Youth Basketball Drill: Dribbling Fundamentals
Knock Away

It's a youth basketball drill, sure, but Knock Away is a great dribbling drill for players of any age and level. Use it at the beginning of the pre-season, when skill levels are still relatively weak - it's good practice for handling the ball, it's fun, and it's challenging - players want to win.

An easy drill to introduce in the early days, Knock Away is a good drill to improve basketball skills like

  • Dribbling under control and with alternating hands

  • Guarding the ball with the body and free hand

  • Keeping eyes up (watching for other players trying to knock your ball away) and not watching the ball

  • Using different ball handling moves, such as crossover moves, between the legs and behind the back dribbles

Youth Basketball Drill: Knock Away
How this Drill Works

Youth Basketball Drill - Knock Away
  • All players have a ball
  • All players are on the court at the same time - confined to the space bordered by the three point line and baseline

  • On the coach's whistle, everyone begins to dribble, low and under control

  • At the same time, everyone tries to knock the other players' balls away - to prevent this, players need to stay low and use their free (non-dribbling) hand to protect the ball

A player is out of the drill when:

  • his ball is knocked out of the playing area (i.e., past the three point line or past the baseline)
  • he stops dribbling (e.g., picks the ball up, loses the dribble or the dribble dies)

As the number of players on the court dwindles, the playing area can be reduced to the key only.

  • The last player left still dribbling the ball is the winner

This is usually a quick drill, lasting only a few minutes. As you would expect, players get knocked out of the game pretty quickly at the beginning, as you have quite a few players crowded into a relatively small space; but as the drill continues and fewer players are left, there is more open space and the knock outs become more difficult.

Most kids probably learn this drill in P.E. class or at the very start of their formal basketball training - it is a youth basketball drill, after all. But it is still a fun drill to use with older players, and it is good to teach them to guard the ball well and keep their eyes up, so they can see the court. It's also a good ice breaker early in the season, when the new players to the team may not know the older players.

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

- Thomas A. Edison

Great program to help players become sensational ballhandlers

effective ballhandling program