Quite simply, basketball is a team sport. Most teams come together not knowing each individuals' strengths and weaknesses, especially at the youth level. Therefore, the drills incorporated into practices will set the stage for a winning effort on game day.
The drills below help develop trust and precise movement. Without further adieu:
Blindfold Obstacle Course
Split up the team into groups of three. One child will be blindfolded and guided through the obstacle course by the other two children. The guides are not allowed to make any physical contact, and they will have to coordinate when it is time to give their verbal directions.
This drill teaches leadership and team coordination. Coaches will quickly find out who will step up to the plate in a critical situation.
Players cannot dribble in this drill, which forces them to focus on passing. Each time a player receives the ball, she can only take two steps before passing it to a teammate. Players should count their steps out loud to avoid taking too many. Players can use any kind of pass they may choose.
This drill gets the players thinking and they will learn while having some fun.
Defensive Help Drill
When the offense sets a pick, this is a critical time for the defense to communicate. Most often in basketball, when a pick occurs, the defense will perform a "switch". While the communication is as simple as calling out "switch!", it requires that the players know beforehand that this is the correct action to take when a pick happens.
Split the team into groups of four. Two players on offense, and two players on defense. Have the defense mark the offensive players man to man. Then have one offensive player dribble up the court while being covered by the first defensive player. The second offensive player will set a pick on the first defensive player. The second defensive player will call "switch", and he/she will shift to the first offensive player, while the first defensive player (who was just "picked") will stay with the second offensive player. Repeat this drill 5-15 times.
For more information about signing up for the YMCA's basketball league, contact Ed Bullen at 610 647 9622, x2512.