This drill will be the first properly dedicated post that will be for coaches. This post will be the first one out of a series i am starting which is to do with dribbling. As a coach you should be able to change some of these drills so that it can better suit your student, cater their skill level for example or age. As of right now just enjoy this post and make sure to soak in all the information that is presented in here.
Dribbling Drills for Beginners
Stationary Dribbling Drill
This drill is great because you can introduce dribbling skills, concepts and terminology to beginners.
The drill is incredibly simple, which makes it easy to introduce skills
to new players.
Line players up along sideline, baseline or anywhere you have space.
Each player needs a ball.
The coach instructs players to get in an athletic stance and dribble the
basketball. The coach will need to demonstrate each type of dribble
and key teaching points.
Drill Progression for Beginners
Here’s a recommended progression to teach basic dribbling skills to youth players:
- Right-hand pound dribble
- Left-hand pound dribble
- Half circle right-hand
- Half circle left hand
- Continuous cross overs
- One dribble cross overs
- Control dribble right-hand
- Control dribble left hand
Key Teaching Points
It’s important for coaches to emphasize the following:
- Ball should touch finger pads on each dribble (not the palm of hand).
- Pound the ball as hard as you can!
- Keep eyes up (look forward) while dribbling.
3 Simple and FUN Youth dribbling Basketball Drills
For this drill, you’ll need to assign a couple pirates. Everyone else has a basketball.
Everyone with a ball starts dribbling in an area of the court. If the pirate touches the ball, you are now a pirate and you give the ball to the person that touches your ball. You can’t go after the person you just touched and get the ball back right away.
Good drill for all ages.
This comes from soccer. I have seen a number of youth soccer coaches use this drill. It works for basketball too.
Each player needs a basketball. The coach stands at the foul line. Players line up along the baseline.
When the players are ready, they yell “What time is it Mr. Fox?”
The coach then calls out a time. In this example the coach will say “six o’clock”.
So the players take 6 dribbles toward the coach.
Then the players ask again, “What time is it Mr. Fox?” And the coach calls out a time which signifies the number of dribbles that players should take.
Repeat until some of the players get close to you. Then when players ask, “What time is it Mr. Fox?”…. you instead yell “It’s dinner time!!!”
When players hear “dinner time” they are supposed to dribble back to where they started as fast as they can. You (coach) run after them trying to tag them before they get back to the baseline.
This is a good drill for 3-7 year olds.
Variation 1 – Let one of the players be Mr. Fox.
Variation 2 – Have the players hop toward you on two feet to work on their jumping and agility (the ball is optional).
For this drill, you’ll need a bunch of pennies (coins) and some egg cartons cut in half.
The teams line up at the start line. Group them into teams for the relay race.
At “Go,” one player from each team races to the turn-back line, picks up one penny from her team’s bowl (the bowl is optional), and runs to her team’s egg carton.
There, the player gets one chance to drop the penny into one cup of the carton — without lowering their arm below waist height.
The player then runs back to the start line and the next player goes. The game ends when a team has gotten at least one penny in each cup of its egg carton.
Now once they get the hang of it, give each player a basketball and require them to dribble. They have to dribble without looking at the ball and develop coordination.
Good drill for 4-9 year olds.
Competitive Cone Touch Dribbling Drill
Fun and competitive skill building drill for all age levels (youth to high school). Can be used as a dribbling drill, warm up, and/or fun skill building activity.
The drill requires players to dribble with their head up, change direction, and move at fast speeds. There are dozens of variations to make this drill challenging, competitive, fun, and effective!
- Randomly scatter cones all over the court. 12 to 20 cones is a good number for a standard court but you can use more or less depending on the space you have to work with.
- When coach says “GO”, players dribble to each cone and touch the cone. Players have to dribble while they touch the cone or it doesn’t count. So as an example, they might dribble with their left hand and then reach out with their right hand to touch the cone.Players have 1 minute to touch as many cones as they can.Players must touch at least 5 different cones in a row before coming back to the same one again. This forces them to move all over the court instead of staying in the same area.
Ways to Win
Here are a few different goals you can set and different ways to make it competitive:
Option 1 – The player that touches the most cones in one minute is the winner.
Option 2 – The top three players that touch the most cones win. Add a little incentive and players will really hustle and compete.
Option 3 – Set a goal. Players that touch 20 or more cones get a drink. Anyone under does push ups.
Option 4 – Assign teams. The team that touches the most cones wins.
12 Drill Variations and Additional Rules
When you run the drill, you can enforce specific rules to get players to focus on certain skills you believe are important and also to give players some variety.
For example, I like to require players to use left hand only for round one. And then on round two require them to dribble with right hand only.
Here are some variations you can implement…
- Players can dribble with their left hand only.
- Players can dribble with their right hand only.
- Low dribble only (sock level).
- Change hands each time you touch a cone.
- Double cross over at each cone.
- Triple cross through the legs at each cone.
- Cone touch going backwards only (players have to dribble backward the entire time).
- Alternate forwards and backwards (dribble to the first cone forwards, second cone go backwards, third cone forward, and so on).
- Cone touch shuffling only. Players have to shuffle sideways to each cone.
- Two ball cone touch. Players have to dribble two balls to each cone, quickly touch the cone with one hand and quickly regain their dribble with both hands.
- Two ball cone touch with crossover. Players have to do a two ball cross over at each cone and then touch the cone.
- Shrink the size of the area to make the drill more challenging and chaotic (which is good for simulating game like intensity).
Age Level and Final Thoughts
This is a fun way for players to improve their ball handling. The more confined and competitive you make the drill, the more chaotic, intense, and game-like it becomes.
With young teams you can do this drill frequently. With older players, it works too but use it in moderation. We occasionally run this drill with high school teams and they have a lot of fun with it.
Fun Dribbling Drills for All Ages
Content goes here.
This is a fun game that will improve ballhandling, shooting, finishing, and conditioning. We simply take the classic game of “knockout” and add some dribbling variations to turn it into a better skill builder.
The first 3 players have a ball. If you have a longer line, you might want the first 4 players to have a ball.
The game starts with the first player dribbling around the cone as fast as they can. Then they attack the basket and pull up for a jump shot at the free throw line.
The pattern continues and the next player can go after the person ahead of them takes one dribble.
When a player reaches the free throw line, they must shoot. If they make it, they give the ball to the next person in line. If they miss, they must follow their shot and put the ball in the basket before the person behind them makes it.
If the person behind you makes their shot before you do, you’re out (knocked out).
The game continues until only one player is left. The last player standing is the winner and you start over again.
Optionally you can award two winners since it can sometimes take a while when you get down to only two players.
In this drill, players will really have to hustle to knock each other out and win the game. It can turn into a tough conditioner.
You should of course work both sides so you practice dribbling and shooting going both directions. Simply move the line and the cone from the left side to the right side.
If you don’t have a cone you can use a chair, garbage can, or about anything you want.
The diagram on the right shows how you can set up additional obstacles to weave through.
The drill works exactly the same except now you are weaving through each cone instead of running around just one.
With this set up you can add the following rules to vary the skill you are targeting:
- Left hand dribble only.
- Right hand dribble only.
- Cross over at each cone.
- Through legs at each cone.
- Behind back at each cone.
- Spin at each cone.
For this drill there really isn’t any restrictions, just find what you want to work on and tailer this drill to what improves that while making it fun for your students as a coach. This will help them stay focussed in you lesson as while their haing fun they are still learning.
In summary I hope you have enjoyed this drill and make sure to stay tuned for more informative drills drom this series. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comment section below, I will happily answer them. Also, if you have any things that you think should be added to this post i will try my best to improve on it.