Fun Basketball Games for Practice
Having an intense basketball practice session that includes tough drills, film sessions and scrimmages is a good idea, but for younger players, it's even better to have a learning session that includes fun games and drills. For most kids who are learning the game, it's quite challenging to learn without having some fun along the way, so coaches will be well served by these activities.
Basketball Drag Race
This game teaches a player how to dribble quickly under pressure and make a layup. Divide the team into two groups of six players. Line both groups up at the opposing baselines. Assign each player a number, 1 through 6. Call out a number and blow your whistle, and the player who corresponds to the number then runs to midcourt as fast as she can, picks up a basketball and dribbles in for a layup. The first player to successfully make a layup gets a point for her team. The first team to reach 10 points wins.
Have six players line up on the court in a shape resembling the letter "S." Line the rest of the players up at midcourt. When you blow your whistle, the first player in line will dribble around each player in the "S." He will dribble to the right of the first player, the left of the second and continue in this manner until he has gone by all six players. The other players in line will follow. Finally, have the dribblers form the "S" and the other group of six do the dribbling.
Have six players line up on one sideline and the other six players line up on the other sideline. Assign each team of players a number, 1 through 6. Shout a number and blow your whistle. Both players will run to center court. The player that gets to the basketball first is on offense and the other player defends him. The player with the ball tries to score and can use his teammates on the sideline to pass to and help him get an open shot. After the first player makes a shot or his opponent stops him by getting a rebound or stealing the ball, they switch places. After each player gets an offensive opportunity, two other players follow the same procedure. Keep track of the points scored, and the first team to get 15 points wins.
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.