[tag]Coaches[/tag] often ask me what techniques I use to make [tag]youth basketball drills[/tag] most effective.  My advice is to create a sense of competition that will encourage players to work harder, and therefore improve faster and have more fun.

One way of doing this is using a carrot and stick approach in your youth [tag]basketball[/tag] [tag]drills[/tag].  The carrot is a reward that the winners receive… while the stick is a punishment that the drill’s losers have to perform.

Here are some examples of “carrots” that have worked well for me in the past: cash, a soda/Gatorade from the machine etc.

Here are some examples of “sticks” that have worked well: wind sprints, push-ups, rim/backboard touches, sit-ups, jumping rope, jog around the football field after practice etc.

The winner/loser of a drill can be a single player, a group of players, or the entire team.  For example, the player who finishes first in a conditioning run could be rewarded by not having to make the next run.  Or the winners of an intrateam 3 on 3 tournament would each receive a dollar bill from the coach.  Or the player who takes the most charges, dives for the most loose balls, or generally works the hardest would get a bag of Halloween candy.  Or the team who loses a 5 on 5 scrimmage has to do 50 pushups.

Introducing carrots and sticks into your youth [tag]basketball drills[/tag] makes them more game-like, so players work harder and learn the skills more quickly.