Fun Basketball Drills
By John Shea
Making basketball drills fun is an effective coaching tactic for keeping players motivated. Basketball is a high-energy, fast-paced game that requires players to execute fundamental components of multiple facets, such as running, shooting and passing. “Fun” doesn’t typically describe how most players feel about running suicides and participating in passing drills, though. Integrating drills that keep the game fun in practice will help improve players’ ability to execute fundamental aspects of the game and also teach them the value of teamwork.
. Competitive basketball drills teach players how to sustain a high level of focus. Basketball drag race is an example of a fun basketball drill that teaches players how to react under pressure. The “drag race” requires the team to be divided into two groups of six players. Both groups must line up at opposite sides of the court. All players are assigned a number, 1 through 6. Each “round” requires the coach to call out a number. The players who correspond to that number race to mid-court for the basketball. The player who gains possession then has the opportunity to drive to the hoop for a layup. The first player to score is awarded one point for his or her team. The first team to reach 10 points wins the drag race. “Space invaders” is a one-minute dribbling drill that teaches players the basics of ball-handling. The team must be divided into equal groups of “meteors” and “spaceships” to execute this drill. Meteors are placed at random spots across the court and assume a defensive position. They’re only able to pivot in place, prohibiting them from leaving their designated spots on the court. A meteor’s goal is to steal the basketball when a spaceship attempts to dribble past them. A spaceship loses a “spark plug” each time a meteor comes in contact with the ball. After four spark plugs are lost, that spaceship “blows up” and is out of the game. Meteors and spaceships alternate roles after each round. The shotgun passing drill is designed to help improve players’ court vision. In order to execute shotgun passing, the team is split into groups of six. Both groups use opposite sides of the court. A team member from each group begins the drill with possession of a basketball at the free throw line facing opposite the basket. The other five group members form a semicircle behind the free throw line with one member holding another ball. The drill begins when the player facing opposite the semicircle turns to throw a chest pass to a teammate not holding a ball. The player holding a ball in the semicircle then throws a chest pass to the team member in the “shotgun” position. This drill continues for two minutes before players rotate clockwise, allowing for a new team member to assume the “shotgun” position. Basketball golfafun shooting game that teaches players how to shoot from a variety of different spots on the court. Nine shooting spots, or “holes,” are marked on the court before a player begins shooting. A shooter must make all nine shots in order to complete the round. The shooter’s objective is to make all nine shots before reaching par, which varies depending on skill level. Basketball golf ranges in difficulty, depending on the distance of each “hole.” The drill can also emphasize different types of shots, like standard jump-shots, spin-outs and bank shots. The objective is to help players become better pure shooters.
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