Basketball Shooting Drills for Kids: Training the Next Kobe Bryant | STACK Coaches and Trainers

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Basketball Shooting Drills for Kids: Training the Next Kobe Bryant

January 19, 2013 | Mo Skelton

Must See Basketball Videos

Kobe Bryant began playing basketball at the age of three.  As a child, her was notorious for studying NBA game film sent to him by his grandfather. No wonder he became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points.

Just like Kobe did, the next generation is already on the court learning how to play, and the next "Black Mamba" could be among them.

As coaches, we're responsible for training athletes to realize their full potential, from playing four minutes off the bench all the way to All-Star status. Basketball shooting drills for kids should be taught in a stepwise fashion and progress from stationary to moving to drills practiced off the dribble. (Read The Best Basketball Shooting Drills for Kids.) The earlier they learn the fundamentals of proper technique, like how to position themselves to get a shot off, the quicker they can begin developing the strength necessary to perfect a consistent and formidable jump shot.

The following are basic basketball shooting drills for kids who are just learning the game.

Triple Threat

This is the classic position for a shooter, giving him or her the option to dribble, pass or shoot: head up, both hands on the ball and feet staggered, with leading foot on the shooting side.

  • Assume triple threat position facing a wall
  • Alternate between dribbling and returning to triple threat
  • Alternate between throwing the ball against the wall and returning to triple threat
  • Alternate between shooting the ball straight up (not at a goal) and returning to triple threat

Table Top

This teaches the proper ball position and upper body balance for shooting.

  • Hold ball with shooting hand under the ball (palm flat) in the shooting position: ball just above the eye and in front of the forehead
  • Keep hand under the ball and the arm in the same position without losing it or letting the ball fall off the hand
  • To progress: take a "shot" up and out (but not at goal)
  • Let ball fall and bounce; catch it and reset the position
  • Final progression: take one-handed shots at the goal

Snake Bite

This is a drill to teach the follow through on a shot. It can be performed while shooting a free throw or taking a shot after performing the Table Top drill without a goal. The off hand can stay on the ball as it would on a normal jump shot.

  • The "Snake Bite" is simply following through with the shooting hand with a quick snap of the wrist and the fingers pointed forward, as if the hand were mimicking the action of a snake striking and biting
  • It's quick and fluid
  • To progress the drill, focus on the proper rotation of the ball, and hold the hand in the follow through position for a beat to focus on the action

Eyes on the Prize

A common problem for young shooters is taking their eyes off the goal when shooting, especially if they have been dribbling.

  • First lesson: finding the right spot to look at on the goal—i.e., the back of the rim or the right spot on the backboard if shooting a bank shot
  • To progress: get in triple threat, look away, then look back toward the goal and find the spot at the back of the rim
  • Progress to dribbling and walking and stopping where you would shoot from, and find the spot at the back of the rim
  • Finally, progress to running, stopping and finding the spot on the rim

Go to the Bank

Young shooters typically aren't great at geometry or physics. They may not understand the need to use angles to make shots, but teaching them how to use the backboard early can make them better shooters later in life. Go to The Bank is a drill to teach them the value of using bank shots.

  • Set up spots on the floor that are good places to shoot off the backboard and appropriate for the athlete's age
  • Award "money" (points) for making bank shots: the further from the hoop, the more money.
  • Coach decides values or how many shots are needed to earn rewards (like a bag of Skittles or a granola bar)

Check out even more basketball shooting drills for your next practice.

Mo Skelton
- Mo Skelton is a physical therapist at McCurtain Memorial Hospital (Idabel, Okla.) and is the founder of F.A.S.T. Sports Performance. He also serves as...
Mo Skelton
- Mo Skelton is a physical therapist at McCurtain Memorial Hospital (Idabel, Okla.) and is the founder of F.A.S.T. Sports Performance. He also serves as...
Must See
Dwyane Wade Leads by Example
Views: 4,371,778
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 2,917,362
How to Perform the Euro Step With Iman Shumpert
Views: 83,204

Featured Videos

Dwight Howard Ab Workout Views: 62,466
John Wall Elbow-to-Elbow Shooting Drill Views: 186,478
Elite Performance with Mike Boyle: Build Explosive Power With Contrast Training Views: 17,723
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Colby Lewis's Post-Game Band Splitter Routine
Views: 8,349,368
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,988,602
Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach
Views: 8,690,610
Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,505
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,175,033

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

If you play basketball then chances are you struggle with your weak hand. No matter if you are in the 7th grade or the NBA you should constantly be...

Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles

Develop an Unstoppable Crossover Dribble With Just 3 Drills

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

10 Tips Every AAU Player Must Know

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

4 Drills That'll Help You Become an Elite Running Back

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

Wide Receivers: Learn to Catch Every Jump Ball, Every Time

3 Offensive Line Drills That'll Help You Keep Your QB Clean

5 Things You Can Learn From Playing Pre-Season Basketball

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

Use These 3 Principles to Improve Your Basketball Defense

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags