27 Youth Basketball Preparations and Games

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If you are looking for youth basketball preparations and games that you can teach the kids for physical wellness, sports choice, or free time, this article is a perfect guide for you.

There are tons of coaches looking for basketball drills. Although coaches are already experts in the field, they still do not know how they can coach basketball to kids because of the different approach they need. Children have less attention span and are more sensitive. That is why they should not coach the kids as they do to adults.

Because children have less attention span, they can grow bored doing repetitive exercises almost every day. Coaches are right to look for more ways to keep the children’s interest by teaching them different kinds of drills that prepare them for the game.

Also, they should consider that these drills must be helpful for kids to learn the sport.

This article discusses the 27 preparations and games that a coach can teach to the kids. These drills and games include explanations and instructions on how to do them. 

The coach will know the purpose of each exercise, the variations, pointers for coaching, and set up.

The coaches will know how useful these drills are to prepare the children for real games.

In this article, you will learn all the information in the following drills:


  • Footwork Drills
  • Dribbling Drills
  • Passing Drills
  • Defensive Drills
  • Shooting Drills 
  • Fun Drills
  • Youth Footwork Drills 

Footwork Drills

There are three footwork drills that you can teach the kids. These are the Four Corners; Red Light, Green Light; Explode, Pivot, and Pass.

Four Corners

This drill works the kids’ passing, pivoting, and jump stops. 

Because of this drill, the children learn different pivot variations that they can enjoy.


What the Coach Should Do

You should group the kids into four teams. 

In half the court, you should create a large square. Near each corner of the square, place a cone with equal distance from the others. There should also be a cone in the middle of the square. This cone is called the D-man.

In total, you will need five cones in this drill. 

After setting up the ground for the four teams, the kid at the front holds the basketball. Send each group to each of the cones at the corners. The cones serve as the starting position.


How to Do This Drill

“Go!” is the signal that you should tell your students to cue that they can begin. 

First, you have to decide which way the players should pass. Is it left, or right? You should also determine what kind of pivot that they must use for this exercise.

After deciding and when the players are ready to begin, call the first player out by saying, “go.” This player should dribble the ball towards the cone in the middle.

When the player is about a few steps away from the cone, the kid should do the jump stop. After that, the player will pivot and pass the ball to the one that is next in line. The previous player will go to the end of the line.

The next player will not start dribbling the ball unless the coach gives the “go” cue.


Coach’s Pointers

  • Advise the children to jump stop low because when they do it higher, the chance of losing their balance when landing is high.
  • To prevent the players from traveling, decide whether to use the reverse or front pivots.
  • Teach the kids to pivot in the same direction to avoid confusion. During the half-way of the drill, change the pivot in the opposite direction. 

Red Light, Green Light

Although this drill is simple, it is highly effective for exercising the kids’ pivot and jump stops, which are essential basics in basketball.


The Red Light, Green Light, is one of the youth basketball preparations and games to teach every youth team that you coach.


What the Coach Should Do
If you have few players (less than 10), you can have the kids stand on a single line. However, if the players are more than 10, it is advisable to make two lines.

Have the players line up starting from the baseline while holding the ball.


How to Do This Drill
As a coach, the usual cue to give your players is “go” and “stop.”

First, have your students line up from the baseline, positioning themselves in a triple threat.

Once you shout “Go!”, the player or players at the front line would start dribbling towards the other end of the court. When the player is about to reach the end, you should shout, “Stop!”.

Upon hearing your stop cue, the players should do the jump stop.


If you think that your students are ready for more advanced practice, you can add some pivot techniques.


You can add “pivot” to the cues to indicate that the children should do the pivoting. If you think your students can already handle the more advanced method, you can be more specific by saying, “pivot left foot” or “pivot right foot.”


Coach’s Pointers

  • Just like in the Four Corners pivot drill, remind the children not to jump high when they do the jump stops. 
  • If you want to advance the drill with pivots, observe your students. They should not shift their stance when they do it. 
  • Remind your students to land with a proper stance holding their head up and knees bent when they do their jump stop.   

