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Basketball Activities

For PE teachers, summer camps, and youth basketball coaches

Ball Handling Skills

Ball handling skills are the key to teaching basketball, especially at young ages. These make great warm ups and help kids get used to handling the ball (and can help assuage the fear of the ball in kids who aren't used to them). Check out the gifs below (there are 11. Use the arrow in the image to see the next one).

Games

100 Bounces

Spread dots around the ground. If you don't have dots, the cheap solution is to use a deck of playing cards. The goal is to progress through the levels. Players dribble 10 times at a dot, then move to another dot and dribble 10 times again. Once they've done this at 10 dots, they have passed level one and can move to level 2. Check the game card below for the levels. With younger kids, I call it 50 bounces and only have them go to 5 dots before leveling up.

Dribble Relays

Setup: Divide kids into a couple teams (ideally 3-4 per team) and have a basketball for each team. Cones are helpful.

For younger kids (Kindergarten), they run to a ball, dribble 5 times, then run back to their team for the next player to go.

For 1st-3rd graders, they dribble up and around a cone, then back to their team.

Money in the Bank

Setup: Divide kids into a couple teams (ideally 3-4 per team). A basketball for each team. Throw out a lot of things to pick up (I use fluff balls, but you can use playing cards or small toys). Call them "coins".

One player dribbles to a "coin", picks it up, and dribbles back to their team. The next player does the same. They must dribble the entire time.

If you're running low on "coins", have them exchange them for bigger items. For instance, I call the fluff balls "quarters" and when they get 4, they trade them in for a dollar (a dot).

Lumberjacks & Planters

Setup: spread out a bunch of cones. Divide into two teams (A and B). Need a ball for every player. If balls are limited, just give balls to the Lumberjacks.

Team A starts as "Lumberjacks" and B starts as "Planters." The Lumberjacks job is to dribble around, knocking down cones with their other hand. Planters dribble around setting them back up. After a while, switch the jobs so that team B is the lumberjacks.

If there are enough players to have a third team, it can be helpful (especially with young players) to rest. They could be lumberjacks, then planters, then rest, then back to lumberjacks.

Dot Spot Shot

Setup: Toss out a bunch of dots (or playing cards) near the basketball goal. Divide kids into several teams (ideally 3-4 per team).

The first player dribbles to a dot, shoots a basket from that spot. If they make it, they take the dot (and ball) back to their team. If they miss, they just dribble their ball back to the next player. This is a good opportunity to have them pass the ball to the next player. The goal is to collect as many dots as possible.

Pro Tip: You can get by only setting a few dots (or playing cards) at a time. As shots are made and they're collected, set more out. This keeps the game going longer and allows you to keep the dots spread out, while encouraging shots from ideal locations.

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