As a parent, you want what is best for your child. You want them to learn and grow healthily. One of the main goals as a parent is to prepare your child to be physically healthy and to take on the world independently as they grow older. You care for their nourishment, their growth. There is a whole new level of energy as your child grows, and to ensure that your child spends their energy lightly, you might be involving them in various sports.
Basketball is one such sport that encourages a whole-body workout as it involves running, jumping, hand-eye coordination, etc. It engages all the muscles in their body and is also good for muscle development and building endurance. Basketball helps boost your child’s metabolism and increases their concentration levels. Not to mention, a team sport can improve social development and team spirit. It teaches your child the value of communication and understanding amongst their teammates. If you have been or will start teaching your kid how to play basketball for fun, here are a few exercises you can start off with –
Note that given the current situation, it would be wiser if you install an indoor basketball hoop at your home so that your child can have the experience without the risk of going outdoors. These exercises or drills, enhance your child’s ball-handling, hoop-shooting, and footwork. The more your child practices these drills, your child will have reduced the risk of an injury.
- Bounce, Cross-Over Dribbling Set
Your basketball playing munchkin can do this on a flat surface, inside or outside. It is not necessary to have a hoop for this exercise.
- Make them stand with feet shoulder-width apart, using 1 basketball, knees bent in an athletic position
- Teach them to dribble hard with the right hand, then another dribble with the right crossing the ball over to the left, then back to the right
- Repeat the exercise with both hands.
- Straight Line Cone Series
- Line up a series of cones in a straight line. As the player moves through the cones, make a strong move at each cone, stay low to the ground, and keep the forward momentum.
- The cone should be looked at as a defender. Rotate through the different moves at each cone: inside-out, cross-over, inside-out-crossover, behind the back, etc.
- Move at game speed and work to handle the ball at game intensity. This drill can be done anywhere!
- Squat Shooting
One of the key components for your child in basketball would be the ability to get low and use the legs in the shot. It is necessary to ensure your child lays low when they shoot the ball through the hoop.
Many young basketball players rely too much on their upper body to shoot the ball, and this exercise is great for making sure players are getting low and using their lower body in every shot.
- Here, you will make your child shoot short-range shots from 5 spots around the court. In the case of your home, you can chalk out an imaginary court. Do make sure there are no obstacles in the way so that you can avoid the risk of an injury:
- Opposite corner
On every shot, ensure that your child is in position, a squat before the shot. Practicing a squat before the shoot helps them to build muscle memory every time they shoot.
- Around the World
The goal of the Around the World drill is to shoot game-speed spot shots from different spots and different distances to build your child’s game and improve overall shooting.
- The Player will shoot short-range shots from 5 spots around the court. Again, here, you can make use of the same court in your home:
- Opposite corner
Your kid should “shoot” a certain number of shots, catch the ball low, on balance, and be ready to shoot again. Make sure they work on proper footwork, and follow through on every repetition.
- Quick Feet with Slide
The main components of basketball are footwork, balance, and change of speed, and by training the feet to move quickly, players can improve in every way, at every age. This drill is a combination of aspects of agility that require improvement
- Your child should start in an athletic stance with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Start chopping the feet quickly for 5 seconds
- Do a hard-defensive lateral slide in one direction for 4 or 5 steps,
- Back to the original position and repeat
Lateral movement is important in basketball, on both offense and defense, and this drill will emphasize both quick feet and lateral movement.
- Free Throws
Shooting from the line of a free throw is a perfect opportunity to keep the shot accurate and establish confidence in shooting. See how many targets your child will accomplish out of 20, then practice the next time around to build on that. The gap to the free-throw line is approximately 15 feet from the backboard. This is used in sports as children enter the age range of under 10/12. Be sure your child does not go across the free throw line before the shot reaches the ring because it is a game norm!
No matter what the drills may be, the key to success and improvement is consistency and effort. Young players have to be willing to work on their games often and with great focus. Do not forget, hard work and consistency are the keys! For a more enjoyable experience, make sure your child is having fun every step of the way. If they find it difficult, teach them patiently or move on to a different activity. As we said before, you would only want what is best for your child, right?