10 Must-Know Basketball Drills For Youth That Will Elevate Their Game

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A solid foundation of fundamentals is a must in the game of basketball, your success depends upon it. The higher levels of competitions you go, the more fundamentally sound you must be. That goes for anything in life, not just basketball.

The youth today needs to be taught the fundamentals. Most basketball trainers are teaching these kids the wrong things which in turns hurts them in the long run. Taking 10 dribbles just for for one move might look cool, but it’s not going to work on the next level. These basketball drills for youth will build an solid foundation for them to build off on.


1. Off-Hand Full Court Dribbling

This drill is to build the strength and the ability to dribble with their off-hand. A player would only use their off-hand (non-dominant hand). So if an player is right handed, they’ll dribble with their left. Vice versa.

Key Points: Player must stay low and under control while dribbling with their head up.

  • Dribble full-court and back with low dribbles with off-hand (no higher than the ankles)
  • Dribble full-court and back jogging only with off hand
  • Full sprint dribbling only with off hand



2. Full Court Zig-Zag Dribbling Drill

Zig-zag dribbling is a classic, but very effective. It builds the needed repetitions of doing basic dribbling moves so a player would be able to execute them automatically in a game. You can perform this drill with or without cones.

Key Points: Player must stay low and under control while dribbling with their head up.

  • 1-dribble crossover
  • 1-dribble Between the legs
  • 1-dribble Behind The Back
  • Combo Moves


3. 1-Hand Full Court Layups

This is a great full court lay up drill to work on finishing and conditioning. It simulates transitioning on a fast-break and finishing at the rim going full-speed.

Key Points: Player must dribble with one hand down and back. Focus on technique when finishing at the rim

  • Start on the right side of the rim
  • Dribble down the court with only their right hand and make a right hand layup, do the same coming back
  • Repeat steps just with left hand on the left side


4. Passing Drill

This is a excellent drill because it gives players the needed repetitions to work on all the type of passes they might need to use in a game. This can be done individually by using a wall or you can have a partner.

Key Points: Strong and accurate passes

  • Chest Pass
  • Bounce Pass
  • Over-Head Pass
  • 1-Hand Chest Pass
  • 1-Hand Bounce Pass
  • Hook Pass


5. Lane Slides Drill

This are is least liked among players, but it pays off. Defensive slides will help players be quick on their feet and will build muscle memory of staying in defensive stance.

Key Points: Keep stance low and wide. Don’t cross your feet.

  • Start on one side of the lane in defensive stance
  • Slide Across the paint to the other lane and touch the line with your hand
  • Repeat for desired amount of time




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6. Triple Threat Drill

This drill will get young players to consistently face the goal and position themselves in triple threat stance where they can pass, shoot, or dribble.

  • Spin the ball out in-front of you, catching it like you received a pass and immediately go into triple threat stance
  • Spin it 2-3 spots around the perimeter (wing, top of key, other wing)
  • Finish each spot with a made shot


7. Form Shooting

This drill will build muscle memory, improve shooting form, build confidence, and create good shooting habits. They will be able to shoot with proper form automatically. This is how great shooters are made.

  • Stand about 2 feet from the basket
  • Proceed to shot with proper form (Read Proper Shooting Techniques), player should use their legs and finish on their toes
  • Perform from 3 spots (Right-side box, Left-side box, Middle)


8. Progression Bank Shots

The bank is open for business. Using the backboard is a lost art in today’s game, some shots can be so much easier if players knew how to use the backboard. This drill is perfect for teaching younger players angles and how to shoot a bank shot.

  • Start at the box.
  • Player must make 10 bank shots from the boss
  • Once 10 bank shots have been made, move out to the wing.
  • Player must make 10 bank shots from the wing
  • Repeat steps on opposite side, for a total of 40 makes


9. Floater Finishing Drill

Floaters also known as the “Tear Drop”, are great move that enables smaller players to get their shot off over larger defenders. This drill develops a players floater finishing and teaches them the type of floater to use in any game situations. Floaters should have high arc.

  • Player would attack the rim from all spots around the 3pt line, either off the dribble or from triple threat stance
  • Players must shoot only floaters, off 1 or 2 legs, with the left or right hand
  • Make at least 20 floaters


10. Free-Throws

The importance of free-throws are under valued, both to teams and players. They are not only common in the game but they also improve your shot by making it more consistent.

  • Player should make at least 25 free-throws after every workout or practice






The fundamentals of the game of basketball are the most important thing to master because they make you and your team better, no matter what level of competition you compete at. These basketball drills for youth will elevate and strengthen a players overall skill set.  Share this article and leave an comment below on what you think about the fundamentals of basketball.


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3 thoughts on “10 Must-Know Basketball Drills For Youth That Will Elevate Their Game

  1. Hi

    Great information and drills on the great game of basketball here.

    Developing dribbling skills with the non preferred hand definitely makes sense as a good defender will figure out if a player is one side dominant.

    Practicing shooting a lot is also great and the form shooting drill you have described will help a lot of the youngsters.


  2. These are all awesome drills for kids to develop their game of basketball. I recall practicing these drills when I was growing up.

    It’s great for youth basketball players to learn these drills. What’s your favorite drill? Mine was dribbling, passing, & shooting.

    Awesome article! Thank you for helping kids improve their basketball skills.

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