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Basketball Drills on the Playground for Kids!

Basketball is a great way for kids to get some exercise and enjoy a sport that is fun to play. On the playground, kids can pick teams and have hours of fun in the sun. To get better at the game of basketball, it is important to understand the history of the game and have some drills to do that will improve skill and coordination. Most professional basketball players got their start by playing basketball on the playground. When a kid takes the time to work on basketball skills on a playground court, they could be paving a path that leads right to college and maybe even the pros.

History of Basketball

Basketball is an American game that was invented by a Canadian doctor who had relocated to Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1891, Dr. James Naismith was working at the local YMCA on the Springfield College campus when he wanted to develop a game that the children could play indoors. It was a particularly rainy summer that year, and Naismith could not seem to adapt any of the usual outdoor activities to the indoor gym. His solution was to put peach baskets at each end of the gym and encourage the children to create two teams and try to get a soccer ball into the peach basket. The children got tired of having to climb a ladder to retrieve the ball after each basket, so Dr. Naismith cut out the bottoms of the baskets and used a large pole to poke the balls out of the baskets. In 1906, metal hoops with nets replaced the baskets and a heavier ball was created. That is how basketball was born.

Equipment Needed To Play

Basketball does not require a great deal of equipment, but it is important to have the right equipment to play the game. A standard NBA basketball court is 94 feet long by 50 feet wide. A basketball rim is 18 inches in diameter and is made of metal. The circumference of an official NBA basketball is exactly 29.5 inches. Players should wear athletic shoes that are specifically designed for basketball with a soft sole and ankle support. It is also a good idea to wear knee pads while playing basketball, especially if you are playing on an asphalt court.


The best drills for playground basketball involve shooting, playing defense, and passing. For shooting drills, players should practice taking shots from various spots on the court. It helps to practice free throws because most outside shots come from that range, and free throws can be the difference between winning and losing in an organized game. Passing drills can consist of two players running up and down the court and passing the ball to each other. You should practice passing drills that keep the ball airborne from one player to the next; practice one-bounce passes as well. Start out slowly with passing drills, then build up speed over time. The best defensive drills can be done either by working with another person to run all over the court and keep pace with each other, or by setting up obstacles on the court and then running as fast as you can through them. Speed and persistence are what help a player to play good defense.


There are a lot of rules in basketball, but playground games usually cut those down to double-dribbling, traveling, and goaltending. Double-dribbling happens when you start to dribble the ball, stop dribbling and hold onto the ball, then start dribbling again. Double-dribbling can also be called when a player dribbles the ball with two hands at the same time, but playground games tend to ignore that kind of double-dribble. In a playground game, traveling is called when a player takes two or more steps without dribbling the ball. Goaltending has many different variations and can be called differently from playground to playground. The simplest form of goaltending is stopping the ball on its way to the hoop when the ball is in its downward arch. You can block the shot as it leaves the player's hand, but you cannot touch the ball when it starts downward towards the hoop.


In playground basketball, there are a few terms that you need to know before you start playing. The "hole" is the hoop with the net on it. The "board" is the backboard that holds the hoop. The "line" is the free-throw line. If you look at the lines painted around the basket area, you will see a rectangle with a half-circle at the top. The area on the outside of that half-circle is known as the "top of the key." A "bucket" is the indication that the ball went through the hoop. The "paint" is the area under the basket indicated by the rectangular box. Some playgrounds paint the rectangular box, just as is done in college games and the NBA, which is why it is called "the paint." The term "drive the lane" means taking the ball from the free-throw line and powering your way towards the basket.


There are five primary positions in the game of basketball. The point guard is the player who distributes the ball and has superior dribbling and passing skills. The shooting guard not only has an accurate shot, but the shooting guard can also drive the lane better than anyone on the team. The small forward is usually just another shooting guard, but the small forward may have more speed. The power forward can play under the basket on offense or defense, but the power forward's primary role is on defense. The center plays the same basic position as the power forward, but the center is usually the tallest player on the team who stands under or near the offensive basket looking to pick up rebounds and make plays.

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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