, drop the time limit to 3 seconds to help players learn to think and react faster. Second, make a rule that players can’t pass to the player next to them or even 2 players away. Limiting options can help mimic real game situations when defenders take away certain aspects of your offense.
Drill 5: Relay Passing Game
How To Do It: Split your players into two equal sized teams (add the coach if uneven numbers). Have them space out and line up so that one player in each line is on each baseline. There should be several feet of space between each player. Give a basketball to each player on one baseline and have players get ready for a race. The goal is to do chest passes to each player all the way down the line and all the way back after the coaches whistle. First team to go down and back wins! Repeat the races multiple times switching off between chest and bounce passes each time. See the modified video below. Ignore the parts about changing balls and focus on the concept of passing in a line.
Next Level For This Drill: Another drill that can be heavily modified depending on how quickly your players pick up on this. One variation is to have players line up in more of a “zig-zag” formation instead of straight line. This will force them to pass a further distance and work on catching and passing from different angles. Another variation is to have players alternate each pass between chest and bounce pass. This forces players to pay close attention and think while making a pass which is crucial in game situations.
BEGINNER DEFENSIVE DRILLS
The next set of basketball drills for kids revolves around defense. Now defense is probably one of the most important aspects of basketball, but most young players prefer the offensive stuff in the beginning. Your goal as a coach/parent is to keep the kids excited and engaged long enough to get to the defensive drills so they can learn proper defense. Without good defensive skills, the players will never evolve into the elite players they could be. You don’t need them to be on this list right out of the gate, but it’s important to emphasize how defense can win them games!
Drill 1: Happy Feet (Rapid Foot Fire)
How To Do It: A fun and exciting drill that helps players learn to pick up their feet quickly on defense. Have players space out and face one direction where coach (or a leader player) is facing them. Have players get into proper defensive stance (click here if you want to learn proper defensive stance). On the whistle, have players jump into happy feet or rapid foot fire mode for 15 seconds and stop but stay in defensive stance. Repeat the happy feet 4-5 more times and keep players in defensive stance the entire drill. This helps them understand that they must always been in proper stance while playing defense. See the video below.
Next Level For This Drill: If players are mastering the happy feet, increase the time from 15 seconds to 30 seconds at a time. Also you can have them twist from left to right on your command during the happy feet to work on changing their lower body to move but keeping their upper body crouched in defensive position.
Drill 2: Defensive Shuffle
How To Do It: The most basic defensive shuffle is one of the most critical basketball drills for kids. Have players space out similar to the Happy Feet Drill and get into proper defensive stance. The coach should either point or yell a direction (left or right) and have players shuffle their feet in that direction until coach changes direction or yells stop. Remember to have players stay in proper defensive stance the entire drill, even in between shuffles. See the video below.
Next Level For This Drill: You can see on the video how they have players use the court for direction on where to shuffle to and from. You can copy this by having players shuffle back and forth inside the key or even from baseline to free-throw line and then to half court. Remember to stress staying in defensive stance the entire time. This will greatly help conditioning as well!
Drill 3: Close-Out
How To Do It: Teaching players how to close out on a player who has the ball is crucial and will be extremely valuable at this level of play when few offenses expect it. Have one player at the three point line where it crosses the free throw line (one player on each side is ideal) and the rest of the players lined up under the basket. The coach has the ball at the top and passes to one player on the side. Note, in a perfect world you would have 3 coaches and those coaches would be around the 3 point line instead of players since this is a defensive drill. The first player under the basket sprints out to the player catching the ball. About 3 steps before the defensive player reaches the offensive player, the defender will do Happy Feet in defensive stance and shuffle up to the offensive player. The defender will have one hand raised high in the air to contest any shot and the other hand mirroring the ball. Ideally, you want to teach players how to “force” the offense to the baseline by positioning their body such that the offensive player only has one direction to go. Once the defender has completed the close-out, have the offensive player pass back to the coach and repeat on the opposite side. Have the defender then become the pass receiver and the offensive player move in line under the basket. Repeat until all players have done 3-4 close-outs. See the two videos below that walk through it (warning – the second video has some mild language since it’s a college practice).
Next Level For This Drill: Following the second video, the next level for this drill is having players also learn how to be in proper defensive position when not in front of the ball. The video showcases it well. When the ball is passed to one side, the opposite side defender must sprint to the lane and be positioned a few feet in front of the rim where they can still see their man and the ball. Another method is to have the offensive player either shoot after receiving the pass or take two dribbles to get defenders accustomed to it.
Drill 4: Defense Leader Mirror
How To Do It: A fun drill for kids to practice reaction on defense as it involves on leader and everyone else following. Have players line and spread out facing the wall with one player in the front facing the group. This is the leader in front. The leader’s job is to get the group and try making it difficult for everyone else to copy him/her. The leader can do one of many things, but it has to be one of these at all time: happy feet, jump to defensive stance, defensive shuffle left or right, or proper close-out. Do this for 30 seconds and then switch leaders. Keep rotating leaders until everyone has had a chance so it feels equal. See the video.
