I was thinking of ways to really get my team of elementary kids to really start enjoying themselves in practice and so I came up with some fun basketball drills for kids. I stopped to ask myself, OK you're a kid, what do you want out of life? # 1 I want to have a good time. The way they work is by playing. # 2 I want to learn something. I think this is the key to getting good results, combining the two. Lets face it we aren't going to get results if we just drive them into the ground, this goes for all ages, but especially for kids. So here's what I did. I came up with a list of things needed to combine fun with regular fundamental drills. I use these at the beginning of the season and then pull them out in the middle when I need to switch things up a little.
# 1 Competition
Divide the teams up and make them compete against each other in the drills. Don't just scrimmage them, get them working together in team skills competitions. Make the losing group run two extra conditioning drills at the end of practice.
# 2 Two Step Pass
Have one team on the left side or the court, one team on the right. In groups of two players per team, have them advance the ball down the court by passing the ball to each other. The catch is that they can take no more than 2 steps at a time. Count out loud, advance the ball, take two steps, catch the ball, repeat. Winner is the team who gets their entire line across the gym first.
# 3 The Path
Have the team line up in a winding pattern across the gym, each player with a ball. The end of the path, will as quickly as possible, works his way through down the path dribbling the ball low with his head up watching where he is going. Once the player gets to the end of the path, the new end of the path will do the same. This continues until you have worked your way through the team. This is a great drill to get a feel for what its like to maneuver through traffic.
# 4 Pin Ball
This is a great drill to teach movement off the ball. Pin 3 wooden clothes pins on the back of each jersey. Say go and in a confined area, the players must grab as many other players clothes pins within a minute. The winner is the player who has grabbed the most pins.
# 5 Scramble
On command, everyone drops ball and runs to half court or bleachers, etc. and returns. While the players are running, coach removes one ball. Player without ball is out. With fewer players, start to reduce area. Think of this as musical chairs but on the court.
# 6 Get the Players Input
One of the best ways to get kids involved is to let them develop a game out of a drill you want them to preform. no matter how ridiculous it seems, let them explain and run the game. This not only promotes team unity and helps work on fundamentals through the drill, it promotes leadership among the students and promotes creativity, two things needed to win most basketball games.
# 7 Redlight-Greenlight
This is a well known drill that everyone mentions, so let me be no exception. It works! This fun basketball drill improves your reflexes. Put a group of kids at the baseline but don't put them too closely together. Maybe 5 or 6 per cycle will be enough.
Every kid has a ball to dribble. When your say "green light" the kids will dribble forward. If you say "blue light" they'll go left. If you say "yellow light" they go right and red is to stop. This is to develop speed, reflexes and dribbling. First one across the line wins.
# 8 Clap Pass
This one is a blast. First you get all the players circled around you. Then you pass the ball to random players in the group. The player must clap before they catch the ball. They sit out if:
.Yy don't catch the ball
.You don't clap
.They clap when you fake a pass to them