Teaching youth basketball skills needs to be done the right way. The first thing you need to keep in mind is that even the great players focus on the little things.
Too many younger players want to just go through the motions when it comes to the skills, so they can do the “fun things” like scrimmaging.
Each and every basketball player, regardless of age, needs to focus on hard work. And every drill you use needs to work towards a specific purpose.
Players get better by practicing their skills. The most important part of getting better as a player is running the drills all-out, and learning what they teach. If your players want to get better, they need to practice ALL the drills, over and over, until the movements are second nature to them.
If they don’t practice the proper way with the proper attitude, they will develop bad habits and train themselves to play the wrong way. Your players need to take the time to learn the fundamentals of basketball.
One of the youth basketball skills your players will actually enjoy working on is shooting the ball. The 10-spot shooting drill is a great way to practice just that. It will work on your players’ shooting skills, but also can help improve some of the subtleties that separate super players from average players.
The 10-spot drill includes repetitive shooting, pivot work, agility, effective ball handling and conditioning. To begin, pick ten spots on the floor, places where the players normally like to shoot from. Make sure there are five spots on each side of the basket, so your players don’t become one-sided at shooting.
Have your player start underneath the basket and toss a ball out. Have him put a “spin” on the ball so it will bounce back toward the player who threw it. Then the player needs to chase down the ball, catch it on one bounce, and square up and shoot. After the player shoots, he needs to sprint to a point where he can rebound if it misses.
Then he should put up the rebound. If he made the first shot, he should toss another spinout pass to the next one of the ten spots, square up and shoot from there. Repeat until the player has shot from every spot. Then take five foul-line shots.
The 4-shot fastbreak shooting drill is another one that will help with the youth basketball skills your players need. This is a great drill to work on for shooting off the fast break. Your players will also get some dribbling practice in this drill.
The 4-shot fastbreak drill starts at the half-court line, with a ball. Your player should spin the ball towards the three-point line, and retrieve it after one bounce.
Then he needs to run under the ball and shoot a jump shot from there. Have him get his own rebound, and if he misses, have him take a lay-up. Although he will start from the half-court line every time, he should pick four different spots on the floor to shoot from.
The last of the youth basketball skills we’ll focus on today is the X Jump Shot. This helps develop your players’ skills in footwork, shooting on the move, and change of direction.
Put a chair on each side of the foul line, with a ball on each. Have your player start at the left baseline. He should cut to the chairs, around the right chair, pick up the ball from there, and shoot a jump shot. Repeat the drill from the left chair. This will help his skills of making hard cuts, leaning into his turns, stepping into his shots, and finishing off his shots.
These drills will help your players gain more comfort in the skills they will need all the time, on the court. Using many different drills will help keep them from becoming boring for your players.