Explode, Pivot, Pass

With just 5 minutes, your students can already benefit from the Explode, Pivot, Pass drill. This exercise is quick and straightforward, but it teaches the students the footwork basics.


What the Coach Should Do
Group the kids into two or more teams. 

Preferably, each team should have three players in it. 


Each team should have a ball. Have them stand in line either on the baseline or the sideline of the court.


How to Do This Drill
The player at the front of the line should have the basketball. This kid should be in a triple threat stance as the drill begins.


The first player should make explosive dribbles twice while going out of the line. After that, this kid should perform the jump stop.


After doing the jump stop, the player will pivot at 180 degrees until finally facing the group. The player will then perform the chest pass to the other kid that is next in line.


The kid next in line should wait for the previous player in a low stance and target hands. Meanwhile, the player who has just finished the turn should go to the back of the line. 


This process continues for a specific timeframe that you set.


Coach’s Pointers

  • You should observe your students. Make sure that none of them is traveling when they dribble. They should also perform their jump stops and pivots in a controlled way.
  • Switch the different pivoting techniques to teach the children about them. You can allow the kids to use the reverse or forward pivoting techniques with their right or left foot.
  • The children should explode the dribble. Correct it when the children go half-speed. 

Youth Dribbling Drills


Children will learn six drills in this part of this article. These drills are the Dribbling Lines, Dribble Knockout, Collision Dribbling, Scarecrow Tiggy, Dribble Tag, and Sharks and Minnows.


Dribble Lines

New and slightly experienced players can benefit from this drill. This dribble practice is easy to teach and learn. This technique will allow your new students to absorb new moves effectively and improve those students who already know some dribbling steps.


What the Coach Should Do
Have the players line up from the baseline. Group them into separate teams if the players are more than eight.


How to Do This Drill
This drill will teach the kids some of the different dribbling techniques. The coach will decide which method the players will use.


The first player will start by dribbling from the baseline, moving towards half the court or the opposite end of the court by using the technique chosen by the coach.


Tell the kids what technique they should perform before saying cueing them to go.


You can choose from the following techniques:


  • Crossovers
  • Through-the-legs
  • Dribbling backward
  • Right hand up, left hand back
  • Behind-the-back
  • Dribble low 

Coach’s Pointers


  • Make sure that the players hold their heads straight.
  • It is wise to have a tickler in your pocket to make lists of the dribbling techniques. Writing these techniques ensures that you will not forget any of them.
  • When your students are already used to the techniques, you can now focus on having the players push off using their outside foot as they start a move.  

Dribble Knockout


In this drill, the players will face each other while having fun at the same time.

This drill will teach the kids to protect their ball while trying to knock the other players’ ball and being aware of their position.


The players will dribble in a small area chosen by the coach. They should stay within this area, or they will be out of the game.


What the Coach Should Do


The first thing that you should do is determine the small area where these children will start dribbling. Usually, this area is 1/3 of the court or the three-point line.

After setting the area, make sure that each player has a ball.


How to Do This Drill
When the coach gives a cue, the players will start dribbling inside the allotted area you set. All players make sure that they stay within this area as they try to dribble their ball and knock the others’.


When a player knocks a ball from the other player, the latter will be out of the game. Also, when the player steps outside the allotted area, this kid is out of the game too. Fouling other players is also a ground for being out.


As time goes, the coach will make the area smaller until only one player remains.


Coach’s Pointers

  • Keep an eye on the players to ensure that nobody cheats. Make sure that those who travel, double dribble, or foul the others are out of the game.
  • Do not allow the kids to walk around when they are out of the game. Set an area where these kids can stay if you do not want to end up catching the kids loitering around.
  • Always remind the players to keep their chin up as they dribble.  

Collision Dribbling Drill


This drill is almost similar to the Dribble Knockout drill. The only difference is that the players do not knock the other players’ ball this time. However, what they do is navigate in the confined area and dodge the other players while being creative in their dribbling techniques.


