One of the [tag]basketball youth drills[/tag] I use is called a Ball Scramble. The kids love it. They run and they learn the fundamentals of hustle, awareness and it’s easy to see the reward on the court. (This is a variation of the Michigan Win-sprints without the pure running.)
Line up the kids along the baseline and place fewer [tag]basketball[/tag]s (usually 1-2 less balls then players left) along the mid court line. Blow the whistle to start and the kids dash for a free ball. They have to choose which ball to go to for there are fewer balls than players and some race to a ball.
The object is to get the ball, dribble it back to the starting baseline without losing the dribble and then make it to the next round. Those who don’t get the ball, trail the dribbler looking for an opportunity to get the ball (our youth league at this level does not allow players to steal the ball off a dribble but they can go for a loose ball or intercept passes) if the player mis-dribbles. Those without the ball, sit out.
Next I reduce the number of balls again and place the remaining balls on the far free throw lane, so kids have to run further on the next round. I continue this to the far baseline and winner is sole person with the ball. After just a few rounds, the kids are tired, in game shape and recognize the long-court dribbling skills “under pressure”.
On the court, this teaches them to pounce on loose balls, hustling to be the first to get them.
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