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Youth Basketball Drills

It’s so important, when doing these youth basketball drills, to not criticize the kids you’re working with.

The more you criticize them the less open they’ll become to your advices.

That translates into making less and less progress.

I mean, it’s the fundamental in every book about how to raise a child.

Always encourage it. Especially when he’s young and he’s like a sponge.

Virtually every great basketball player that we know today had the privilege of being coached and was not criticized as a kid.

Don’t yell at someone when they make a screw up. You can always turn every youth basketball drill around and make it positive.

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For example if someone misses an easy lay up on his or her fast break, praise him on the fast running he/she did.

If one player is dribbling and the other steals the ball, instead of shouting at the player who lost the ball, praise the other kid for his good defense. See? There’s always a way.

Here are some basic drills that are good for running, passing, conditioning, dribbling and more. Remember, to make your players stand out from the crowd, have them do all youth basketball drills but with their weaker hand as well. Gradually increase that intensity as they develop. The sooner you work on this the better.

Warm up drill

Have 3 or 4 players dribble down the court and back. Put a defender on each player and his purpose is not to steal the ball but only to slide in a defensive stance. Switch positions every 1 or 2 minutes.

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Fast break lay-ups

Have a group of 2 or 3 players lined up at the baseline. The first goes for a fast break lay-up. On his way up, he lays the ball up with his strong hand and on the way down with his weak hand. If he makes those two lay-ups then the second player will do the same and then the third.

Player number 2 and/or 3 will wait their turn until player number 1 makes two successful lay-ups with his weak and strong hand.

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One in the middle

2 players on each side. One of them has the ball and they are about 10-12 feet away from each other. A third player will try to get the ball with defensive stance and pressuring the ball.
Very quickly. As player number 1 tries to pass the ball to player number 2, player number 3 will pressure the ball and not let that pass to player number 2. When player number 1 makes the pass to player number 2, player number 3 will immediately switch to player number 2 and do the same.

Running and dribbling

Line up 5 players at the baseline. They all have a ball and they are ready to start running. On your mark they’ll start dribbling to the other baseline with their left hand. When they come back they dribble with their right hand.

If you blow the whistle they’ll immediately change the direction and eventually the hand that they dribble with. This is great for running and learning to dribble with both hands. If they’re little more advanced they can try to dribble up and down the court with 2 balls.

Catch and shoot

Very quickly. When the receiver gets the pass, he or she immediately shoots the ball but at game speed. That’s very important. If you guys do that slower than game speed, you won’t be able to execute nearly as good in game conditions.

Suicides with a basketball

You do your normal suicides but with dribbling. You start at the baseline and start dribbling to the free throw line. Then you go to the half court line, the opposing free throw line and the other baseline, respectively.

While you dribble, say when you start, you start with your right hand, from the baseline to the free throw line. When you get to the free throw line you touch it with your left hand and on your way back you switch your hand. That means that every time you touch a line you change the hand you dribble with.


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