Basketball Young Players Blog


Goal/Purpose: Remember, they are kids. This is supposed to be fun and teach. Not just teach. Have fun and make this something they will come back to later in their development. Instill in these kids the attitude to work hard.

These simple drills for pre-Kindergarten through grade 3 players can be done in a basement or out on the driveway. They can even be done in a carpeted room. Not all basketball drills need to be on a basketball court. Push the importance of good accurate stretching. We are creating muscle memory. The body will remember these drills and stretches later as we age. Let’s start our kids young in the right way to play the game and the good that comes from competition and discipline. 

Dribbling - Ball control is key to success when playing the game. 

1. The use of fingertips is the key when ball handling. 

  • The ball should not “slap” the hand when dribbling
  • The only noise should be the ball hitting the ground

2. Keep the ball below the waist

  • Bend your knees
  • Keep the ball to your side, not in front of you

3. Keep your eyes up at all times

  • Fix your eyes on something in front of you that is off of the ground
  • Looking at the ball reduces your vision to see down the court or any of your players.

Passing - A good pass sets up great plays. 

1. Passing starts with your hands in the right positions. 

2. We pass with two hands, not one. 

3. Hands on the side of the ball, push it out toward your partner or against the wall. Your thumbs will be pointing down after you push the ball away from your body. 

Shooting - Just like all drills, good form is the key to success.

1. When we shoot, we begin the shot with two hands on the ball and we release the ball with one hand. 

2. If you are right handed; 

  • Left hand on the left side of the ball
  • Right hand on the back of the ball, closer to your chest
  • Right elbow close to your body
  • As you raise the ball high, past your ear slightly out in front of your body, keep both hands on the ball so that it does not go left or right; keep your elbow close to your body
  • Extend your arm all the way until it is straight, release the ball by bending your wrist and letting the ball roll off of your middle finger
  • Your left hand acts as a guide so that the ball does not fall left or right

3. Reverse this if you are left handed

Remember, we want our kids to come back to the game. Make it fun, make it memorable. 

Matt Jones
Executive Director, O’Fallon Family YMCA