Making Basketball Fun for Kids
Kids basketball is a great way for kids to build friendships, develop teamwork skills, get active and, most importantly – have fun. Sport has to compete with technology and video games for kids’ leisure time, so it’s more important than ever to foster and adopt ways to make kids basketball enjoyable and fun.
In order to engage kids to get involved, there are many basketball games and drills that will help them develop and refine their skills, whilst still being enjoyable. Even though basketball is a competitive sport, it’s important to remember that the main priority for kid’s basketball is to have fun.
There are plenty of opportunities for those who are interested in playing kids basketball including the Aussie Hoops program, which is a nationally accredited introductory basketball program for junior basketball players in Queensland, and all over Australia. The program focuses on having fun, whilst learning basketball with game sense activities. The program provides primary schools with the opportunity to play kids basketball in a safe sports environment such as at local schools, community centres and local stadiums. In addition, Basketball Queensland offers many opportunities for junior basketball players of all ages and levels to play in different tournaments and divisions.
Fun and Creative Ideas for Training Exercises in Kids Basketball:
- Sharks & Minnows. A fun drill which focuses on keeping the head up while dribbling. The aim of this game is for the minnows (dribblers) to dribble from baseline to baseline without getting tagged by the sharks (taggers). Everyone has a basketball except the taggers who’s job is to eliminate as many dribblers as possible by stealing or bouncing their ball out.
- Dribble Knockout. One of the most popular games. The game will help players dribble while keeping their eyes up as all players dribble around in a small area. Everyone has a basketball to dribble, protect and keep alive while trying to knock away other player’s basketball. If a player picks up the ball or loses it, the player is out of the game. When more players are eliminated, it’s time to shrink the area in order to keep the game going. The game ends when there’s only one player left who becomes the winner.
- Knockout. A classic shooting game which helps the players to shoot under pressure. The game starts with all players lined up in a straight line at the free throw line. The first two players have a basketball each. The person first in line will start to shoot and the second player can shoot as soon as the first player takes their shot. If they make the shot they will pass it back to next person in line, but if they miss, they need to grab the rebound and score as fast as possible. If the person behind scores before the player in front, the player in front is eliminated. The game continues until there’s only one left standing.
Coaches also play an integral role in keeping kids in the game. One of the most challenging factors for a coach is to keep kids engaged and excited – all the time. A coach can influence a child’s growth and the pathways they take in life, so it’s critical to understand why kids play basketball, and why they might quit. In order to provide an enjoyable basketball experience, it’s vital to mix up how juniors are learning and practicing. For example, ‘gamified’ sessions can maximize kid’s excitement and engage kids basketball players to remain interested in playing.
The Aussie Hoops program is designed to give kids a sense of identity by letting them choose their team name. Additionally, having players earn 1 point during a game for dribbling to create a close shot, and two points when making a long-range shot allowing kids basketball players to customise their playing experience. Games and scrimmages remain important in order to maintain their energy and focus.
Alternatively, find your nearest association and check out their school holiday camps and fun days!