Next Level For This Drill: How do you take this one step harder? Try including doing everything above while a player dribbles a basketball. This adds a high degree of difficulty for both the leader and follower now that they must maintain a proper dribble.
Drill 5: 1-on-1 Defense
How To Do It: The ultimate test in defense is stopping your man when they have the basketball. Have players split up into groups of 2 and form two lines on the baseline. Give each group one basketball and assign one player to offense and one to defense. The offensive player’s goal is to dribble up the court to the half-court line as quickly as possible and while staying on one side of the court from the painted key. The defenders job is to stop the offensive player by shuffling their feet defensively.
BEGINNER REBOUNDING DRILLS
Rebounding is such a vital and probably the most underrated aspect of winning games. Holding your opponents to one shot and getting more shots up will only help your team. However, proper rebounding technique isn’t often taught and it should be from a young age. Utilize these drills to instill the correct aspects of rebounding so your players will always have the advantage on the boards!
1. Basic Rebounding Form
How To Do It: First things first and we need to teach proper rebounding form. The number one thing is players need to ALWAYS use two hands when grabbing a rebound. Players need to learn to jump up (after a shot attempt is missed) and time the ball coming down so they reach the ball at the top of their jump. Players should use two hands to grab the ball mid-air and come down with both feet solidly planted. Once on the ground, players should clamp the ball between their hands (about chest level) with their elbows out to protect the ball. One great drill for beginners is in the video below.
Next Level For This Drill: Taking this drill to the next level involves getting them used to passing to an outlet man and sprinting up the court. So once they’ve gotten the hang of basic rebounding, have one player as the “outlet” pass for the rebounder to find and make a strong chest pass to. Then the rebounder should sprint up to at least half court to get used to the full motion of rebounding — passing — sprinting. This helps keep it as a habit in their mind during games.
2. Basic Box-Out Form
How To Do It: You should focus this as an individual drill to teach proper form. Have players line up in two lines on the side of the painted area with each player being opposite another (similar in size and ability as players). One side is designated as offense and one as defense. On the whistle, have the defense sprint toward the offense, then do a proper close-out. The offense should remain stationary for now. Defenders put their right hand on the offenders right hip and similarly rotate their body so their back is toward the offense. Defenders right foot should go slightly outside the offensive player’s foot. Then defenders should rotate the left side of their body around to match the left side of the offense, again with defenders left foot outside offenders. Now have defenders crouch down in (as in proper defensive stance) with their arms stretched out to feel where offenders go. See the video below.
Next Level For This Drill: Instead of having offensive players stand still, have them actually try to get around the defense. The goal is to get around within 3 seconds. This simulates real game situations since the offense won’t stand still when a shot is up.
3. Find & Seek Box-Out
How To Do It: This drill can be done individually first, but as players get more advanced, do it as a group of 5 since that simulates games. Have all offensive players start out on the three-point line and all defensive players under the basket. The coach takes a jumper (intending to miss) and the goal is for the defenders to rebound and keep the offensive players away from the ball. The defenders need to learn to “find” the offensive player closest to them and box out. Defenders should run at the offender and just before reaching them, turn around to get their butt into the offensive player for proper position. After the contact, defenders should get low (like in defensive position) and use their arms to feel where the offense is going. Defenders should shuffle to keep the offensive player attached to their butt and away from the ball. See the video below.
Next Level For This Drill: We’ve already mentioned one extra level for this drill and that’s using all 5 players for defense just like games. The other extra level is instead of the coach shooting the ball, he passes to a player who should then take one dribble, jump stop and shoot and continue the drill. Players should see and feel what it’s like rebounding with an offensive player actually shooting. This is a great time to teach how to not make contact with the shooter until they have landed on both feet.
4. 2-on-2 Competitive Rebounding
How To Do It: Have players split up into 4 even lines. One line on each elbow and a line opposite each of those under the basket. Coach shoots a shot (trying to miss) and the defense (under the hoop) must sprint out to meet the offense and box out. If the offense gets the rebound, they play a 2-on-2 live game from that moment on. If defense gets the ball, they must secure it and outlet pass to the coach. The offense should try to steal the ball before the outlet pass is made because the drill isn’t over until the coach gets the ball back. Have players switch lines constantly to mix up partners and offense and defense. See the video.
Next Level For This Drill: Instead of starting on the elbow, have offensive players start on the wing. This gives them more room to operate trying to get around defenders. Another wrinkle is instead of coach shooting, he makes a pass to an offensive player and the defender has to do a proper close-out while the offensive player shoots. Then the defense must rebound correctly while the offense tries to get the ball. Again, the drill isn’t over until the defense outlets the ball to the coach.
