If your child wants to get into the sport of basketball then you’ll need some simple basketball drills that you can teach them to practice! Basketball is a sport we encourage kids to get into at a young age, due to the numerous benefits it offers both physically and socially. It teaches hand-eye coordination, agility, teamwork, problem solving, discipline and work ethic. With such a fun and team-based focus, it’s no wonder that basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world.
Basketball is a fast-moving game that involves variety, and plenty of different skills that we teach at our basketball camps. Mastering the fundamentals of basketball is extremely important and something that is consistently encouraged, even to the highest-level players. These fundamental skills include:
- Defence and footwork
The great thing about basketball is that it can be easily practiced at home or at the local park. If you have access to a basketball, basketball ring, a wall and a bouncy surface such as concrete or synthetic grass, your child can effectively develop on their shooting, passing and dribbling skills through these simple basketball drills:
NINE SIMPLE BASKETBALL DRILLS
The proper shooting technique involves the shooter focusing on their stance, how they hold the ball, aiming the ball, releasing the ball, and then their follow through. At Australian Sports Camps basketball coaching camps, we put serious focus into developing your child’s shooting form through our experienced coaches. Bending your knees and elbow to shoot the ball are important as well as aiming at the back at the ring. The arm should extend as you release the ball with the follow through to be smooth and then held for a short time.
Once comfortable with shooting the ball, consistency in hitting shots can be developed through these simple basketball drills at home:
Shooting from the free throw line is a great way to make that shot form consistent and to then build confidence in making shots. See how many goals your child can make out of 20 and work to improve on that the next time round. The free throw line distance is about 15 feet from the backboard which is used in games once kids reach the age group of under 10/12. Ensure your child does not to step over the free throw line until the ball has hit the ring as that’s a rule in the game!
Around the World (Key)
This drill involves your child making their way around set spots on the outside of the key with each shot they make. Start at one side until they make their way all around and back down to the other side of the key. Get involved to challenge your kid. If there is no key at the local park, a similar drill can be done but by taking a step outward with each shot they make. Once they reach approximately 15 feet from the ring, direct their steps towards the other side of the ring to eventually take steps back down towards the ring.
5 by 5 Shooting
This drill totals 25 shots, with setting five different spots around the ring to take five consecutive shots from. The spots are usually the five angles of the ring; along the baseline on both sides of the ring, the free throw line and then in between these spots on both sides (forms a 45-degree angle, known as the ‘45’). It’s important that these shots are done with shooting form and not free throw form which may differ depending on your kid’s strength. Kids can notice that their favourite players shoot free throws without jumping off the ground and may try to copy them!
Dribbling in basketball is used to advance the ball up the court, take on the defence to get to the ring and to get away from opponents into free space. The greatest basketball player can dribble with both hands and is able to make moves with the ball without looking at it. When undergoing these drills, you need to focus your child on pushing the ball towards the floor with force and then being able to control it through spread fingertips. The ball should stay at hip height or below and your child’s focus needs to be up and forward, not on the ball.
Simple basketball drills to practice dribbling at home include:
Weak Hand Dribbling
Dribbling on the spot with the opposite hand, to then dribbling with the opposite hand whilst moving. It’s important to emphasise to your kid that they keep their head up and eyes straight. Raising the opposite arm whilst dribbling can also be encouraged to build good habits in protecting the ball from the defender.
Straight Line Dribbling
Walking and dribbling the ball through each leg and behind the back. Starting out at doing three dribbles with the one hand and then switching it to the other hand (through the legs, behind the back) is recommended. As they master the drill, they can do two dribbles and switch, one dribble and switch, and then constant switching.
Setting up cones (or similar) in a line advances straight line dribbling. Dribbling fast and in between cones whilst making crossovers or through the leg’s dribbles will greatly enhance your kids dribbling ability. Shortening gaps in between the cones encourages your child to make faster decisions and quicker moves which, with practice, will become more controlled. If your kid becomes too good at this, try get them to do it backwards on the way back through the cones.
Passing the basketball with your child can be great to improve their passing skills, but so can your child passing to a wall. When passing, your child needs to focus on spreading their fingers to improve ball control, ‘snapping’ the wrist to pass the ball quickly, and with an athletic stance (feet shoulder width apart, knees, hips and back bent) to pass the ball with control and power. Catching the ball should be done with outstretched arms as well as widespread fingers.
These three simple basketball drills can be used straight after one another for a great passing workout:
Overhead Wall Pass
Holding the ball above your head, throwing it with both hands and to then catch it above your head with both hands. Repeat this process at approximately two metres away from the wall. Keep knees bent and aim to throw 20-30 passes. This is great for building strength through the arms and shoulders, making passing easier.
One Hand Wall Pass
This drill is similar to the Overhead Wall Pass, however get your child to focus on using just one hand. Remember to keep the ball up high, but this time around shoulder height. When using the right hand, the right foot should go forward and vice versa for the left side. Spread those fingers and extend the arm with each pass. Repeat 20 times with each hand.
One Hand Alternating Wall Pass
This is the hardest of the three simple basketball drills for passing and it requires very good hand eye coordination. With both feet now back in line and spread apart to shoulder width, throw the ball back and forth off the wall alternating each hand. Keep the ball above head height and keep hands up high for the entire drill. Watch the ball as it comes back into each hand with bent knees. Get those arms working a try for a total of 20 passes!
So, there you have nine simple basketball drills your children can practice at home to turn them into better basketballers! For more fun drills and skill improvement, consider enrolling your kids into one of Australian Sports Camps basketball camps.