The aim here is to master the players’ dribble control. This drill improves the way the kids handle their ball because dodging with other players is inevitable in this sport. Also, it forces the players to keep their heads up to avoid running into the others.


What the Coach Should Do
Just like in the Dribble Knockout drill, the coach should determine a small area where the children can perform this drill.


How to Do This Drill
On the coach’s cue, the players will start dribbling in a small area while dodging each other. The players should maintain their dribble control.


Coach’s Pointers

  • Have the players should dribble in different directions to challenge them.
  • Persuade the kids to use their weaker hand to hold the ball for better control.
  • Always remind the players to keep their chins up. 

Scarecrow Tiggy Dribbling Drill


The Scarecrow Tiggy is a fun activity that the children will love. The children can have fun while learning some basketball basics, like ball-handling, at the same time.

In this drill, the players learn how to defend their ball while dribbling against the taggers (usually two) designated by the coach.


What the Coach Should Do
Every player should have a basketball except for the two taggers. It is advisable to have something that will identify them like have them wear a different colored shirt.

The players will start dribbling in the half of the court when the coach says “go.”


How to Do This Drill
When the coach says “go,” the taggers will begin tagging the other players of the game. The tagged player will remain in their position and stand with their legs wide open while holding the ball above their head. Other dribblers can free the tagged players by rolling the ball through the legs of the tagged ones.


Nobody wins in this drill except when the taggers have tagged everyone in the game, which rarely happens.


Since there is no winner, the coach can only allow the game to last for some time and replace the taggers with the other players.


Coach’s Pointers

  • The coach should remind the students to roll the ball and not to throw it between the other players’ legs.


– Instruct on which pivot to be done after jump stop, Front or Back pivots.

– Instruct on the passes that could be done. Chest, Bounce, Side, One-handed passes.

– Set the amount of time for drills to be done.

– Adds certain moves after athletes are comfortable with the drill.

  • You can add more taggers if necessary, especially if there are a lot of players, and the area for the drill is spacy. 

Dribble Tag Dribbling Drill


The Dribble Tag is almost the same as the Scarecrow Tiggy. The only difference is that this time, even the taggers have a ball. Also, if the taggers catch a player, that tagged player will be out of the game.


What the Coach Should Do
Depending on the available drill space and number of players you have, choose who will be the taggers of this game. Commonly there are two taggers, but you can change this number if necessary. 

After choosing the taggers, allow everyone to spread in the court.


How to Do This Drill
When the coach gives a cue to start, the taggers will start tagging the other players. The non-taggers will continue dribbling their ball. When a tagger tag a player, the latter will be out of the game and should sit in a designated area.

The game continues until there is only one player left, and this untagged player will be the winner.


Coach’s Pointers

  • It is alright to allow the taggers not to dribble their basketball if tagging is a struggle for them.
  • In this drill, children should still observe the proper rules in dribbling, or they are out. 

Sharks and Minnows Dribbling Drill


This drill is also almost the same as the Scarecrow Tiggy. The difference is that the dribblers will try to reach baseline to baseline and avoid the taggers along the way. The taggers are the sharks, and the dribblers are the minnows.


The Sharks and Minnows is a fun game that children will enjoy. They can have fun and learn at the same time.


What the Coach Should Do
The coach should select one or two taggers (sharks). The remaining players (minnows) will begin on the baseline, and each has a basketball.


How to Do This Drill
Upon the cue, the minnows start dribbling the ball from the baseline until they reach the opposite end. Along the way, the sharks will begin to tag each of them.

The tagged minnows (scarecrows) should stay in their place and hold the basketball between their feet. For the tagged players to be free, the other minnows should tag them.  

The winner of this drill will be the player left who was never tagged.


