When I was a coach of a middle school girls team we were very successful. I attribute the reason for our success was because I preach that games were meant to be fun.  When they stop being fun they’re not worth playing anymore – so I was always looking to make it fun!

Noodle Lay-Up Drill
One of the drills that I used with great frequency, especially with new or seasoned players, was a variance of a lay-up drill.

To get the girls used to contact when driving to the basket, I have a defender set up in the lane near the low post with a foam “noodle” (commonly used in swimming) extended out at chest height.

The offensive player drives to the basket through the defender’s “noodle” which simulates some contact and causes the offensive player to focus through the contact and finish at the basket.

As time and practices progresses, we eventually allowed the defender to softly swing at the offensive players upper body with the “noodle” to further simulate game-like contact.
I had GREAT improvement in my girls finishing at the basket and going to the line for an “and-one” foul shot.

The “noodles” are soft, flexible foam and do not hurt, and the girls had a ball with the drill!