Sample Youth Practice Schedule (Ages 11 to 14)

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Here is a sample structure of a practice schedule for a youth team. Of course, this is just a sample and things would be different every day, but this is a basic structure of how a practice may look.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Drills & Games to Practice Offense and Defense - 15 to 25 minutes

  4. End of Game Drill - 10 to 20 minutes

  5. Cool down with Light Stretching - 5 minutes

Sample Practice Schedule

Dynamic Warm Up & Athletic Work - 15 minutes
Warmup #1 - With Basketball:

Stationary Ball Handling:
  • Around the World - 30 sec
  • Figure 8 - 30 sec
  • Behind-the-back dribble - 30 sec
  • Two Ball Dribble Crossover - 30 sec
  • Two Ball Front-to-Back Dribble - 30 sec
Full Court Ball handling: (Incorporate Lay Ups if you want)
  • 1/2 Speed Dribble
  • Backpedal - 1/2 Speed Dribble
  • Protect-the-Ball Dribble going backwards & forwards - Switch Hands at Half Court
  • Crab Walk - Figure 8 while walking. Walk down the court forwards. Come back walking backwards.
  • 3/4 Speed Dribble
  • 3/4 Speed Crossover Dribble
  • Full Speed Dribble
  • Full Speed Crossover Dribble
  • Full Speed Behind-the-Back Dribble
  • Full Speed Inside Out Dribble
  • Partner Passing - Shuffle and Pass - Chest, Bounce, & Overhead.
Warm up and Athletic Skill work without ball:
  • Full Speed Defensive Shuffle without Ball - 15 to 25 feet - twice each direction
  • Butt Kicks - Up the court
  • High Knees - Down the court
  • Lunge Technique - 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Squat Jumps - 2 sets of 10 reps
   Warm up #2 - Without Basketball
  • Jog.
  • Backpedal.
  • Carioca.
  • Defensive Shuffle - 50% to 75%
  • Walking Lunge with Hamstring Stretch
  • Side Hops.
  • Skipping with Arm Swings.
  • Butt Kicks
  • Crab Walk
  • High Knees
  • Bear Crawl
  • Squatting Form - 10 Reps
  • Jumping and Landing
  • 180 & 360 Degree Hops
  • Diagonal One Leg Bounds - with 1 second Pause
  • Tennis Ball Drops - Start on Belly - Get Up & Sprint


Teaching Skills and Using Fun Drills to Improve Skills - 40 minutes
Drills & Games to Practice Offense and Defense - 25 minutes
End of Game Drill - 10 minutes
Use 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 minutes
Some teams do this after practice.


You can also reference Bob Bigelow's Middle School Drills & Coaching Videos, What to Teach 11 to 14 Year Olds, 57 Kids Basketball Drills and Skills & Fundamentals


Do you have any questions or suggestions? Let us know by leaving your comments...



Comments

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ali says:
10/30/2018 at 9:43:32 AM

hi

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Mackenzie says:
10/4/2018 at 4:54:58 PM

I am a new coach and this is awesome my team will love it

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Coach Dre says:
12/29/2017 at 6:15:23 PM

Just a little program we implemented that put our 7 & 8 year old boys team on a fast track. It is a reward system for doing (2) twn minute stationary drill sesaiona at home with parent non engaged activity. They do it while waiting on mom to fix a sandwich or something. Taking 10 mins away from their electronics to develop a skill set has worked wonders and the results are amazing. We give away goodies at practice. Example: Mom / Dad, an you fix me some cookies and milk. Sure !!, while Im doing that you do your dribble drill. I empowered the parents to allow the kids to use any hard surface for 10 mins.They make the sacrifices and enjoy seeing their kiddos bringing the ball up and hitting layups rather than sitting on the bench waiting to one day learn how to dribble. Noone taught them how to operate a cell phone or tablet. They spend time on them and master them. The same with learning the fundamentals of basketball..... I can attach a simple 10 min low key dribble drill for little ones. One week and they will be doing it on their own. My 8 year old dribble on a middle or high school level with just committing to 10 mins twice a day.

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YALI says:
11/14/2017 at 1:01:47 PM

HELLO,

I AM AN ASSISTANT COACH FOR 4TH AND 5TH GRADERS I KIND OF GOT DRAGGED INTO THIS IVE NEVER PLAYED BASKETBALL, IS THERE ANY VIDEOS I CAN WATCH TO LEARN BEFORE PRACTICE IN A COUPLE HOURS

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Frank Bell says:
12/30/2016 at 11:44:09 AM

Hello, I am a new coach wanting to get in the business of coaching youth basketball. I am interested in finding a video that shows what a practice would look like. I have tried to run a few practices but I am unsure I had a good structure for the youth. Are there any videos that could assist me with coaching? Thank You!

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  1 reply  

Jeff says:
12/30/2016 at 2:51:01 PM

These videos are good. You don't necessarily see an actual practice but you do see how the coach teaches during the drills and actual young kids getting coached during the videos.
https://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/pr/bigelow-youth-right-way.html

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Wilfred Miles says:
9/13/2016 at 12:30:49 AM

I am a 82 year old grandfather with 7 grandchildren ages from 6 to 19 and all play basketball. Two of the older ones do refereeing as well as playing.

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alejandro says:
11/1/2015 at 6:47:21 PM

Hi great drill i am coaching middle school basketball never coached before i need a practice plan.Thinking of using the warmup number 2 what drills should use never met my team kind of nervous.

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Nicki says:
10/5/2015 at 4:24:43 PM

Jeff,
Thank you for taking the time to give me all of the suggestions. I am going to check each one of them.

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Nicki says:
10/2/2015 at 9:00:59 PM

Joe,
How do you teach this age group about spacing and its importance?
Thanks,
Nicki

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  1 reply  

Jeff says:
10/5/2015 at 9:08:33 AM

Nicki - Good question. I've give you a few ideas that I use with young and old teams.

Some coaches use "spots" to teach spacing. I use spots in some drills to teach basic concepts and making drills run smoother. But I don't rely on them.
https://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/store/shopexd.asp?id=123

The main ways I teach spacing to young kids are:

1) Skill drills that are pieces of my offense. We have dozens of drills that are simply pieces of our offense and also allow us to work on passing, dribbling, shooting, and finishing. We have cutting drills, screening drills, dribble and space drills.
https://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/play.asp?id=437
https://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/play.asp?id=70

We also like to use string spacing drills. A player dribbles towards another player and they fix spacing appropriately and then take a shot or lay up. As an example, dribble at the the wing, the wing back cuts, and receives the ball for a lay up. You can dribble toward low post players, high post, and so on.

2) No dribble drills
http://jeffhaefner.com/coach/trying-new-drills-no-dribble-is-still-one-of-the-best/
https://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/play.asp?id=1503

3) All scrimmages and half court offenses (constant emphasis).

Beyond that we constantly emphasize spacing. To me it's most important thing to focus on for offense. You'll hear this a lot in our practices when we scrimmage or play half court...
"Freeze!! How's our spacing?"

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larry says:
1/20/2015 at 8:33:47 PM

my grandson is 13 with exceptional skills.(he thinks) but i am looking for a program such as this so he can truly get the b-b skills to compete.
you see he wants to play middle school b-b this
year. where can i get him in a program like this
in tampa, florida?

Grandpa looking for help

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  1 reply  

Joe Haefner says:
1/23/2015 at 10:03:28 AM

I wish I could help, but I'm not aware of clubs in the Tampa area.

I would just ask around. Ask what they teach and make sure it aligns with your philosophy.

I would even attend a practice and a game of the club prior to joining. This will give you a good picture of how they actually do things.

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