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Youth Basketball Drills:
The Pairs Shuffle Drill

Youth basketball drills should focus on basic skills, but they should also teach players how these skills play a part in the game. When players have been taught the basic fundamentals of how to pass the basketball, they then need to be shown how these passes are performed in game situations.

But when you are dealing with young players - or even, for that matter, older players at the beginning of the pre-season - you can't just toss them into a three man weave until they are ready for it. This drill is a great introduction to passing the ball while on the move - it doesn't require much complex movement - like the 3 man weave - but it does get players running, catching and passing on the move.

Youth Basketball Drill: Pairs Shuffle Drill

youth basketball drills - pairs shuffle drill
  • Partners line up at the end line in two lines, facing each other as in pairs, 10-15 feet apart

  • Each player in one of the lines has a ball

  • The first pair starts, shuffling up the court in a straight line, passing back and forth

  • The partners use properly executed chest passes the entire way, being careful not to:
    • travel,
    • allow the ball to touch the floor, or
    • cross their feet (they will trip!)

  • Remind players that, when they are to receive the pass, they need to have their hand out in the direction they are moving to give their partner a target to pass to

  • When the pair reaches the far basket, the partner receiving the ball in scoring position executes a layup or power layup(without dribbling)

  • The first pair then steps out of bounds and waits for the rest of the team to arrive

  • Once the first pair has passed half court, the next pair begins shuffling up court, exchanging good chest passes all the way

  • When the last pair arrives, the first pair begins again, performing the same movement shuffling downcourt to the starting point. When they reach the other end, the player with the ball executes a layup or power layup.

This youth basketball drill is a good way to integrate a more game-like atmosphere into skills practice before giving them some more complex drills. The drill introduces some important aspects to passing skills, such as receiving the ball on the run, and passing to a moving target - but the focus is still on fundamental skills, and that needs to be driven home. Continue to push your players for good passing technique and form.

More Youth Basketball Drills here

Go to the Better Basketball Coaching home page

"The Six W's: Work will win when wishing won't."
- Todd Blackledge

Want something more visual?

Check out UMass Head Coach Derek Kellogg's video package of drills


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