Coach’s Pointers

  • Even though this drill is fun, the children should still observe the dribbling rules. When a player commits a violation, this kid will be out on the spot.
  • Set a timeframe if the players struggle to get into the other baseline. 
  • Do not let the scarecrows remove the ball from their feet. Holding their ball in between their feet ensures that they will not move from their place and cheat.   

Youth Passing Drills


There are four passing drills to teach your students. These drills are the Partner Passing, Stationary Keepings Off, Count Em’ Up, and Continuous 3 on 2.


Partner Passing

Partner Passing is the best drill to practice, especially for beginners. This drill allows these children to learn different passing techniques and how to do them correctly.


What the Coach Should Do
Ask the children to find a partner. If some of them cannot find a partner, find one for them. Each pair has a basketball. 

Have this pair to stand linear. The partners should be facing parallel to each other.


How to Do This Drill
The coach should explain first the different types of passing and which of these types the students do.


After mentioning the type, the players will pass the ball back and forth using the technique referred by the coach.


After some time, the coach can change the passing type or have the players step further away from their partner.


Coach’s Pointers

  • This drill aims to teach children the basic types of passing. Therefore, make sure to let the children use each of these types in training. The kinds of passing are chest pass, push-pass, bounce pass, one-handed pass, and more.
  • If other coaches teach your students, connect with them. Develop the standard passing technique for each type so that the children will not feel confused.
  • Be watchful. If you see that some kids forcefully throw the ball to their partner, do not allow it. Advise them immediately to avoid injuries.  

Stationary Keepings Off


Novice youth basketball players tend to follow where the ball is. In this drill, you teach your students to remain stationary. In this position, you teach them to realize that they have better odds against the defense this way.


The goal of this drill is to teach the kids about the proper spacing basics between players. It also teaches them self-discipline and decision-making.


What the Coach Should Do
Choose up to two players who play as the defense. The others are the offense and only use a ball in this drill. 

The offense should also spread in an area; the three-point-line is an example.


How to Do This Drill
On the coach’s cue, the defenders will try to steal the ball as they move around. It is their only goal in this drill. 

Meanwhile, the other players should remain where they are. They can only protect the ball by keeping it away from the defenders and passing it to the other offensive players. 

After some time, you can replace the defenders. 


Coach’s Pointers 

  • Remind the offensive players to think fast once the ball gets into their hands. 
  • Encourage the offensive players to allow everyone to have the chance to protect the ball. If it does not happen, you may jump in and join in passing the ball to the ones who do not have the chance yet.
  • To make the drill challenging and fun, allow the defenders to run and do their best to grab the ball from the offensive players. 

Count Em’ Up

Count Em’ Up is almost the same as the Stationary Keepings Off drill, except that the former is more advanced.


This time, instead of being in a stationary position, the offensive players try to protect the ball without dribbling or shooting. They are free to move around the area. The aim here is to be able to pass the ball smartly without allowing the defensive players to steal it.


What the Coach Should Do
What you should do is create two separate teams. The number of players in each team should be equal with the other. 

It is advisable to have the offensive and defensive players wear different colored shirts to avoid confusion. 

In this drill, the players only need one ball.


How to Do This Drill
The reason why the number of players in each team should be equal is that each player should match up with the other one. One player plays as the offensive, and the other one plays the defensive.


The offensive players should protect the ball without dribbling or shooting it. Passing it to the next offensive player is the only movement allowed.


The offensive players should also make a particular number of passes set by the coach. It can be 20 or 5 depending on the experience or age of the players.


The players are free to move around as long as they stay in the court.


Meanwhile, the defenders’ goal is to steal the ball from the offensive player. If they can manage to take or deflect the ball, it will become theirs to protect. The role will reverse, the defensive will become the offensive, and the offensive will become the defensive player.

If a team meets the required number of passes set by the coach, it will get one point.


Coach’s Pointers 

  • Although the players are free to move around the playing area, they should still observe proper spacing. The kids should do their best to maintain the right distance and not to sprint to where the ball is. 
  • Encourage the kids to open by making use of screens and body fakes.
  • Encourage the children to make the drill more challenging to each other to meet the real goal of this drill and to make it more fun.  

