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First Time Youth Basketball Coaching pt. 6 drills cont'd


More Drills to practice – practice and practice again! Remember the games are where you show off what you have learned. You do not get better during games – you get better from practicing good habits and fundamentals.

Cone Shuffle:
Set up 4 cones in a square (you can use the lane) each cone should be about 5 – 10 yards apart. Have the players form one line at a specific cone. Have (one player at a time) sprint to the first cone, side shuffle to the next, back peddle to the third, then pivot turn and run through the first cone. This drill is also used by soccer and football coaches. It practices many skills needed by athletes. Acceleration, deceleration, changing directions, defensive shuffle etc and is a great overall drill for any athlete.

Shoot off:
There are many variations to this drill. This one pits the coaches against the team. I normally have the team get into one line on the block with a basketball. The team must make 10 baskets (each player must shoot, rebound his shot, and pass to next teammate in line). While the coaches have to make 20 three point shots (normally me and one other coach). This really gets the kids going and excited. They must focus on making their shots, getting their rebounds, and making a good solid pass to the next person in line. So while the drill is fun there are fundamentals involved as well. IF they do these three things they should win easily. The coaches normally take a lap if we lose and make the team run if they lose. You can also set this drill up by splitting the team in two and having them shoot to make a certain number of basketballs.

2 on 1:
This drill teaches players the importance of teamwork and how to make the defender stop the ball. Place one defender in the painted area, two others line up just outside the three point line (one on either side of the defender). The players must keep the defender from getting the ball and try to shoot a high percentage shot (a lay-up). The trick here is to take the ball right at the defender and make him dictate what happens next. If the defender stops the ball – make the pass to the teammate (who should be continuing towards the basket). If the defender does not stop the ball the player with the basketball should continue towards the rim and shoot a lay-up. Do not allow them to shoot jump shots 5,6,7 feet away from the basket.

Rebound Mania:
Have entire team (or divide them into groups of 2, 3, or 4 whatever you decide) gather around basket area. Shoot the ball towards the basket intentionally missing the shot – have the players rebound the ball. I normally go until one player gets 3 rebounds and then send the rest a lap around the gym. If the same player wins consecutive games – I normally take him out and let the rest of the team battle it out one last time. This teaches the kids to watch the ball and anticipate where it will go. As there will be several players going for the ball they must never give up and never lose sight of the ball. More often than not the first player who makes it to the ball doesn’t come up with it. Stay with it!