I run an awareness drill with younger players that they really seem to love. It also works for all ages when your [tag]coaching basketball[/tag].

Start with 4 on 4 or 5 on 5 scrimmage. The drill is very basic- when various players have the ball on offense, I call out “stop”. All other players have to stop moving, and the player with the [tag]basketball[/tag] closes their eyes. The ball handler then needs to call out the name of at least one open player. If they don’t know, they run a lap. If they “cheat” by opening their eyes, the team runs a suicide.

It’s basically designed to teach them that in order for them to be ready to do one of the three things they’ll look to do when they have the ball (dribble, shoot or pass) that they need to have their head up, their eyes open and be as court-aware as possible.

Of course, as the coach controlling the drill, it’s important to pick different players each time you call “stop”, and it’s especially important that you’re court-aware as well, so that you’re not calling out “stop” when all of the other players are covered.

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll really like this basketball coaching article I just wrote.