Continuous 3 on 2


If you are looking for youth basketball preparations and games that can improve your students’ decision-making and passing skills, the Continuous 3 on 2 is one of them.


From the name itself, the drill works with continuous three offensive players on two defenders. The third extra player on the offensive side is the someone in the open who is available, but the other two offensive players should maintain proper spacing.


What the Coach Should Do
The Continuous 3 on 2 drill begins by placing the three players in the middle part of the court. These players will play the offensive. The two, the ones who will play the defensive role, are inside the half-court on each side. The other players should stay out of the court bounds.

This drill only needs one ball.


How to Do This Drill
The drill starts when the three players move towards the two defenders, who are at one end of the court. The goal of the offensive players is to protect the ball and score. 

Meanwhile, the two defensive players will try to steal the ball. When the defensive player becomes successful in taking the ball or when the offensive players score, the two defensive players outlet towards the player who is next in line. This following player sprints to aid in advancing the ball.


This time, the defensive players become the offensive. A player from the side will join them to create the three offensive-player team. These three players will repeat the process by moving towards the two defensive players at the other end of the playing area.


The two of the previous offensive players will remain in the court to play the defensive role, while the other one exits to move out of the court bounds. 

The coach sets the time until when the drill lasts.


Coach’s Pointers 

  • The offensive team always has an open shot.
  • To make the drill more challenging, you can ask the players not to dribble the ball. 
  • Remind the offensive players to observe proper spacing to open themselves.  

Defensive Youth Drills


There are four drills to teach the kids the defensive moves in basketball. These drills are the Defensive Mirrors, Defensive Specialist, One-on-One, and Zig-Zag Slides.


Defensive Mirrors


This drill works the footwork for the defensive moves. This drill is fun, which the children can enjoy unless you have a lot of students to do this. If you are coaching a large group of kids, this drill is not appropriate, because only a pair can do it at a time.


In this practice, the children will try to imitate the movements of their partners. It is fun because it builds a reaction with them while learning at the same time.


What the Coach Should Do
Let the children find a partner and let them stand beyond the baseline in pairs. 

If there is another coach, it is wise to utilize both the court’s ends.

You can use the key’s parallel lines, or you can also choose the two parallel lines of the home court.


How to Do This Drill
A pair will come out towards the key’s two parallel lines. They should be facing each other. 

You choose who will play an offensive role.


Once the drill begins, the defensive player’s goal is to stay in a line parallel to the offensive player. On the other hand, the offensive player’s goal is to stray from the line mirrored by the defensive player. To break free from the front, the offensive player tries to slide up or down the line.


Usually, the players stay in their role for 15 seconds. After 30 seconds, the next pair will take their place.


Coach’s Pointers 

  • Before allowing the kids to do this drill, introduce the proper defensive stance. The kids should take the position while doing this exercise.
  • Always encourage the players to observe the stance and to have their arms spread wide while doing the drill.
  • To make the drill more challenging and fun, advise the offensive players to do quick changes and head fakes to confuse the defenders. 

Defensive Specialist


The Defensive Specialist is one of the youth basketball preparations and games that practices the players’ defensive techniques. These defensive methods are the defensive sliding, sprinting, closeouts, and back-pedaling.


What the Coach Should Do
It is advisable to look at the image explaining the placements of the cones and movements in this drill. Explanation through writing will be challenging. It is essential to have a visual blueprint of this drill to understand it better.

This drill requires cones and four D-men. 

The players will stand in line from the baseline.


How to Do This Drill
All players will perform this drill one-by-one. They will stand their line waiting for their turn at the baseline. 

The drill starts as the first player comes in the court, sprinting towards the cone at the front and perform the close-out. The next is the sprint towards the second cone, where the player will do the back-pedals and moves by sliding across the other courtside for the other cone.

