Sample Youth Practice Schedule (Ages 11 to 14)
- Dynamic Warm Up & Athletic Work - 10 to 15 minutes
This is probably the #1 thing missing from most youth practices. It helps prevent injury, improves performance, and improve athletic ability. What good is a basketball player who is injured or is not athletic enough to utilize the basketball skills developed? The better the player moves, the better the player performs. Why not spend time on it?
There are a lot of players who have tremendous SKILLS, but lacked the ATHLETIC ability to make it to the next level.
Because it is the game of basketball, I do try to include a basketball in the warm up as much as possible. I am going to present two different dynamic warm ups. If you are fortunate enough to have enough basketballs for everybody, we have a basketball-related warm up. For those of you who do not have very many basketballs, we include a warm up that does not require a basketball.
- Teaching Skills and Using Fun Drills to Improve Skills - 30 to 45 minutes
The #1 reason kids quit sports is because it's not fun anymore. Youth coaches primary focus should be to teach skills and make it an enjoyable experience! This isn't high school, college, or even PRO basketball, so don't treat your practices like it.
Try the skill-fun drill technique. This means that you teach a skill, then follow up that skill with a fun game or drill to work on the skill. It helps break up the monotony of practice.
- Drills & Games to Practice Offense and Defense - 15 to 25 minutes
- End of Game Drill - 10 to 20 minutes
- Cool down with Light Stretching - 5 minutes
Sample Practice Schedule
Dynamic Warm Up & Athletic Work - 15 minutes
Warmup #1 - With Basketball:
Stationary Ball Handling:
Warm up #2 - Without Basketball
Teaching Skills and Using Fun Drills to Improve Skills - 40 minutes
- Two Ball Dribbling Drills - 5 minutes
- Form Shooting - 5 minutes
- Two Ball Shooting - 5 minutes
- Knock Out and Water Break - 5 minutes
- Teaching Motion Situations (Motion Drills - 2 on 2 & 3 on 3 work) - 10 minutes
- Wing - 1 on 1 - 4 minutes
- Defense Reaction & Conditioning Drill - 2 minutes
- Free Throws & Quick Water Break - 4 minutes
Drills & Games to Practice Offense and Defense - 25 minutes
- No Dribble Keep Away - 5 Minutes
- 4 on 3 - Overload Drill - 5 Minutes
- 4 on 4 - 5 minutes (Emphasize rules and teaching skills - after pass to wing, you must screen away. Similar to Situations Drill below.)
- 5 on 4 - Overload Drill - 5 minutes
- Situations Drill - 5 minutes
End of Game Drill - 10 minutesUse the end of game drill to end practice in a fun fashion. It also gets players accustomed to end of game situations.
Cool down with Light Stretching - 5 minutesSome teams do this after practice.
You can also reference Bob Bigelow's Middle School Basketball Drills & Coaching Videos, What to Teach 11 to 14 Year Olds, and Skills & Fundamentals
Do you have any questions or suggestions? Let us know by leaving your comments...