5. Bronx Free-For-All Rebounding
How To Do It: This is a three-man drill and everyone is for themselves (no teams). They should start on the free throw line and the coach shoots a jumper. All three players are trying to get the rebound by boxing out the other two players. The ball is live from the moment the coach shoots and there is no out-of-bounds. The goal is the for each player to get one rebound for a basket and one more rebound as a defensive player who outlets to the coach. Players must score once before getting the second rebound to outlet. Even after a made basket, the ball is still live until the coach gets the ball back. This works on both offensive and defensive rebounding techniques and definitely introduces the “toughness” requirement for rebounding. See the video.
Next Level For This Drill: Introducing a fourth player increases the difficulty. Also, another wrinkle is having the rebounder pass to the coach then run to an open spot for a jumper outside the lane. This brings shooting into the drill. The other players who didn’t rebound are both on defense trying to stop the other player from scoring so they should focus on good close-outs and defensive stance. The same principles apply that the winning player must score once and then get another rebound and outlet to the coach.
Extra Drills For Teamwork
Here are some extra goodies for your team once they get accustomed to the videos and drills above. We’ve found that the best way to keep practice going for kids is to mix it up constantly so players always feel like they’re doing something unique and new. Young players need the stimulation of a new drill.
1. Full Court Transition Drill
How To Do It: This drill focuses on players learning out to outlet the basketball after a rebound and push the ball up the court quickly. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from coaching youth basketball, it’s that transition offense and defense is always mediocre. You can take advantage of that as an offense if you teach players how to pass and move quickly up court using this drill. See the video. But don’t think you need to only give them 30 seconds. For the first few attempts, time really doesn’t matter. Focus on the fundamentals of a good rebound, good passes, and good layup forms and everything will work out as they become more skilled.
2. Full Court Layup Conditioning Drill
How To Do It: This drill does several things as a team. It works on conditioning, passing, layups and rebounding. And it engages the entire team pretty actively so everyone is involved in the drill almost the entire time. Have players get in position in the video. One player on the sideline just above the three point line at each end and also each side of the court (4 positions total). One player under the basket with the ball. The remaining players even out in the lines. Have the player with the ball toss it off the backboard and do a proper rebound. Then pivot and pass out to the right side player near the three point line. The rebounder sprints toward the other end and when he/she reaches midcourt, they should receive the ball back from the person they passed it to. After the catch, the running player should pass to the other stationary player near the three points line on the opposite side of the court. The running player continues toward the hoop and about at the free throw line should receive the ball back from the person they passed to. Then the running player finishes with a layup. The person who last passed to the running player should go rebound the layup and repeat the drill. See the video.
Next Level For This Drill: Have two players running at the same time to keep players on their toes and get the conditioning high. This forces players to think and react quickly since they will constantly be either running or passing.
3. Cone Reaction Drill
How To Do It: This drill is amazing for teaching spacing when your offense drives to the basket. It also helps players learn to cut to the basket when they see someone driving. Lastly, it shows them how to properly move without the ball. Here’s how to set it up. Get 5 cones and space them evenly around the three-point line (or a few steps in if the players are young) and have one cone on the baseline under the basket. Each cone around the three-point line will have one player standing next to it. One player has the basketball and the rest have tennis balls. The object of the game is for the players with tennis balls to sprint to another cone (coach chooses right or left ahead of time) and put the tennis ball on top of the cone before the player with the ball drives and makes a layup. When a player is on the baseline, they can use the cone under the basket.
Player failing to make it to the cone before the ball gets in the hoop have to do pushups or situps depending on coaches preference. No player with a tennis ball can pick up the tennis ball from the cone until the ball handler begins attacking the basket. Repeat by switching out the ball handler every few rounds until everyone has handled the ball at least twice. See the video below.
Next Level For This Drills: Have the coach stand a few feet away from the ball handler at all time, but in between them and the hoop. Have the ball handler make a pass to the coach (at which point the tennis ball runners can go) and make a cut to the basket. The coach returns the ball back to the player on a “give-and-go” play for the layup. This allows the ball handler to move quicker to the rim and also working on the mentality of cutting to the basket after making a pass.
4. Advanced Defense Drills
How To Do Them: So there are two advanced defense drills that we think are immensely helpful regardless of age. However, we’ve found that players need a little time to get used to basketball before tossing these drills at them. The first is a footwork drill by one of the best defensive coaches for AAU basketball. It teaches how to stay in front of your man and become a great one-on-one defender. See the first video.
The second is all about team defense and hustling back on defense in transition. One area young players always need help in is learning how to SPRINT back on defense and help out stopping the ball (even if it’s not your man with the ball). This drill teaches exactly that by forcing the ball handlers defender to come up last and everyone else work on stopping the ball first! See the second video.
There are hundreds more basketball drills for kids, and we’ll definitely have more to share down the road. For now, check out these other pages that also have great drills for youth basketball players. Best of luck and keep working hard!