After the first player slid, the next player will start to come into the court to perform what the previous player did. The first player continues by sprinting to the last cone to perform the closeout.

After his turn, the first player will slide to the court’s opposite side to return to the back of the line. 

Commonly, this drill should last for up to five minutes.

Coach’s Pointers 

  • This drill aims to observe proper defensive footwork techniques. Therefore, children must use appropriate methods.
  • The players should use 100 percent of their effort doing the sprints and slides throughout the drill.
  • Before going to the next cone, ask the players to hold the close-out defensive technique for one second. 


The One-on-One drill works on not only the defense but also the offense roles of the basketball game.


In this drill, the defender does not have anyone but himself or herself to play the defense. They have to defend their yard and challenge the offensive shot.


What the Coach Should Do
Depending on the players’ experience and age, the two players will begin by being at the key’s top or by being at the free-throw line.


The basketball goes to the defensive player. 

The other players wait for their turn behind the lines near the border of the half-court.

If you are working with another coach, it is best to split the children into two teams and use the other side of the court for the other teams to play. This way, all the players have the chance to play often.


How to Do This Drill


With the basketball on the defensive player, the defender passes the ball to the offensive player. This way, the defender challenges the offensive player by standing close to the offensive player. It ensures that the defender will do an active role by playing as a defense instead of doing it lazily.

The offensive player can dribble the ball at the maximum of three times before shooting to the ring to get a shot.


This technique teaches the offensive players to use their dribbles wisely by not wasting it and outsmarting the defender in this one-on-one drill. 

On the other hand, the defensive players try to challenge the offensive player’s every shot and to keep them in front.

After the offensive player shoots the ball, whether hit or miss, this offensive player becomes the defender. The previous defender will go to the back of the line as the new player comes in to become the new offensive player.


Coach’s Pointers 

  • Make sure that the players are observing proper head faking and footwork techniques. 
  • Do not be lenient about the maximum count of dribbles. Enforce it. It will teach the kids not to waste time and dribbles. 
  • Encourage the defensive players to do their roles at their best by staying close to the offensive players even though the latter beats them.  

Zig-Zag Slides


The Zig-Zag Slides is a perfect drill for beginner players. 

This drill teaches how to do the defensive slide and the drop step correctly when players play a defensive role.


What the Coach Should Do

In this drill, none of the players has the ball. All the players should wait for their turn at one corner of the court behind the baseline.


How to Do This Drill
This drill is simple. The first player in line begins by doing the defensive slide in angular sideways. After that, the player will drop-step back at 90-degree angle sideways. The defensive slide and drop-step combo that they perform resembles the zig-zag direction.

This process continues until the player reaches the other end of the baseline. Once the player reaches the opposite end, the player will come back doing the same process, but this time at the court’s opposite side.


Coach’s Pointers 

  • Before doing this drill, make sure that the players know the proper drop-step and defensive slide techniques. 
  • Advise the players that crossing their feet while doing the exercise indicates that they are doing it the wrong way. 
  • Advise the players to observe the proper defensive stance as they perform the steps throughout the drill.  

Youth Shooting Drills


There are five shooting drills that your students can learn. These exercises are Perfects, 21 Cones, Pivot Shooting, Chase Down Layups, and Pressure.



This drill provides the coaches with the opportunity to correct their students’ shooting techniques. It also allows them to teach the perfect form of shooting.


What the Coach Should Do

The coach divides the players into three groups. Each group will form a line making a total of three lines. The three groups begin a few feet distant from the basket. 

If it is possible, make use of the other side of the court so that the players can practice more. 

In this drill, each player has a ball.


How to Do This Drill 

Each player waits in line until it is their turn to shoot. Each player swishes the ball instead of just throwing it to the net. The players should do the swish because it creates a beautiful arc providing a better chance for a good shot.


After the player’s turn, this kid will either go back to the back of the line where he or she came from or rotate lines anticlockwise or clockwise.


