Feeling a little lost for ideas when it comes to keeping the kids entertained on the holidays, weekends or even in the afternoons?
Why not keep them entertained by providing some fun sports activities and training exercises they can do in the backyard, or down the park with their friends.
Not only will it encourage them to get active and keep fit, but it will also keep them entertained for hours, using up some of the excess energy that seems to come in an endless supply, especially when you’re busy with work, chores or need a little personal time.
Practicing these drills regularly will also improve your child’s skills and coordination in many sports so they can confidently join a local team or attend a school holiday sports camp with a good base level of skills and knowledge of whatever sport they are interested in.
Below I have listed several simple sport exercises that can be set up at home and done individually, if you have a friend or a parent to do these exercises with, simply alter them to make use of the extra person.
Basketball Drill (Solo)
Equipment: Basketball, portable basketball hoop, sticky tape.
- Set up a portable basketball hoop so it backs up against a large concrete wall.
- Place two targets on the wall using the sticky tape, one target on each side of the hoop.
- The player dribbles the ball up towards the hoop passes the ball to the target on the wall, rebounds the ball off the wall and comes in for the lay-up
- On the next time around they alternate sides so they practice completing the lay-up with both hands.
An alternative to this drill is to set up the hoop so the wall is on the side of the court. As the player dribbles towards the hoop they pass to a target, which is now further away from the hoop, regather the ball and make a jump shot.
Basketball Drill (Two Or More Players)
Equipment: Basketball, portable basketball hoop, sticky tape or 5 markers.
- Set-up the 5 markers in an arc around the hoop approximately 5 metres apart.
- Player one stands under the hoop.
- Player 2 stands at marker ‘A’ and passes the ball to player 1 who bounces passes back to player two, then follows the ball out to player 2.
- Player 2 either shoots or tries to dribble the ball past player 1 to score a basket.
- Do the same at all 5 markers then alternate who defends and who attacks.
For more basketball drills check out Simple Basketball Drills For Kids
Cricket Batting Drill (Solo)
Equipment: Cricket bat, cricket or tennis ball, stocking.
- Put the ball into the stocking and tie the stocking off a tree or clothes line so you have plenty of space to swing the ball uninterrupted.
- Adjust the height of the ball to about knee height.
- Hitting the ball so it swings straight back and when it returns you hit it and again and again.
- Vary the height of the ball to practice different strokes.
- If the ball starts spinning in a circle, stop and start again and focus on hitting the ball straight.
Tennis Drill (Solo)
Equipment: Tennis racket, tennis ball, sticky tape.
- Find yourself a large concrete wall with a flat concrete surface in front of it. A drive way can sometime be perfect for this.
- Put a large strip of tape horizontally across the wall approximately 1m off the ground.
- Place three crosses using your tape (left, right and middle) approximately 25cm above the 1m high tape.
- Now practice hitting the ball at the targets alternating backhand and forehand.
- You can also practice serving, aiming at the different targets.
The idea is to start slow and make sure you’re clearing the net but not by too much. Keep focusing on hitting the targets until you are hitting them regularly then try to increase the speed and intensity of your shots.
Soccer Drill (Solo)
Equipment: Soccer ball, sticky tape
Soccer is another easy sport to practice at home by yourself. Like the previous tennis drills, we will be using tape to mark out passing targets and a goal on a concrete wall. Though with soccer, we don’t need a concrete surface as well.
- Create a 1m wide by 80cm high goal on the wall using sticky tape.
- Place 3 targets in vertical lines roughly 3m metres away from the left and right side of the goal. (if you don’t have a wall that’s large enough, just put the target on one side). The 3 target should be at ground level, 80cm high and 1.5m high.
- Spread out 3 markers 5m away from the wall.
- Starting from marker one, kick the ball aiming for the ground target, gather the ball off the rebound then quickly get control and shoot for the goal.
- Alternate aiming at the various targets and starting from different markers to build passing and shooting skills.
These simple sports drills will help to build up the core skill of the respective sports such as hand eye coordination, passing shooting, technique and accuracy.
If your child starts to get bored with solo practices (which they surely will), you can enrol them in a holiday sports camp, which are run by professional coaches, and have star guest appearances. They’ll also get to make new friends and learn more advanced skills and game strategies in a fun, encouraging environment.
Find an Australian camp near you.