Simple, fun and effective drills for youth basketball teams and players to develop shooting, dribbling, passing, rebounding and defending skills.
We may not give youth basketball coaches (or youth coaches of any sport, for that matter) enough credit. It takes patience, positivity and plenty of energy to instruct young athletes. Did we mention patience?
Coaching youth teams is not as easy as some may think. Building fundamental skills must come first before any higher level offensive or defensive concepts. These practice drills are designed to teach the most important basketball skills: shooting, dribbling, passing, rebounding and defending.
Nearly all involve the entire team or a group of players, rather than individuals. One key with coaching youth players: have everyone moving and engaged in an activity. The more players standing, the higher the chance they’ll be spacing off.
Allowing players to make mistakes is crucial because it certainly is going to happen. Yet, coaches must urge players to continue to push through mistakes in order to improve.
A final suggestion: make these drills fun! Whenever possible, finish a drill by adding something that will get your players excited and energized. Maybe it’s a competition aspect where teams are battling for first place. Having players count made baskets out loud almost always picks up the intensity. Partner drills can also be fun for players as they team up with their buddy; just ensure the groups are fair enough and rotations happen frequently so everyone gets a chance to play with each teammate.
When your players have the fundamentals of these drills down, check out our 20 basic plays for youth basketball teams. These sets that are simple for coaches to teach and easy for players to execute.
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Practice Drills for Youth Basketball
Half Court Cone Dribbling
3 Around the Key Passing
Team Form Shooting
Guard/Post Partner Shooting
5 Spot Shooting
Pick and Roll Shooting
One More Shooting
Defensive Zig Zags
Tag The Cutter
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Any drills we missed? Send us your favorite practice drills youth basketball teams and players by tagging us on Twitter. We’d love to continue the conversation and help coaches develop young players all over the world!