Basketball requires both speed and agility as players attempt to outrun and outhustle their opponents. A seemingly endless number of drills can improve these skills. The most effective drills for 10-year-olds are usually very simple, straightforward and fun. Kids can improve by becoming more flexible as well.
Cone drills can improve both speed and agility. Set up about 10 cones in a straight line on the court, approximately 4 feet apart. Have each child dribble the ball in a zigzag pattern between each cone. As he passes through each cone, he must switch hands each time. Time how long it takes each child to add some fun and friendly competition.
Line drills are one of the most commonly used ways of developing on-court speed for basketball players. Have the players line up on the baseline, facing the opposite end of the court. The kids must sprint as fast as they can to the free throw line, touch the floor and sprint back and touch the baseline. They must then sprint to the half-court line, touch it, sprint back to the baseline and touch it. Have them repeat this until they have touched every line on the court.
Medicine Ball Chest Pass
Use a medicine ball to develop strength and reinforce passing ability. Have two kids face each other about 6 feet apart. Instruct them to pass the medicine ball back and forth while shuffling laterally up the length of the court. Passes should be level with the chest and the arms should fully extend with each throw.
The pretzel stretch is effective for improving range of motion in the lower back and spine. Demonstrate this stretch from a seated position and bend one leg over the other. Rest the opposite arm against the outside of the leg and twist the upper body toward that arm. Hold this stretch for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
Groin pulls are common in youth athletes because of their often underdeveloped quadriceps and thigh adductor muscles. Protect the groin with the butterfly stretch. Demonstrate by sitting on a mat and holding your feet together, back-to-back. Place your hands on your feet and sink your upper body down toward the floor, between your legs. Go far enough to feel a stretch but not so much that it causes pain. Hold this stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
- Basketball Practice Drills: Kids Basketball Practice Drills
- Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning; Thomas R. Baechle and Roger W. Earle