Youth programs are the feeder systems for high schools, and what they teach can hurt or help the present and future of high school basketball programs.
As a youth coach, you can only watch young kids take shots out of their range with bad form for so long. Coaches have a tendency to emphasize shooting drills, expecting form to naturally fall into place. The problem is that lacking shooting fundamentals at a young age only reinforces poor technique.
Shooting basketball drills for kids must be designed to encourage proper technique and footwork and to ensure that each shot is performed within range and at game speed. This method might not look flashy, but it will develop sound technique that can benefit young players as they develop their game.
Below are three sample basketball drills for kids, courtesy of the Wichita-Eclipse AAU Program and the Kansas Basketball Academy Foundation.
Shooting Basketball Drills for Kids
Equipment: whistle, stopwatch, basketballs
- Players are shown the proper triple threat position.
- Players are shown how to step into their shot with dropping their elbow.
- Players are shown how to work on jumping then shooting at the top of their jump.
- Coach encourages players to follow through with fingertips and don't let the ball sit in their palms.
- This is practiced without shooting at a basketball goal.
- Practice these techniques for 3 minutes
- Shoot at basketball goal for 3 minutes
Equipment: stopwatch, whistle, basketballs, cone
- Form two lines at the elbows
- Players on right elbow dribble to box (low post) and take a jump shot off the backboard
- Players on left elbow sprint to retrieve the rebound, make a shot and rotate to the right elbow line
- Switch ball to opposite line after specified time
- Add cones and dribble moves (inside/out & crossover)
- Perform each segment for at least 3 minutes
Equipment: stopwatch, whistle, two basketballs
- Form three shooting lines 5 feet away from basket in paint, left low block and right low block
- Players have 3 minutes to shoot, rotating lines after each shot
- Players retrieve their rebound and pass it to next person in line
Emphasize holding the follow-through before retrieving the rebound // Encourage players to count how many baskets they make in the allotted time