Basketball Training Drills for Kids

By Heather Potter
Drills, young basketball players&#039, skills
Basketball. image by Saskia Massink from <a href=''></a>

Young basketball players need to develop the basic skills of the game, such as passing, dribbling and shooting. Drills for young players help improve these skills while encouraging teamwork. Coaches of younger players should keep the drills fun as well as instructional.

Clap Pass

Players form a circle with the coach or another player in the middle. The person in the middle passes the ball to different players. Each player must clap before he catches the ball. A player is out if he misses the pass, doesn&#039;t clap or claps when the thrower fakes a pass to him, but throws to a different player.

Heads Up Direction Change

The coach stands at center court, off of the court, in view of the players. Four or five players, each with a ball, stand along the center court line. The players dribble the ball and move in the direction the coach moves. The coach should be silent while changing directions so that the players have to look at the coach and not at the ball.

Red light-Green light

The players stand at one baseline, each with a ball. Players dribble the ball down the court when the coach yells "green light." The players must stop when the coach yells "red light." To make this drill more difficult, the coach can yell "blue light" to indicate the players should dribble to the left and "yellow light" to indicate the players should dribble to the right.

Monkey In The Middle

Three players line up with reasonable space between them. The two players on each end have a ball. The player on one end passes the ball to the player in the center. After the pass, the players switch places so that the person with the ball moves to the outside and the player without a ball is in the middle. The drill is repeated with the player on the other end. The three players continue passing the ball and switching places as quickly as they can.

Speed Lay-up

A player shoots a lay-up on the right side of the basket, then shoots from the left side. The player continues to alternate sides for one minute. To add motivation, the rest of the team can count the number of shots.

Speed Dribble

The players each take a ball and line up at the half-court line. Players dribble half the length of the court and count the number of dribbles. The players then turn and go back to the half-court line, and reduce the number of dribbles by one. This continues for five to 10 minutes.

Who&#039;s Afraid Of

The players each take a ball and stand at one end of the court. One player stands in the middle with a ball. The other players try to dribble to the opposite end of the court before the player in the middle taps them on the back with her ball.

Hot Hands

This is a passing drill and no dribbling is allowed. A player throws a pass to a second player. That player must then pass the ball to another player in fewer than two steps. If the player takes more than two steps, the player is removed.

Bean Bag

Place a circle of beanbags in the key circle. Divide the players into two teams, each with one ball. One side stands at half court and one at the baseline. A player from each team dribbles to the beanbags and picks up a beanbag from the floor, while still dribbling the ball. The player then goes back to his team and passes the ball to another player. This continues until all of the beanbags are gone. The team with the most beanbags wins.

Ball Scramble

The players stand on the court, each with a ball. At the coach&#039;s signal, players drop their balls and run to the bleachers or some other designated location in the court. The coach removes a ball from the floor. The players run back to retrieve their balls. The player without a ball is out. This continues until the last player remains.


Three players stand about 30 feet apart. The player on the right has the ball. He slaps the ball and the middle player moves towards him to receive a pass. The player on the right passes to the middle player. When the middle player catches the pass, he stops, performs a legal pivot and passes the ball to the player on the left. The player on the left repeats the actions of the player on the right. This continues for 30 to 45 seconds, then new players take over.

About the Author

Heather Potter has more than 10 years experience as a writer. She specializes in travel writing, and her writing has appeared on national websites, including USA Today. She attended Boston University.