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Questions From Subscribers...

Topic:  Basic Basketball Drills for 8, 9, and 10 Year Old Girls

Thanks for the book. A great resource. However, I'm starting with 10 yr old girls who've never played before, and some more basic drills are what I need. Any ideas?

First of all, you can check out our free and newly organized version of the Winning Drills eBook. It includes some drills for very young players. The drills are now organized so you can easily find them by skill level.

Next, we released a new eBook with Fun Basketball Drills and Games for Youth Coaches. You should definitly check that out.

In addition, here are a few drills that are very important for young basketball players...

  • Form Shooting - Good shooting habits are the most important thing for young players to learn because so many kids have bad shooting form and it's the most difficult thing to fix when they get older.

  • Jump Stops - This is a critical drill for all youth players. It improves balance, footwork, reduces travels, and improves confidence.

  • Basic lay up drill (with left and right hand) - For the standard lay up drill, simply form two lines on each side of the basket about 20 feet back. One line rebounds, the other drives in with the ball and shoots. The rebounder passes to the next person in the shooting line and goes to the end of the shooting line. The shooter goes to the end of the rebounding line. After a few minutes, stop the drill and put the ball on the other side for left hand lay ups. Left hand lay ups will be nearly impossible for youngsters who have not tried them. But this is a critical skill to learn. It will take time and is a must by middle school. Be sure to show your players the correct form -- they should jump off the left leg when shooting a right hand lay up. And shoot off their right leg when shooting a left hand lay up. It will be difficult but work on it. They should also dribble with their left hand when shooting left hand lay ups.

  • Cone or Chair Dribbling - Simply set up some cones or chairs about 10 feet apart. Instruct your players to weave in and out of the cones, changing directions each time they reach a cone. They can start with a basic cross over, switching hands when they reach each cone. Then you can progress to spin moves and behind the back. This is a really simple yet fun drill that helps young players improve their dribbling skills.

  • Basic partner passing - Have your players partner up, each group should have a ball. Have them pass back and forth, starting with chest passes, progressing to bounce and over head passes. Make sure they are making accurate passes and using proper form. As a variation, you can have them run up and down the court passing back and forth.

  • Triple threat drills - Simply form two lines around the 3 point arc. One line is for passing line and the other is for catching, pivoting, and driving to the basket. Once the receiver catches the pass, they should pivot with their knees bent facing the basket. Require them to pause in a triple threat position. They should be ready to pass, shoot, or drive. Knees should be bent and feet square to the basket. Once you say go, they should drive to the basket.

  • Basic defensive slides - This is the first defensive concept youngsters should learn. They are a variety of sliding drills you can use. You can try the zig zag drill or some of the sliding drills listed below. Just be sure to focus on proper form (wide base, butt down, knees bent, arms extended to he side, etc).

You can also take a look at some of these youth drills from the Winning Drills ebook that you already have.

Very basic drills you can probably use now:
  • Partner Shooting - Page 18
  • King of the Court (dribbling) - Page 72
  • Four Corners Passing - Page 83
  • Machine Gun Passing - Page 88
  • Musical Slide (defense) - Page 95
  • Defensive Slide - Page 96
  • Lane Slides - page 98
More challenging youth drills you can work towards:
  • Half Moon Shooting - Page 6
  • Knock out (fun drill) - Page 16
  • Above ground - Page 26
  • 1-on-1 Rebounding - Page 33
  • The Rebound Game - Page 37
  • Post Moves - Page 50
  • Drop Step - Page 60
  • Jump Hook - Page 61
  • Round the Block - Page 62
  • Pass and Zigzag - Page 68
  • Dribble Relays - Page 70
  • Dribble Mania - Page 77
  • Partner Passing with 1 Defender - Page 86
  • Close Out - Page 105
Most of the drills above should help you with the important skills. But there are many other good drills out there. Just keep in mind, that if you can teach your young players the following skills, then you should feel good that about what you accomplished and know that you're teaching your player the right things (that they need to be successful)! Your young players should be able to:

- Dribble with their left and right hands equally well.
- Make lay ups with their left and right hands equally well -- and jump off the proper foot (left foot when shooting with right hand, and vice-versa)
- Perform a jump stop without traveling.
- Pivot on their left and right foot without traveling.
- Perform accurate chest, bounce, and overhead passes.
- Perform a defensive slide (feet wide, good balance, staying between the offensive player and the basket).

These simple skills should be your number priority and your goal should be to help your players master these skills.

Also, here are a couple resource we think are good.

Coaching Basketball Successfully by Morgan Wooten - One of the best basketball coaching books ever written. We highly recommend it for all coaching levels.

Coaching Youth Basketball: A Baffled Parent's Guide - A great book for youth basketball coaches.

We don't have any affiliation with these products, we just think they are good.

Hope this helps.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions then please leave your comments below.

Joe Haefner

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Answers and Comments

Most Likes First   Oldest First   Newest First

Danny says:
1/4/2009 at 12:24:13 AM

I think your site is an excellent resource. I am a first time youth bball coach and I was very unsure of what to do. well thanks to your site we lost our first game but only because of a fluke three pointer at the end of the game. I was very pleased.


peter marino says:
9/20/2009 at 6:32:54 PM

i need program 1 , 2, and 3 for kids


Sarah says:
1/7/2010 at 9:25:05 AM

Is there somewhere I can find a daigram of where the players stand during the start of the game?


Bulti Kumera says:
1/17/2010 at 8:11:36 AM

I really appreciated your help.Thank you


Mike says:
10/15/2010 at 2:48:22 PM

Thanks for the article. First practice tonight and this blog was very helpful!


Venessa says:
2/22/2012 at 2:32:14 PM

I am a past college player and I have coached 15-16 year high school players for the past 4 years. I have just been asked to coach a U10 team this summer. This has been very helpful in getting my mindset/intensity down a level so I can help develop the skills needed.


Jingles says:
11/11/2013 at 5:41:56 PM

This has helped my brother so much! He has never played basketball and now he is an MVP player for the junior high basket ball team for the cougars.


Jingle's brother says:
11/11/2013 at 5:43:35 PM

Thanks bro! I'm glad that you taught me these moves! And it's true... ...i was a horrible player in my first year in 8th grade. now i'm a movie' cheetah! These guides helped me to become a great player like my favorite baller LeBron and Kobe and Chris!!


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