As a youth basketball coach, you are responsible for teaching kids the fundamentals of the game while also helping them learn and love basketball. Youth basketball coaches walk a fine line in coaching because kids need to have fun playing the game, but they also need to develop as players.
It is also a key time in their young playing careers because they can really set themselves apart from other kids their age or fall behind. There are a lot of basketball drills out there, and it is hard to decide what drills you should use for younger kids.
You want basketball drills that will challenge the kids but not be too difficult, and it also has to be somewhat of a fun basketball drill. This basketball article aims to provide you with some tips about youth basketball drills and provide a list of good basketball drills for younger kids.
Basketball Shooting Drills
If you have younger basketball players that are not strong enough to shoot the right way on a ten-foot hoop, then you need to practice on an adjustable hoop that you can lower. It is counterproductive to shoot on a ten-foot hoop if the players have to launch the ball from their hip to get it up there.
This will only teach bad form and really set them back as they get older. Use a smaller ball and lower hoop to practice shooting. If you do not have a hoop that can lower, stay away from shooting and focus on layups, dribbling, and passing.
- 3 Level From Basketball Shooting Drill – This basketball drill is great for teaching the proper mechanics of shooting and getting a good amount of repetitions. If the player is not strong enough to shoot 3’s then only go out to the mid-range.
- Ray Allen Curl Basketball Shooting Drill – Many young basketball players don’t understand how to move without the ball and shoot off of screens. This is a great drill to teach how to read a defender and also to practice good footwork.
- Ray Allen Straight Cut Basketball Shooting Drill – This is another great basketball drill for working on footwork and reading the defender. It is important to be able to shoot in a variety of ways. Really focus on teaching the proper footwork, don’t let the players drift back on the shot, and have them overemphasize their follow-through. If they are not strong enough to shoot 3’s, have them cut out to the mid-range.
- Ray Allen Fade Cut Basketball Shooting Drill – Being able to read the defender and decide whether to curl, straight cut, or fade cut takes time and practice. If youth basketball players can learn this early, it will help them succeed later on in their playing careers.
- 2 Minute Magic Basketball Shooting Drill – This is a great basketball shooting drill because it allows you to get up a lot of shots and focus on form, but it also puts a little pressure on the shooter. If the player isn’t strong enough to shoot 3’s, then shoot mid-range shots. Also, if you want, instead of having to make 3 shots in a row from each spot, you can choose to only have to make 2 in a row from each spot.
Basketball Dribbling Drills
I cannot tell you how many younger kids I see dribbling a basketball with their eyes down or can only really dribble with their dominant hand. They do this because they were not corrected at an early age, and now it is a bad habit.
As a youth basketball coach, it is key that you correct your players when you see them doing stuff the wrong way. You are responsible for the basketball foundation for many of these players. Here are some great youth basketball drills that will focus on ball handling.
One Basketball Dribbling Drills
- Basketball Slaps
- Low Dribble Basketball Dribbling Drill
- Windshield Wipers Basketball Dribbling Drill
- Side Windshield Wipers Basketball Dribbling Drill
- Figure 8 No Dribble Basketball Drill
Two Basketball Dribbling Drills
- 2 Ball Pound Basketball Dribbling Drill
- High/Low 2 Ball Pound Basketball Dribbling Drill
- Double Windshield Wipers Basketball Dribbling Drill
- Alternating Pound Basketball Dribbling Drill
Tennis Ball Dribbling Drills
- Progression Toss Crossover Tennis Ball Basketball Dribbling Drill
- Progression Toss Between the Legs Tennis Ball Basketball Dribbling Drill
- In and Out Tennis Ball Basketball Dribbling Drill
- Pound Toss Tennis Ball Basketball Dribbling Drill
- Windshield Wiper Toss Tennis Ball Basketball Dribbling Drill
Basketball Passing Drills
Being able to pass the ball the right way and on time is a basketball fundamental that most younger kids lack today. When a first-time youth basketball player gets pressured, his/her first response is to pick up the ball and cover it.
As the coach, you need to explain and teach them how to pass the ball to the open teammate. Here are some youth basketball drills that will work on the fundamentals of passing.
- Chest Pass Basketball Passing Drill
- Bounce Pass Basketball Passing Drill
- Wrap Around Pass Basketball Passing Drill
Youth Basketball Drills Conclusion
Youth basketball coaches have a big responsibility to their players because they are laying the foundation for the rest of that player’s basketball career. They can either set them up with a strong foundation of enjoying the game and understanding the fundamentals, or they can set them up with a not so great foundation that burns out the player or doesn’t develop them the way that they need to play at a higher level as they get older.
Make sure to use all of these youth basketball drills and start developing your players in a fun learning environment that will promote some serious growth and player development.