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Basketball Drills for Kids

Basketball is a game that appeals to children at an early age. The concept of dribbling the ball is a test for many youngsters, and practice helps bring about improvement in that area. The game is fast-paced and requires conditioning, coordination, shooting ability and team play. Drills can help a young player improve quickly.

Head Up Direction Change
Stand at center court and have five of your players facing you. Each player should hold a basketball. On your whistle, they should start dribbling with their right hand. On the next whistle, stick out your left hand, indicating they should start dribbling with their left hand. On the next whistle, move forward. Your players take that as a cue to start dribbling backwards. Then blow your whistle again and move backwards, leaving them to dribble forwards. Keep going in this manner, varying the pattern, for about five minutes. Changing directions while keeping their heads up will help young players become better dribblers.

Speed Lay-Up Drill
This is one of the oldest and most effective drills in the game. Adding the speed element and dividing your team into two competitive groups will help players learn how to shoot lay-ups more effectively. Divide your team into two groups of six, with each group going to opposite ends of the court. Put three players on the right elbow of the foul line and three on the left. Give the first player on the right side the ball and have her dribble in for a layup. The first player on the left elbow gets the rebound and fires a quick pass to the second player on the right side, who goes in for a lay-up. Players who shoot go to the left side and players who rebound then go to the right side. Count how many lay-ups each side can make in a minute, and declare a winner. Award a prize of your own choosing.

Cone Drill
Set up five cones on the offensive side of the floor. Give your player the ball at midcourt. Have him dribble to the right of the first cone, the left of the second, the right of the third and continue in this pattern until he has dribbled around all five cones. Dribble back to the starting point and hand the ball to the next player to do the same drill. Make sure each player gets two turns. Emphasize that players must keep their heads up when dribbling because that is what they will have to do in games.