2 Fun Basketball Handling Challenges For Young Elementary School Players

If you are in charge of coaching a young elementary school basketball team that is geared towards kids in kindergarten through second grade, a large part of your practice should be focused on allowing the kids to handle the ball in a fun, supportive environment. At this age, your players just need to learn how to become comfortable with a basketball. Here are a few fun basketball handling challenges that are aimed towards very young players.

#1 Going Up The Stairs

One of the keys to engaging young players is to actively engage their imagination as well. For this exercise, start out by asking your players to imagine that they are walking up and down a set of stairs. Have them practice sinking low to the ground as they go down the stairs, and reaching up to their toes as they go up the stairs. After you have practiced that portion a few times, it is time to add in the basketball. 

Give your players a basketball and challenge them to see if they can dribble the ball when they are crouched at the bottom of the stairs. Then see if they can dribble the ball when they are stretched out on their tip-toes at the top of the stairs. Next, challenge your players to "walk" up and down the stairs, and go from a crouching position all the way down to their tip-toes.

This drill will engage your young players imaginations and will also feel a little silly and fun as they try to drill in all these different positions. It should also increase your players' ball handling skills at the same time.

#2 Yo-Yo Ball

For this drill, you are going to ask your players to imagine that the ball is a yo-yo and that there is an invisible string attached to their hand. You may even want to show your players a real yo-yo and demonstrate how you can use your hand to control how the ball moves up and down.

Then, show your players how to treat the ball like a yo-yo. Have them practice bouncing the ball up really high in the air, and then have them practice bouncing it with really small, short, quick bounces. Encourage your kids to try to get the ball to "yo-yo" back up to their hands. 

If your players master this drill, you can have them try doing the yo-yo while walking forward. That should increase the challenge of the activity while also teaching your young players how to walk and dribble. For a little bit of silly fun, have them try to walk backwards and do the yo-yo as well.

If you are coaching a young elementary basketball team, remember one of your key objectives is to get them comfortable with handling the basketball. Use the two exercises above to get your next basketball practice off to a great start.  For more information about sports events, talk to a professional like Lincoln Saltdogs Baseball.