KP GIANTS BASKETBALL CLUB – Domestic Basketball Coaching Tips

To All KP Giants coaches,

I’d like to take a moment to welcome you all.  A big thank you to all of the parents and more importantly, coaches, who have either come back or are taking up a coaching role at the club for their first season.  May I take a moment to make a couple of points with regards to your coaching role at KP Giants?  Sports at a junior level I believe is integral in the physical and social development of the kids who choose to participate.  It is our jobs as coaches to ensure that every child who we coach has a positive experience and gets the most enjoyment out of the game, whilst at the same time, benefiting from it physically and also learning the basic mechanics of the wonderful sport.  Please remember, the enjoyment of the children we coach is the main priority here.  My experiences as a coach has always come back to that one point and I have found that with that enjoyment has come the opportunity to improve the skills of basketballers and success on the court soon follows.  This leads me to what this page is all about, teaching the children that you will be coaching the correct skills and developing good basketball players.  The following drills are designed to condition children as basketball players and also to develop basic skills and knowledge of the game.  I will endeavour to update the page as the year goes on to hopefully offer all coaches something of value that they can use for their teams.  We will not only cover basketball skills development drills and conditioning but also some basic plays that will give teams with more developed players a competitive edge.

Warm up and conditioning drills

Basic slides

Slides are a simple but effective drill and do not require a ball.  The are basically a side step shuffle whereby the player takes a wider than shoulder with stance and half squats.  Using the outline of the full or half court, have your players slide in a single file around the court facing into the middle.  Arms should be up as per the diagram below and the shuffle should resemble a “big” stance and a “small” slide.  Going around these lines in a single file at a consistent pace at least twice round will wake up the legs and arms whilst working on what is a good defensive stance when moving in this position.  It is a good idea to have the players change direction at least once (go around once clockwise and once anti clockwise).


Lay Ups

Lay ups are the act of dribbling the ball to the basket and in a continued motion to the basket, taking two steps before jumping off one leg whist at the same time, shooting the ball at the basket.  There are definitely right and wrong ways to develop kids doing lay ups.  It is important to remember these basic tips:

  1. Try to get the players to dribble with the hand on which side of the court they are approaching their layup.  This ensures that they have the best opportunity to protect the ball from defenders running with them when they come down the court.
  2. Always leap off the opposite leg to the side that you are shooting your layup from.  This ensures that you get the most explosiveness that you can from your leap whilst maintaining balance.
  3.  Always try to encourage players to shoot the ball with the hand that is consistent with the side that they are executing the layup from.  This will minimise the chance of being blocked by defenders on the shot.

Players who stick to these basics when performing a layup will develop good basketball habit and develop this skill properly as they improve.



Dribbling Drill warm ups

Basic dribbling skills should be the first thing that junior coaches put an emphasis on the development of.  Being able to dribble and being able to dribble well becomes more apparent as players get older and play longer.  Good players learn to dribble with their heads up to see the floor, whilst keeping the ball low and in control as opposed to chasing it all over the floor.  For beginners, it is important to teach players to push the ball into the floor, whilst spreading their fingers across the ball and using more fingers than palms to control the basketball (see below).  The dribble should be contained to below the hips to keep better control of your dribble.  Children have a tendency to bang the ball into the floor with open palms at a young age.  For coaches of beginners, it is important to try and slowly work this habit out of their players and hopefully, get them to spread their fingers when dribbling and use less palm.



A good dribbling drill for beginners is teaching them again to use the lines around the court and dribble around the perimeter of the court whilst concentrating on keeping the ball on or near the line as they move around.  As player get better at this whilst using the dribbling tips above, coaches should encourage payers to look  up and not at the ball.  This will improve their feel for the ball on the dribble whilst allowing them to move down the court and see all activity ahead of them so as not to miss good shooting or passing opportunities in games.

Coaches can get creative and make up all sorts of dribbling and lay up drills, as well as slides that involve more change of direction to sharpen up their players agility and ability to change direction properly whilst defending.

Thank you and good luck in 2017/8. GO GIANTS!!

Kind Regards,

George Yerondais

KP Giants