The goal of a youth basketball program is to both teach kids the fundamentals of the game and also instill a love and commitment to the sport. When practice is fun, kids forget that they are working hard and learning new things; they feel like they are just playing with their friends and can’t wait to return for the next time.
Players and coaches alike tend to associate the word “drill” with a boring and repetitious lesson. The following games teach beginners basic basketball skills in a fun, silly way, so kids can see how enjoyable the sport really is!
Because all of these games are unusual (and for some, a bit on the wild side), coaches and players need to be extra careful to keep things safe. Coaches should always inspect equipment and facilities before starting practice. Players should know to respect their teammates and understand what behavior is and is not appropriate during practice.
Coaches should try to have at least one or two assistant coaches, parents, or other helpers present during practice. An adult to child ratio of 3:1 is ideal.
This fun basketball game is a play on the traditional 3-legged race. Coaches will need ropes or strips of cloth long enough to tie two players’ legs together. The game works best when players are paired up based on size. Similarly-sized players will be much better able to play together than a mis-matched pair.
To play 3-Legged Basketball, have teams play two-on-two half-court games. Once players are tied together at the leg, it might seem more like a one-on-one game! Players need to focus on using teamwork and good communication skills to play effectively.
They will have to work together to decide who gets the ball, who shoots and who dribbles, and where to go on the court. When on defense, teams will have to communicate to determine when to guard the offensive team and when to focus on getting the rebound.
Coaches should allow players time to get used to moving together before starting the games. It is a good idea to remind players that this game is about communicating and having a good time – one player trying to play too fast or too aggressively will make the game less fun for the partner and everyone else on the court.
Dizzy Dribble Relays
For this relay game, players will have to learn to control the ball when they are really dizzy. It is a silly way to practice skills under extreme circumstances!
NOTE: make sure to provide plenty of space between players, and use a large open area to keep players away from walls or other hard objects.
Divide players into groups and have them line up on opposite sides of the court. Each group should have a basketball and a cone placed on the opposite side of the gym. The game starts with the second player in line spinning the first player around in a tight circle while the rest of the team slowly counts to ten.
After ten seconds, the second player will hand the first player the ball, point him or her in the right direction, and let them go. The first player will then dribble down the court, go around the cone, and return to his or her team. Then, the next player will be spun and attempt the dizzy dribble. The first team to have each player return wins.
Coaches should watch to make sure players don’t run into each other in their dizzy state. Have assistants or helpers positioned between the teams to guide players who need direction to their cone or back to their team.
Will you be trying these fun basketball drills with your kids? Do you have other fun basketball drills that you do with your players? Feel free to share them below! And be sure to check out http://www.online-basketball-drills.com/kidsbasketball/ for more great fun basketball drills for kids!
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