57 Youth Basketball Drills and Games for Kids - Ages 7 to 14
If you are looking for some great drills to use with your youth or middle school teams, you’ve come to the right place! It doesn’t matter if your players are beginners or seasoned vets…
These include drills to master the basics and drills that are more advanced.
These drills are perfect for youth coaches who work with 7, 8, 9, and 10 year olds and middle school coaches who typically work with 11, 12, 13, and 14 year olds.
With these drills, your team will…
- Shoot a higher percentage from the field
- Finish more lay ups under pressure
- Take care of the ball and reduce turnovers
- Develop highly effective dribble moves
- Make better passes that are on target and on time
- Score more points with better team offense
- Shut down your opponents with great defense on and off the ball
- And more...
When you add up the total years of coaching experience by the experts in the drills below, it will surpass hundreds of years...
This is vital for saving you time and making rapid improvement with your team…
You don’t have to decipher through thousands of ineffective drills. As these are some of the best drills that you can use for kids!
We even added some fun basketball drills and games for kids. These fun drills and games can be a great way to start and end practice.
That way, many of your players develop a lifelong passion for the game and play it well into the future!
Drills Organized By Category
If you want to quickly skip to a certain section, you can click on any of the category links below.
And just a heads up, many of these drills are multi-skilled. This means one of the shooting drills might also work on footwork, ball handling, and triple threat moves. A ball handling drill might include shooting, defense, and rebounding.
Basic Drills to Advanced Drills
We wanted to make this as easy as possible for a youth coach working with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders and the middle school coach who works with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.
So we tried to organize the basic drills towards the top of each category. And have it get more advanced as you go down the list.
This will help coaches of all ages progress through the season!
Even advanced youth teams can start each season with the basic drills as you review and solidify certain skills. The only difference is that you might progress more quickly.
On the other end of the spectrum, beginners can utilize almost all of these drills. Of course, you might have to make some modifications and progress a little slower. We’ll show you how to do that in the next section...
And sometimes, you have 7th and 8th grade teams that need to spend more time on the beginner drills. And that’s okay! Basketball is one of the latest developing sports from an age standpoint.
If you coach long enough, you will see some kids that weren’t very good as middle school athletes develop into very good players at the high school level.
Even Beginners Need to Compete Against Defenders in Drills!
With younger teams or beginners, you might spend a little more time on drills without defenders. This helps you coach the technical skills of shooting, ball handling, passing, and footwork.
As alluded to earlier, advanced teams might spend a little more time on technical skills as you refresh and develop your foundation at the beginning of the season.
However, it’s very important to complement those drills with drills that include defenders.
Even with beginners, a general rule of thumb is to alternate between drills without defenders and drills with defenders.. For example…
- 6 Minutes - Practicing dribble moves with no defense
- 6 Minutes - Attacking a live defender with 1v1 full court
- 6 Minutes - Practicing lay ups with no defense
- 6 Minutes - Shooting lay ups with a trailing defender
- 8 Minutes - Running your offense with no defense
- 8 Minutes - Running your offense against live defenders
If you have a more advanced team that is in the 7th or 8th grade, you could spend up to 70% to 90% of your practice drills against live defenders.
Modifications to Adjust Difficulty of Drills
As you go through these drills, you want to adapt the drills to make them the right fit for your players.
You can aim for roughly a 60% to 70% success rate. You want them to have some success and you also want them to be pushed. If it’s too easy or too difficult, they can lose interest or motivation.
Here are some common ways...
- Change position of defender
To give the offense an advantage, you can delay the start of the defender and give the offense a head start. You can also position the defender further away to cover more distance.
To add difficulty, you might give the defender a head start or allow them to cover a shorter distance. That way, the defender arrives earlier.
- Remove or add defenders
By reducing the defenders and making a drill 2v1, 3v2, 4v2, or other variations, it gives the advantage to the offense.
By adding additional defenders such as 1v2 or 2v3, this provides a greater challenge to the offense.