Coach’s Pointers


  • To make this drill more challenging, you can ask the kids to step further from the ring, but make sure it is not extremely distant. Remember that the goal of this drill is to teach the students how to shoot in the perfect form.
  • The player should maintain the shooting form until they finish their turn. 
  • You should observe the shots in every angle because it shows the different points of the technique.  

21 Cones

If you are familiar with the 23 Cones drill, the 21 Cones is a more novice version than that. The 23 Cones are advisable for players who are in high school age or older. Meanwhile, the 21 Cones are for the younger ones.


The 21 cones serve as rewards. Each time a player hits the shot, a cone will be the reward for his or her team.


What the Coach Should Do

Divide the children into two teams. Each team should have a basketball. 

Lastly, place the 21 cones at the baseline in one court’s end.


How to Do This Drill

The coach determines a designated spot where they can shoot their ball. When a player hits the shot, this player will sprint towards the baseline where the cones are. This player will retrieve a cone for his or her team.


By the end of the drill, the team that collected the most number of cones will be the winner.


Coach’s Pointers 

  • It is up to use whether to add or eliminate more cones. 
  • Make sure that every player has his or her turn, not just the best players in the team.
  • You may also use other stuff like balls or coins if you do not have enough cones for this drill.  

Pivot Shooting

The Pivot Shooting is one of the youth basketball preparations and games that you can implement to teach the kids footwork aside from just shooting. 

In this drill, the players will perform some footwork and moves like the jump stop after receiving the ball from the coach. The player will pivot to face the basket and, finally, shoot the ball.


What the Coach Should Do

The two parents or coaches should be at the key’s top line in front of it. 

The players wait for their turn in a line coming out from the baseline. 

Each kid has a ball.


How to Do This Drill 

When it is a player’s turn, this player will perform the chest pass, passing the ball to his or her coach. After passing the ball, the player will go to the free-throw line. When the player reaches the free-throw line, the coach or the parent will pass the ball back to him or her. 

Upon receiving the ball back while performing the jump stop, the player should do the proper pivoting technique. After that, the kid would face the basket with their feet and shoulders pointing towards the basket. Trying a nice shot is what the player will do next. 

The coach will determine what scoring move he or she wants his students to do.


Coach’s Pointers 

  • Keep the drill interesting to the kids by switching up whether the team performs the jump stop or attempts the ring. 
  • Observe your players if they are doing the footwork and other basketball techniques right. It will help if you remind your players the proper way to do them before starting the drill. 
  • The players should observe the low stance when they do the pivoting.  

Chase Down Layups

The Chase Down Layups is own of the youth basketball preparations and games that you must always do with your young players. It is because, in youth basketball, you are the one to decide which team will perform more layups. 


This drill teaches kids to end the layups at a fast rate with pressure.


What the Coach Should Do

This drill starts by dividing the players to form two lines at each floor’s end. One of these lines is the defensive, and the other one is the offensive.

The ball starts at the offensive line’s front in each of the court’s end.


How to Do This Drill 

You will give the offensive player at the more advantage by bringing him or her inside the court away from the baseline where the defensive player is. It is up to you how far you want the offensive player will be, but it is advisable that it is far enough for him or her to make some moves.


In this position, the offensive player has the advantage to sprint and dribble the ball until he or she reaches the basketball rim where there’s pressure from the defensive player behind.

When both the players are in their starting position, you will give a cue to start by saying, “go.” Upon the signal, the offensive player sprints towards the opposite end to shoot. Meanwhile, the defensive player does his or her best to challenge this shot and observe proper spacing.

After their turn, they will pass the ball to the next kid in line. 


Coach’s Pointers 

  • Remind the kids to shoot at a proper angle.
  • To avoid injury, always remind the kids to prevent fouling the others.
  • You may switch the floor’s sides to practice the kids to dribble and finish with the left hand. 


This drill teaches the kids to perform the free-throws under pressure.


What the Coach Should Do

The players only need one ball for this drill. 

All that the players have to do is form a single line from the free-throw line.


