If you want to be the best, you need to start learning proper skills from a young age. Once a kid is able to master them they can play around with the fancy stuff, but not knowing the basics will result in them getting owned on the court. There are certain youth basketball skills everyone must work on, because they’ll come in handy in game situations all the time. Let’s look at each one every kid should be using if they want to stand any chance of becoming the next Jordan or King James.
The 1 On 1 Sprint – a great
In a perfect world everyone would sink all their shots, or at the very least you would hope someone would catch the rebound. Unfortunately it will sometimes bounce off the rim, and one of the best basketball skills for kids is being able to sprint after the ball because possession means points. The coach should stand under the basket with a kid on either side of him. He would then roll the ball away, and as soon as it leaves his hand each kid should sprint as fast as they can to reach the ball first.
Building Great Balance
How many times have you seen a basketball player stretch for the ball only to drop it when someone is fighting for the same ball? It could mean the difference between winning points or giving the ball away to the other team. A kid should lunge forward with the ball so they’re almost falling over, and once in position the coach needs to stand in front of them. They would then begin to push the ball from side to side, and this will teach the kid to stay balanced under the most strenuous of conditions.
Instant Change Of Direction
Although this is a common change of direction drill, it’s easy to turn it into one of the best basketball dribbling drills. To begin with you’ll need 5 cones spread out around the basket, and they should be labeled 1-5. The reason they don’t go in a set position is because you can mix it up every so often. The coach will shout out one number after the other, and the kid should dribble the ball to the corresponding cone while trying to change direction as quickly as possible.
Three Point Line Hustle – Youth Basketball Dribbling Drill
This is a great youth basketball dribbling drill, plus it also builds excellent movement and communication. The drill is hard for adults because of the small area to work in, but it’s perfect for kids. In a 2 on 2 situation, one team has to dribble and move inside the three point line while trying to pass the ball to their partner. The other team has to steal the ball from them. The hard thing about this drill is that the offensive pair aren’t allowed to shoot until the coach gives them the go ahead.
Flying Through The Air
There is nothing like the sight of a player flying through the air like an eagle as they dunk the ball. Kids won’t have the same spring in their step, so they will have to develop the explosiveness needed to get there one day. There are lots of ways to implement this drill, but the easiest one on the court is to have the coach hold a rope to their chest. The kids must then jump from side to side towards the coach as the rope gets progressively higher. The rope can’t be held too tight, so it will fall easily if someone clips it with their feet.
Free Throw Line Train
Finally we now come to the dedicated shooting drill, which focuses on the most important part of the game. A kid will not appreciate being asked to perform hundreds of free throws on their own, so this drill turns it into a challenge. The coach should have all the kids line up behind the free throw line, and they should take it in turns to shoot. Once they throw the ball they need to run for the rebound before joining the back of the line. They should also shoot from other places too, and if they’re really young they should stand closer to the basket.
Always Keep Things Exciting
Whenever you’re carrying out youth basketball drills, they should always be kept as exciting as possible. Important skills do need to be mastered at an early age, but if something isn’t fun it’s easy for kids to get discouraged. Nobody wants to do something they hate unless they have a basketball contract worth millions of dollars. The basketball drills for kids we’ve looked at today are only the tip of the iceberg, but they will develop skills anyone will need to master if they want to go far in the game. Working on the basics while still young is the key to success.