Sixth grade is a good time for girls to learn the game of basketball. The key to working with girls at that age is to work hard at the fundamentals of the game, including shooting, ball handling, rebounding and defense. Players who learn those skills when they are young are prepared to build on the basics as they move ahead to middle school and high school basketball. Sixth-grade girls can learn the important skills of the game through drills that focus on those basic principles.
Rebounding is one of the critical skills in the game of basketball, and sixth grade is a good time to teach young girls how to establish position to get a rebound. A basketball player gets herself in between an opponent and the basket when a shot is in the air to be ready for a rebound. That action is called boxing out. Two players can work together on a drill to practice boxing out. One player takes the ball within 15 feet of the basket with a teammate facing her in a defensive position. The offensive player takes the shot and once the ball is in the air, the defender steps into the shooter and turns to get that player on her back, keeping her from getting into rebounding position. The players then trade spots so both players can practice boxing out.
Around the World
Around the World is a great shooting drill for sixth-grade girls. The drill is run with two players working together. The shooter starts on the baseline about 15 feet out and takes a jump shot. Her partner is rebounding shots and passing the ball back out. The shooter moves around the perimeter to an angle shot, then a free throw, then the opposite angle and finally the other baseline, taking a pass from her partner and shooting at each location. The goal is to make as many shots as she can. The players trade back and forth so both get shooting practice.
Dribble and Defense Drill
Two important skills in the game of basketball are ball handling and defending the dribbler. One drill can help players improve their skills in both areas. Players team up in pairs, with one taking the ball and the other assuming a defensive position in front of the dribbler. The defender should have her knees bent, her backside down and be on balance with hands extended and her eyes on the ball. The dribbler takes a diagonal path and then changes direction with a cross-over dribble or a behind-the-back dribble. She heads back the other way and then turns again. The defender's job is to stay in front of the dribbler the entire time, sliding her feet and adjusting to the actions of the offensive player.
- Photo Credit basketball ball image by Aliaksandr Zabudzko from Fotolia.com
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