3 Basketball Team Building Activities for Your Teens
Sure, technical skill and physical prowess are vital for training skilled athletes, but so are “soft skills,” like communication, trust, and the ability to multitask and process incoming information on the fly. These team building activities will help your team develop the trust, unity, and mental prowess to play smarter and better.
Two-ball Dribbling with a Twist
Prep your players for a two-ball dribbling exercise by dividing them into pairs and assigning a dribbler and a partner (both players will have the chance to be the dribbler). The dribbler must perform two-ball dribbling moves while moving from one baseline to the opposite side and back. As they dribble, their partner will help spot lose balls and guide their course. Here’s the twist: the ‘spotter’ must also tell the dribbler a story while they navigate the court. Once the partners reach the opposite baseline, the dribbler must answer a question about the story they just heard. This exercise is what’s called the “dual-task paradigm,” which suggests that the ability to process verbal information while dribbling and moving around the court hones the same skills required to process the movements of other players during gameplay.
Pro tip: if you really want to make your players multitask and challenge them further, have them dribble multiple objects like a tennis ball or dodgeball to enhance their coordination and focus.
Split your players into teams of 4 or 5 members and instruct the team members to form a ‘snake’ line on the baseline of the court. Have participants stand close enough to one another to hold a basketball between the back of one player and the chest of the player standing behind them without touching the ball with their hands. The longer each “snake” team, the more difficult the challenge. Once each team is set up with a ball between each player, have the teams race to complete a course advance to the half-way line and back to the baseline, without dropping a basketball or touching one with their hands. If players drop a ball, they should stop the race and replace it before advancing. For a bigger challenge, have teams start over from the baseline if they drop a ball.
Circle Passing Drills
Begin by grouping your players into teams of five and give one player in each group a basketball. Have each group form a circle with one participant in the middle of the circle. Make sure that the player passing the ball shouts the name of the player that he or she is passing it to and make it clear that every player should touch the ball at least once every round. No one would receive the ball unless the passing player clearly called the receiving player’s name. Have each player rotate into the middle at least once. The team should work on multiple passes, like bounce passes, chest passes, over-the-head passes, etc. This exercise will help your team hone more targeted passing skills and clear communication skills.