4 Youth Basketball Drills That Teach the Fundamentals

February 17, 2013 | Michael Coleman

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The basics of understanding and playing the game of basketball should start no later than third grade. Teaching youth athletes the proper footwork and how to play man-to-man defense will lift them to a higher standard when they get to high school. Here are a few youth basketball drills that emphasize basic fundamentals and encourage kids to understand the game.

Quick Feet

  • Line Hops - side to side (feet shoulder-width apart)
  • Line Hops - front to back
  • Line Hops - left foot side to side (jumping and landing on the balls of your feet)
  • Line Hops - right foot side to side (jumping and landing on the balls of your feet)

Dribble Dribble

  • Line up 6 or 7 cones 2 feet apart
  • Left hand dribble through cones as fast as you can with head up and knees slightly bent
  • Right hand dribble through cones as fast as you can with head up and knees slightly bent
  • Crossover knee to knee through cones working on foot speed and hand speed while keeping your head up

Shoot Your Shot

  • Start in the middle of the lane three feet from the basket
  • Place feet shoulder-width apart
  • Shoot your shot, focusing on firm form and following through with your finger tips
  • The goal is to work your way back behind the free throw line using the proper fundamentals

BUM (Ball U Man)

Teaching man-to-man defense and encouraging our future stars to come and give help when the ball is two passes away. Three on defense and three on offense:

  • Set 1 - defending the pass, jump to the ball, and be in help or passing lane
  • Set 2 - defending the drive, help and recover to your man, stay low and sprint
  • Set 3 - defending the ball screen; let teammate know what side screen has been set, hedge out, open up, and sprint back to your man
  • Set 4 - defending the screen away; going under the screen against a non-shooter, stay low and get over top of the screen against a good shooter
  • Avoid switching as much as possible so your team can maintain effective matchups. In case of a "necessary" switch, make sure to switch back when play is on the perimeter or next defensive set.

Looking for more? Check out these youth basketball shooting drills.

Michael Coleman
- Michael Coleman is the co-founder of the Kansas Basketball Academy Foundation (KBAF), a non-profit organization whose mission is "to provide high quality workouts and exposition...
Michael Coleman
- Michael Coleman is the co-founder of the Kansas Basketball Academy Foundation (KBAF), a non-profit organization whose mission is "to provide high quality workouts and exposition...
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