- Increase or decrease space
You can change the boundaries of any drill. By decreasing space, this makes harder on the offense as the defense has less ground to cover. By increasing space, this makes it easier for the offense as the defense has more ground to cover.
It would be the opposite for the defense. If you increase space, the defense has to cover more ground. If you decrease space, it’s easier for the defense.
- Time limits
Setting a time limit will force the offense to be more efficient with their moves. They have to attack in straight lines and they have to play with urgency.
You can increase the time limit for beginners. You can decrease the time limit to provide a greater challenge.
There are other ways to modify drills to change the difficulty level as you will see throughout the drills below. However, this is a great start.
Group Kids By Skill Level for Different Variations of Drills
You can also organize your drills where certain groups of players practice together for different skills.
For example, you might have one group of players participate in ball handling drills.
For one group of players, they might just play 1v1 full court.
Another group of your players that need a greater challenge, you might have them play 1v2 full court.
While this takes more time and organization, it can be a great way to maximize the development of your team!
We hope you enjoy the drills and they help you have more success!
Youth Shooting & Lay Up Drills
1. 6 Form Shooting Drills to Develop a Great Shot - These drills help you build a great foundation for your shot.
2. Form Shooting Drill - Organization for a Team - This shows you how to organize your form shooting drills in a team setting.
3. Elbow Shooting Drill - In addition to making shots from the elbow, you learn a format for rotations within your team shooting drills.
4. Fastbreak Shooting Drill - 12 Players, 1 Hoop - While improving your shooting out of the fast break, this also shows you a great way to organize a shooting drill when you have a bunch of players and only one basket.
5. 3 Pass 1v1 Shooting Drill (With a 3v3 version too!) - Here is a great way to introduce shooting against defenders. It also shows you how to convert all of your 1v1 drills into 3v3 drills, so you can improve decision making and passing against help defenders.
6. 1v1 Shooting Drill with Away Screen - This drill simulates shooting after a screen. It is done in a live environment, so your players learn how to attack the defense.
7. 3v3 Away Screens - Like mentioned previously, this 3v3 drill is a great way to add passing and decision making to your shooting drills.
8. Teaching Lay Ups - 3 Progressions (Lay Ups) - These progressions are great building blocks for teaching lay ups.
9. 1v1 Lay Up Drill - The “Forgotten” Situation (Lay Ups) - This drill works on a common occurrence in games that involves finishing in the lane.
10. 2 on 1 Fast Break Drill with Trailer (Lay Ups) - This simulates shooting and passing against defensive players.
11. Kyrie Irving Mikan Drill With 12 Variations! (Lay Ups) - This is an advanced drill that shows you different ways to finish around the basket.
Youth Dribbling & Ball Handling Drills
1. Maravich Stationary Ball Handling Drills - These are beginner drills to help develop better hand-eye coordination and a feel for the basketball.
2. 2-1-0 Dribbling Drills - These are beginner progressions for teaching basketball moves to your players.
3. Cone Touch Dribbling (12 Variations) - This is a fun game that teaches players how to dribble, change directions, and keep their head up.
4. Warm Up Dribbling Drill - This is a great warm up drill that teaches players how to play in a low stance while shooting lay ups.
5. Pirate Dribbling, Mr. Fox, and Coin Drop (3 Drills) - These are three fun drills to improve your team’s ball handling.
6. Cone Chair Dribbling Drill Through Traffic - This is a great way to teach your players to keep their heads up and dribble through traffic.
7. 1v1 Grid Drill - This drill shows you how to organize a drill to max out repetitions for your team. It improves ball handling and defense.
8. 1v1 Speed Dribble - This is a great way to improve your ability to dribble at a high speed with a trailing defender. You also improve your ability to make lay ups with defensive pressure.
9. 1v1 Off Hand Dribbling Drill - Beat ‘em Left - This is a great way to improve your ball handling for your off hand.
10. 3-on-2 Full Court Drill - Here is a great way to improve ball handling, decision making, and passing in a full court setting.
11. 1v1 Dribbling Drill with Random Traps - This forces you to handle traps better by utilizing a back up dribble and different dribble moves to avoid double teams.
