Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fun Basketball Games for Kids

photo by gagilas on flickr


King's Drill - Ball handling practice. Ball in circular motion around waist as fast as possible. Ball around each ankle as fast as possible. Ball around head, etc. Then dribbling exercises. Dribble right hand low, then dribble waist level, then dribble high. Then switch hands and do the same thing. Sit down and practice dribbling sitting down, etc.

Follow the Leader - This is a fun warm-up game. Students follow the coach around the basketball court and has to do exactly what he or she does. If coach is hopping on one foot, kids do the same. If the coach is dribbling with their left hand, kids do the same, etc. Next, let a student try being the leader!

Rhythm Training - Get kids familiar with a rhythm, such as "stomp stomp clap". Then use the same rhythm practicing dribbling. Switch hands. So the dribbling rhythm could be "right left catch". Make rhythm more difficult as you go. Here's an example on YouTube.

Instant Running Games 

Ball Balance - Have kids each get a basketball. They then place their basketballs on cones half at half court. Kids must line up at baseline. When coach blows whistle, kids run get their ball, dribble to other end of court, take a shot, and then dribble back to their cone. They have to balance their ball back on the cone and then run back and sit at their original spot. First one seated wins.

Race to Shoot – Kids line up at one baseline, each with a ball. When whistle is blown, everyone runs to opposite hoop and shoots until they make it. First person back and seated (after making it) wins.

 Speedway – Set up cones to create a large enough rectangle (or circle) to race around. Kids can dribble clockwise around the cones and then shoot one shot once they get under the basketball hoop. Then they must get their own rebound and repeat the process. This is a great warmup to get them running, dribbling, shooting and rebounding.

Sharks and minnows - Coach ("shark") stands in center and students ("minnows") on one sideline. When coach blows whistle, the minnows have to try to make it to other sideline without getting tagged by the shark. Any kid who gets tagged becomes a "shark" until the last minnow is remaining. This "minnow" is the winner.
North, South, Central - Central is center court. North and south are the far ends of the court. Whichever location coach calls, students have to run to. Last student sits (Later add dribbling.).

Turn Around Freeze - Students line up at one base line, coach is at the opposite end of court under the hoop. When coach's back is facing students, they can run while dribbling towards the coach. When coach is facing students, they have to stop. If a student fails to stop, they have to start over. First student to get to basket gets to take a shot. First student to make it wins.

 Mr. Wolf - Students line up at one end. Coach lines up at the other end. When coach puts his hand by his ear, students yell, “What time is it Mr. Wolf”? If coach says, “3 o’clock” – students take 3 steps towards coach. If coach says, “Dinner time”, coach has to try and catch students.

Five Alive – have kids dribble and repeat the numbers that you are holding on one hand. Once you hold up the number 5, they start running to other end of court. Blow whistle and they have to stop

Other Games and Exercises

Relay races - Form several teams, preferably with a maximum of 4-5 kids per team. Set up a row of cones for each team. Kids must dribble around cones, dribble back and pass ball to next person in line. Then they must sit down. First team seated wins. Add balls and hoops with success. You can change activities - such as hopping around cones. Be creative!

Monkey in the Middle – Students stand in a circle. One student is in the middle. Students pass ball around circle, trying to keep the ball away from student in the middle ("monkey"). If the middle student steals the ball, they trade places with the student that last had the ball. Students can not make "rainbow" passes or pass to the person directly next to them.

Shooting Knockout - Students line up at freethrow line. One basketball is given to each of the first two students in line. When whistle is blown, first student shoots. After first student shoots, 2nd student can now shoot. Both students keep shooting until basket is made. However, if 2nd student makes basket first, first student is out.

Numbers Game - Coach sets up two lines of five cones to the right and left of hoop, one line of cones for each team. Kids sit at a cone. Coach sets up 2 more cones towards the half court line and puts a ball on each cone. Each team has five players, and kids are numbered 1-5 on each team. If coach calls out "number 1!", the number 1 student from each team must race to get that team's ball at the half court line. Then they must shoot a basket and return the ball to the team's cone. First student seated gets a point for their team. To make things more interesting, coach can add 2 more basketballs at half court (now 2 balls for each team and 4 balls total), and call out 2 numbers at a time.

T Drill and I Drill This is a race. Students line up beneath basket. With I Drill, they just dribble around a cone straight ahead and return with a layup. First to make wins. With T-drill, dribble towards cone straight ahead. Then cut right (or left depending on which side) around that cone, then cut behind a cone on sideline, then cut back to middle and finish with a layup. Next student in line gets rebound and starts drill.

Dribble Knockout - Kids stand in free-throw square. Each kid has a ball. Kids dribble and try to knock the ball of their teammates out of the square. Once a kid's ball is knocked out, they have to sit out. Also, if they step outside the square, they have to sit out. Last kid dribbling in square wins.

Cone Bowling - This game is especially great for younger kids. To play this game you will need some cones that can balance upside down (so they can fall over easily). Set them up as "bowling pins" and let the kids roll basketballs, one at a time, to try and knock them over. It's a lot of fun, especially with younger kids!
Pac Man - Students have to walk on lines when dribbling a ball, and make it from one free throw line to the other. Coach is also on line. If coach tags them, they start over. If they step off the line, they also start over.

Lightening – Students form two lines in front of basket. When coach blows whistle, first person in each line has to shoot. Whoever makes it first wins, and other student has to sit. Repeat until one person wins.

Hot Basketball - Students sit in circle and pass ball clockwise. Coach leads kids in a song ("Twinkle Twinkle little star", "Mary had a little lamb", etc.). When coach stops singing, whoever has ball has to do a pushup or a situp.

Speedway 2 - Create another large circle of cones. Create 2-4 teams. Each team takes a corner. The first person in each team races clockwise around cones until he gets back to his original team. Make sure students are dribbling on outside of cones. Then they pass the ball to next in line and sit down. First team seated wins.

Over, Under - Kids line up in 2 lines on corners of free-throw line with one ball at front of each line. The first kid passes the ball backwards over his head. The next kid passes the ball backwards between his legs. This "over-under" passing continues until ball reaches last kid. Once the ball reaches the last kid, that kid then dribbles in for a layup. After completing the layup, that kid is now first in his line. First team to have everyone shoot a layup wins.

Scrimmage - Simple, authentic basketball. 5 on 5, 4 on 4, 3 on 3, etc.

2 person run and pass - 2 people in each line. First person has ball. He dribbles forward to cone. Stops at cone. Pivots and passes back to first person in line. Then he runs back to original starting point. Next student has ball and that student repeats what the first student did (dribbles forward to 2nd cone. Stops. Pivots. Passes. Runs back to original first cone). Repeat for speed.

Tic Tac Toe – Set up 9 cones in middle of court. Kids form 2 lines. When coach blows whistle, front two kids run to a cone. The goal is to get 3 of your team in a row on the cones.

Tag Ball – Team with ball cannot dribble or travel. Other team is trying to avoid being tagged by the ball (like regular tag, but with a ball).

Around the Block -  First, coach sets up 4 cones around each corner of the free-throw paint. Next, kids form 2 lines on the baseline. The first line is directly under the hoop, and the 2nd line is about 7 feet to the left of the hoop. There is one basketball for at the first line. When coach blows the whistle, the first person in the 2nd line runs to the first cone and stops. Next, the first student in the other line passes the ball to the student near the cone. This student passes back and runs to the next cone and again waits for the pass. This continues until the last cone. When the student reaches the last cone, they shoot. Then each student switches lines.

Simon Says

Keep Away

Competing against coach - Steal ball from coach, race against coach, score against coach, etc.


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