Basketball is a popular sport that many children enjoy. However, it can be hard to master as it requires superb hand-eye coordination and agility, not to mention teamwork. To help your child improve their shooting, dribbling and passing skills, we have put together some simple drills that they can try at home.
Proper technique is important for mastering shooting. Stance, how the ball is held, how the ball is released and the follow through are all part of what makes a good shot. Teach your child to aim at the back of the ring. When preparing to shoot, they should bend their knees and the elbow holding the ball. Their arm should extend during the release of the ball and kept in that position briefly to achieve a smooth follow-through. To get the technique right, practice makes perfect. Here are two drills your child can do at home to perfect their shooting.
- Free Throws
Have your child practice shooting from the free throw line. This will allow them to perfect their form and build their confidence in shooting. They can challenge themselves to make as many goals out of 20 as possible and try to increase the number of goals each time they practice.
- Shooting from Specific Spots
In this drill, your child will make shots from specific spots on the outside of the key. Have them start from one side of the key and make their way around it until they get to the opposite side. If there is no key to use, they can take a step outwards instead after every shot until they are about 15 feet from the ring. From there, they can step inwards to move closer to the ring after every shot.
Dribbling allows players to move the ball up the court, defend the ball until they can get it to the ring and get the ball into free space away from opponents. When dribbling, the ball should be pushed towards the floor with force and controlled with spread fingertips. The ball should not bounce above hip-height and your child’s focus should be in front of them and not on the ball they are dribbling. Here are some drills they can try out:
- Non-Dominant Hand Dribbling
They should practice dribbling with their non-dominant hand, first on the spot, and then while moving. Remind them to keep their opposite arm raised while dribbling to defend the ball from opponents.
- Dribbling in a Straight Line
While walking in a straight line have them dribble the ball under each leg and through the back. They can begin with three dribbles with one hand before switching to the other hand. When they have perfected the drill, they can try alternating hands after two dribbles or alternating after every dribble.
When passing, your child should use widespread fingers and extended arms. They should keep their feet shoulder width apart and their back, hips and knees bent. Snapping their wrist is also helpful for passing quickly. Here are some wall passing drills to help them improve:
- Overhead Wall Pass
Position your child 2 meters away from the wall. Ask them to hold the ball over their head, throw it with both hands and catch it above their head with both hands. This exercise builds strength in the arms and shoulders which will make passing less strenuous for them.
- One Hand Wall Pass
This is the same drill as the overhead wall pass, except with only one hand. The ball should be held lower, around shoulder height. If they pass with the right hand, they should step forward with the right leg. It is vice versa for the left hand.