12. 1v2 Pressure Ball Handling - This is an advanced drill that forces your players to beat two defenders.
13. Full Court Press Breaker Overload Drill - This is a great ball handling and passing drill that teaches your team how to beat full court defensive pressure.
Youth Passing Drills
1. Pair Passing - This is a beginner drill to teach your players the technical skills for passing the ball.
2. Pass and Switch - Here is a fun, fast-paced drill to improve passing.
3. Wall Passing Drills - Here is a great way to improve passing and hand-eye coordination while maxing out repetitions.
4. Diamond Reaction Passing - This is a fun way to warm up and get your player mentally focused.
5. Monkey in the Middle and Bull in the Ring - Here is a great way to introduce defenders to your passing drills.
6. 3 on 2 Continuous Passing - No Dribble - This is a full court drill that emphasizes passing, cutting, and footwork.
7. 5 on 3 + 2 Fast Break Offense Drill - This drill improves transition offense, passing, and decision making.
8. No Dribble Offense Drill - This is one of the best game-like drills to improve passing and cutting.
9. 10 In A Row Passing Drill - This is a great game-based drill that improves passing and footwork.
10. Ball Reversal Offense Drill - This is an advanced drill that emphasizes ball reversals and ball movement.
Youth Footwork Drills
1. Jump Stop Drill - This is a great drill for reducing travels, improving balance, and developing better footwork to improve scoring and passing angles.
2. 7 Progressions for Footwork & Passing - Quick Stops and Pivoting - This is a partner drill that builds on the previous drill.
3. Red Light - Green Light (For Footwork & Dribbling) - This is a fun way to improve your footwork and balance.
Youth Defense Drills
1. Defensive Slide Drill - This drill is essential for teaching your players how to slide and cut off the defense.
2. Hip Turn Drill - A vital drill that teaches your players how to quickly change directions.
3. Defensive Shell Drill - This creates proper help position and defensive rotations. A foundation for all great defenses.
4. Reaction Rebounding - This improves your rebounding, so you can properly finish every defensive possesion.
5. 1v1 Overlap Drill - In addition to ball handling, this shows you how to be efficient with your 1v1 defensive skills.
6. 1v1 Wing Close Outs - This is a great drill to simulate contesting the shot and stopping the dribble drive.
7. Defensive Challenge Drill - This is a fun way to instill a defensive mentality in your team.
8. No Hands Defense - A great drill for teaching proper defensive position and reducing reaching that puts your players in poor defensive positions.
9. No Paint Drill - This develops the mentality of keeping your opponents out of the most effective scoring area on the court.
Youth Offense Drills
1. 3 Drills for Cutting and Screening - These are foundational drills for teaching your players how to move without the basketball.
2. String Spacing - Dribble at Wing - This teaches your players how to move to an open spot when dribble penetration occurs.
3. String Spacing - Dribble at Post - This also teaches your players in the post how to move when a dribble drive happens.
4. 5v0 Pass and Move Drill - This is an important drill to teach your players how to move within your half court offense.
5. 3v3 Away Screens - Great offensive drill for teaching your players how to utilize screens.
6. No Dribble Offense Drill - This is one of the best half court offense drills out there.
7. No Dribble Advancement - This is a great variation of the no dribble drill that also removes shooting to get more repetitions.
8. 5 on 3 + 2 Fast Break Offense Drill - A great drill for improving your fast break offense.
9. Ball Reversal Offense Drill - Ball reversals tend to lead to better offense. This teaches your players how to develop the skills of moving without the ball, passing, and decision making.
Games & Fun Drills for Kids
1. Pivot 21 - This is a fun drill to improve your footwork.
2. Go! Go! Go! - This is a fun way to reward hustle and defensive footwork.
3. Chaser Drill (great for athleticism too) - Fun warm up drill to improve quickness and strengthen your lower body to reduce injuries.
4. Dribble Knockout - A fun way to add ball handling to the classic Knockout game.
5. Dribble Tag - Everyone It - A great game that forces necessary habits to be a very good ball handler.