Teaching Kids How to Pass and Move the Ball Down the Court
When it comes to basketball, passing the ball is the definition of teamwork. Players need to learn how to work together if they’re going to get anywhere on the court. If you’re a coach or a summer basketball camp instructor, you can use these passing drills for kids to help your team understand the joys of teamwork.
This drill could easily be renamed Passing 101. It’s a great choice if you’re working with a group of kids that are just getting to know the sport. Start out by separating the group into pairs with one basketball per pair. The players should be standing on the opposite sides of the court. They can either pass the ball to one another from where they’re standing, or they can dribble the ball for a few steps and then pass. Stand near the baseline and you will have a good view of how your players are passing the ball. You can always switch to a new type of pass, such as a chest pass, base pass or even a one-handed pass to make the drill more challenging.
Stationary Keepings Off
Passing is about more than just form and execution; it’s about making decisions and solving problems in real-time. Instead of running the ball single-handedly down the court, this drill teaches players how to protect and pass the ball when they’re under fire from the opposite team. Start by splitting up the group into two teams, defense and offense. The team on offense should be focused on passing the ball between players without moving around the court. The players will quickly learn how to move the ball long distances without dribbling as a last resort.
It’s best if you limit this drill to half the court or just the three-point line. After a few rounds, give the other team a shot at playing offense. Every player should have a chance to catch and pass the ball. If someone is getting the cold shoulder on the court, step in and pass them the ball.
Continuous 3 on 2
As you might’ve guessed, this drill pits three players on offense against two players on defense. Offense gets an extra player so that there’s always someone free to catch the ball if the players are keeping a safe distance from the two players on defense. There should be a few players left over standing on the edge of the sideline. When the team on offense scores a point, or loses the ball to defense, the teams switch. One player from the offensive team gets sidelined, while the next player in line joins the new offensive team. This cycle gives every player a chance to play on both teams, all the while helping them master the art of passing of the ball with the goal of taking a shot.
Depending on the experience level of the group, you can make things more difficult by forcing them not to dribble the ball. In this scenario, passing becomes their only option. Use these drills to kick off the new school year and make it the best season yet.
Learn more drills from the pros at Kenny Smith’s summer basketball camp.