How to Do This Drill 

The pressure goes to the kid next in line. 

The players should hit the shot. If they miss, they will be out of the game. 

The drill continues until there is only one kid left, who is the winner.


Coach’s Pointers 

  • Do not allow the kids to distract each other because you want to promote a healthy environment in the court. 
  • You may join in to incorporate more fun. 
  • Make sure that all the players have their turn.  

Fun Youth Drills

There are five drills that you can implement to make the basketball practice fun for the kids. These drills are War, Golden Child, Elimination, Small-Sided Games, and Game-Winner.



This drill is one of the favorites that players can play half the court or full court.


What the Coach Should Do

Split the players into two teams with an equal number of players. Assign them a number from 1 to depending on the number of players in each group.

This game requires one ball. 

How to Do This Drill 

The coach calls the players based on the assigned number. He can choose to involve as many players on the court as he likes.


Coach’s Pointers 

  • Match the players according to their skills. 
  • Finish it by calling everyone. 
  • Throw the ball and give an advantage to one team because you do not want injuries to happen. 

Golden Child

This drill is extremely fun. It involves two teams, which are dribblers and shooters.


What the Coach Should Do
Divide the players into two teams with an equal number of players. One group is the shooter, and the other one is the dribbler.


The dribbler stays in line at one corner of the baseline.

Each dribbler has a ball, and the shooters have one or two.


How to Do This Drill 

When the coach gives the cue to start, one dribbler begins dribbling the ball going around the court until he or she reaches back to the team, which is the goal of the dribblers. If a dribbler makes it back to their team, it is one run.


On the other hand, the shooters, upon the cue, will try to stop the dribblers from making a run in attempting to hit a shot. If a shooter makes a shot, they shout, “Stop!” the dribbler trying to make a run should freeze, and the next dribbler begins to make the goal.

The game continues until all the dribblers are out of the game. After that, the teams switch roles and do the same process. The team that has the most runs is the winner.


Coach’s Pointers 

  • The shooters should rebound their shot and pass the ball to the one next in line. 
  • The coach should appreciate the golden child.
  • You can split the shooters into two teams or place them nearer the ring if they are struggling to make a shot.  


The elimination is a fun game where the first player should make a free-throw shot before the person behind makes it.


What the Coach Should Do

Have the children stand in line and prepare the first two kids by the free-throw line, and each of them has the ball.


How to Do This Drill 

It starts when the player at the front shoots the ball. The second player will also shoot.

If the first player scored, he or she should rebound and pass it on to the next kid. If he or she misses, this player should rebound quickly and try to score while the player behind him or her has not made a score yet.


However, if the player behind scored, the player in front will be out of the game. 

This game continues until there is only one player left, who is the winner.


Coach’s Pointers 

  • The player in front always shoots first.
  • Join in. 

Small-Sided Games

This drill small basketball games played four on four or three on three.


What the Coach Should Do

In this game, the players will utilize both sides of the court.
Encourage the team to advance the basketball half the court or in the court’s third line if available. 

Each game requires one ball.


How to Do This Drill 

Let the kids play. 

Interrupt if you must, but not all the time. Allow the kids to learn from their own mistakes.


Coach’s Pointers 

  • Interrupt if you see three mistakes committed in a row.
  • Remind them about the proper spacing.  

Game Winner

All the players will try the long-distance shot. The one that can make a score wins and receives a reward from the coach.


What the Coach Should Do

Have the players line up. The distance should be far enough that is beyond their comfort zone but far enough for them to make a shot. 

The players only need one ball.


How to Do This Drill 

Each player should take a turn trying to get a shot. The one that hits it should receive a small reward from you. 


Coach’s Pointers 

  • This drill is a fun exercise to finish the practice.
  • Take a shot too.
  • Do not allow the kids who have their turn to loiter, especially near the ring. 

With all these 27 drills, you can make basketball practice fun for kids. These youth basketball preparations and games will put smiles on their faces while learning the basics of this sport. 




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