Youth Basketball Drills

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"At Last! Youth Basketball Drills &
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youth basketball drills 50+ UNIQUE, FUN and EFFECTIVE youth basketball drills explained with coaching tips, diagrams and video
basketball coaching How to use a motion offense to get tons of easy layups and wide open jumpers... even if you've never coached before
basketball tips A step by step youth basketball coaching formula that keep your kids engaged and having fun for the entire practice!
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Basketball Drills for Youth

Basketball drills for youth need several key components. They must, above all else, be enjoyable for the athletes, or they will lose motivation, energy, and excitement. Players must be able to see results from the drills as well, so that they stay motivated. Basketball drills for youth should also teach basic basketball skills and proper technique.

Fun and Function

Youth basketball drills need to be fun and functional. Coaches should find or devise drills that turn learning into playtime, so that athletes do not even know they are increasing their knowledge. Drills like competitions, drills with rewards, and drills that seem more like games are good examples of how a coach can sneak education in with fun.

Social and Emotional Learning

Youth basketball drills also need to have a component of social interaction. Youth learn important social skills from group activities such as sports, and basketball coaches have a duty to help nurture proper social behavior in practice.

Activities should encourage youth athletes to work together to solve a problem, rely on each other for success, recognize the good work of other players, and promote positive interaction. Drills that provide these benefits include those with a group component, so that athletes are not just working alone and relay drills, where the group’s success depends on each individual’s participation.

Follow the Leader

This dribbling drill engages youth by turning learning into a game. Just like “follow the leader,” this drill begins with a coach standing at one end of the practice area with all the players behind him. Everyone should have a ball.

The coach can take whatever route he wants through the practice area, outside, and anywhere in the building as long as it is safe. The coach should help players stay focused on dribbling near themselves, controlling the ball, and maintaining a rhythm in the dribbling.

Animal ShotsBasketball Drills for Youth

Players start anywhere on the court with a ball. One player goes at a time, and they take a shot. Players choose an animal name to spell out. Shorter names are better, as they will have to make a shot for every letter in the animal’s name. For example, “cat” would only require three shots, while “elephant” would require eight.

Players say a letter and take a shot. If they make it, they say the next letter and take another shot from the same location. This continues until the player makes the required number of shots. If the player misses a shot, they must start spelling the animal’s name over again, but only after another player has had a chance to take their shots.

Coaches should ensure that players choose equal animals and shot distances, so that everyone gets a similar experience. This drill is also good for teams with different talent levels, as coaches can make the drill more difficult for specific players by giving them a longer animal name or asking them to take shots from farther away. (Be sure to check out the rest of our basketball shooting drills)


Basketball drills for youth should be fun, engaging, educational, and exciting. Athletes should learn basketball skills as well as life skills like cooperation, patience, encouragement, and positive interaction. Drills such as those provided here turn learning into fun by creating a game out of everyday skills practice.

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