Youth Basketball Drills For Developing Young Players...

As a youth basketball coach, your main job is to make sure your kids have fun, and develop good discipline and physical conditioning.

It can be somewhat of a challenge to teach kids the game of basketball, but if you can motivate them and run a good set of drills, your job will become a lot easier.

 This page contains a handful of youth basketball drills that you can practice with your team...

The youth drills in this section are a good start, but remember, basketball coaching is about a lot more than running some drills. What you need is a whole system.


Click the link below for a step-by-step basketball coaching system with everything you need to create a winning team:

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Youth Basketball Drill #1: QUICK

In a circle, you in middle. The kids copy you running on the spot, jumping etc. When you say quick they get into the defensive position. However if you say get down they continue to do what they were beforehand. They are only out if you see them.

Youth Basketball Drill #2: HEADS UP DIRECTION CHANGE

Along the center court line space out 4 to 5 players facing you. You should be off the court at center court. Instruct your players to move while dribbling in whichever direction you move - side to side, forward and backwards. Change direction without words so they have to keep their eyes on you. As they progress change directions more quickly and move faster.

Youth Basketball Drill #3: REDLIGHT-GREENLIGHT 2

Have a group of kids start at one baseline, don't bunch them too closely together. Each child in the group has a ball. When the facilitator shouts green light the children dribble forward, blue and they dribble left, yellow they dribble right, and of course red they stop. All during this youth basketball drill the children keep dribbling.

Youth Basketball Drill #4: SPEED LAY-UP DRILL

Coach times player for 1 minute; team counts aloud number of shots made and encourages player along the way.

Player with a basketball stands to the right of the basket, coach says 'GO' and player shoots a layup (using backboard) from right side... then miss or make goes to left side. She continues to alternate sides, team counts how many are made in one minute.

Coach may decide to give stronger players 45 seconds, weaker players 1 minute +.

Youth Basketball Drill #5: SPEED DRIBBLE

Players start at 1/2 court or baseline. Each line or player has a ball. Objective is to reduce the number of dribbles.

Let the players cover the required distance and count their dribbles. Have them cover the same distance and reduce the dribbles by 1. Repeat and reduce by 1 again. Continue reducing until you have increased speed.

Youth Basketball Drill #6: SIDE-LINE LAYUPS

The O's pass to the outlet line. The line to their left if they are going to shoot left handed lay ups and vice versa. The O then runs the floor to receive a bounce pass at the other end. X throws a baseball pass down the sideline. Then pass to the foul line, the x at the foul line gives a bounce pass to O for the lay-up. X's always follow their pass to the next line. X at the foul line get the rebound of O and are the next shooters.

With two balls, shoot to get 20 makes in two minutes with 4-6 graders. Try 25 in junior high and 30 with Varsity players.

Double this when adding the third and fourth ball.

Youth Basketball Drill #7: REDLIGHT-GREENLIGHT

This youth basketball drill starts with everyone at the baseline with a ball. When the coach says 'green light', the player starts to dribble and walk. When the coach says 'red light', the player stops.

For the younger kids just learning, tell them this is not a race. When 'red light' is said, let them pick-up their dribble. As the level of play increases, different variations could be things like walking backwards, making it a race, using opposite hands, or any errors in dribbling having the player to go back to start. You can also use a whistle; one blow signifies 'green light' and two whistles mean 'red light'.

Youth Basketball Drill #8: PIN-BALL

Players start in a confined area. Each player has two cloths pins clipped on the back of their jerseys about shoulder blade level.

On command, everyone goes after cloths pins on everyone else. Winner is player with most pins.

Helps young players with aggressiveness.

Hustle. Reward winner by sitting out next round or X number of sprints, etc.

Time - 5 minutes

Youth Basketball Drill #9: PCPP

Three players are lined up in a straight line approx. 30ft. apart

A player on either end starts with the ball.

This players slap on the ball starts the drill and is a signal for the player in the middle to cut towards him to receive a pass from him.

The middle player cuts towards the passer, receives the pass that is thrown to him and completes a legal stop(jump stop or one two stop).

After making the catch and stop, this player makes a legal pivot and passes to the player on the other end. After this pass is caught by the ender the middle player cuts towards the ender and receives a return pass from him where apon the middle player again completes a legal stop, pivot and passes to the player on the other end.

For youth players I would switch the middle man after he has made anywhere from 5 to 10 passes or or you could do the drill for 30 to 45 sec. and then rotate players so that everybody in the drill gets a shot in the middle especially.

Youth Basketball Drill #10: KEEP IT BOUNCING

While dribbling try to tap the other players ball out of bounds. Second dribble is not allowed. When your ball goes out of bounds you must do 5 push ups or run one lap, after you did that you can join the group again.

Make sure the kids keep there head up, use both arms.

The more the try to tap away other players balls (in stead of just protecting there own ball) the better dribblers they become.

Youth Basketball Drill #11: HOT HANDS

You cannot dribble the ball in this game! The player who receives a pass can take two steps and then has to pass the ball to someone else. As soon as the player receives a pass, he/she is requires to count out loud the steps he/she takes. If the player exceeds the two steps, the coach stops the game and this player is replaced by someone on the bench (if there are any).

Youth Basketball Drill #12: HEADS UP

Minimum of two players spaced 5-8 feet apart (depending on age level).

Each player has a basketball and one has a wiffle golfball or ping pong ball.

Dribbling with your good hand (proper form required) you underhand pass the ping pong ball back and forth while dribbling. If you miss the ping pong ball dribble to get it and continue the drill.

Switch to your off hand and continue drill (5-10 min drill total)

Youth Basketball Drill #13: GOPHER BALL

Players start at 1/2 court circle or free throw circle. Teach players to react quickly to loose ball. - Go quickly into Offense.

Players lay down on stomach with eyes closed. Toss ball into air and blow whistle. Players scramble for ball.

Youth Basketball Drill #14: BEAN BAG GAME

Using half court place one team at center court, and one team at the corners of the baseline.

Each team has one ball.

Place bean bags in key circle in a pile.

On coaches comand one player from each team dribbles into the key, while still dribbling the players must bend down and pick up a bean bag each.

They must then dribble back to their team while still dribbling deposit the bean bag and give the ball to their next team member.

This process continues until all bean bags are gone, then they are able to steal bean bags from the other teams.

After two minutes the team with the most bean bags wins.

NOTE: Only one bean bag is able to be taken at a time.

Youth Basketball Drill #15: BALL SCRAMBLE

On command, everyone drops ball and runs to half court or bleachers, etc. and returns. While the players are running, coach removes one ball. Player without ball is out. With fewer players, start to reduce area. 


Do you want to "See" illustrated diagrams, step-by-step instructions, and focus points on a greater variety of youth basketball drills? Simply click the link below:

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