Middle School Basketball Activities For All Levels

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Middle School Basketball Activities

Teaching basketball at the middle school level can be challenging in many ways. The wide variety of skill levels of each student can vary greatly, and it can be hard to keep students engaged and challenged. Over my teaching career, I have tried many different approaches and have found that these activities are the most beneficial for students at all skill levels to be successful.

Ball Drills:

BasketballDrills1

Objective: To practice using both hands equally and ball control.

Preferably every student has a ball, but partners or groups are fine.

Usually, I have students perform 10 repetitions of each drill, then repeat going the opposite direction.

  • Hand to Hand:
    • Lightly toss a ball from hand to hand using fingertips. Change distances and levels, allowing students to get used to having a basketball in their hands.
  • Spiral Drill: 
    • Pass the ball from one hand to another around your head, waist, knees, then waist again, and head.
    • Emphasize passing that ball in the air from hand to hand not rolling the ball around the body.
  • Leg Pass:
    • Stand with legs wider than shoulder-width apart.
    • Pass the ball around each leg at the knee from hand to hand.
  • Figure Eights:
    • Stand with legs wider than shoulders
    • Pass the ball in a figure eight pattern though the legs

Dribbling Cues:        

  • Athletic Stance
  • Eyes up
  • Use your finger tips
  • Keep the ball at or below waist level

Dribble Drills:

Preferably every student has a ball, but partners or groups are fine.

  • Each Hand
    • Stationary- Perform 50 dribbles with each hand using proper technique.
    • Moving- Perform 50 dribbles using proper technique while walking or jogging.
  • Crossover
    • Stationary- Perform 50 dribbles switching hands each dribble  using proper technique.
    • Moving- Perform 50 dribbles switching hands each dribble using proper technique while walking or jogging.
  • Dribble Around Each Leg- this encourages students to learn to gently guide the ball in different directions using one hand at a time.
    • Stand with legs wider than shoulder-width apart.
    • Using one hand dribble around that same leg (right hand right leg, left hand left leg).
    • Perform 10 going both directions.
  • Figure Eights- this encourages students to learn to gently guide the ball in different directions using the crossover dribble technique.
    • Stand with legs wider than shoulder-width apart.
    • Dribble the ball in a figure eight pattern switching hands as the ball passes between the legs.
    • Perform 10 going both directions.

Dribble Knockout:

The purpose of this activity is to introduce defensive dribbling techniques and allow them to practice in a variety of ways.

  • Each student gets a basketball, if available, if not one per group of two (switch when one student loses their dribble).
  • Students must stay inside the designated lines that are marked with cones (you can vary your size area based on space or modifications).
  • All students begin dribbling.
  • If a student loses their dribble (stops dribbling, uses two hands, loses control of their ball), they are out.
  • If a student’s ball goes out of the boundary, they are out.
  • Students can try and knock another student’s basketball out of the boundary or try to cause other students to lose their dribble without making contact.
  • If a student gets knocked out, these are the options I have used:
    • They must buy back into the game with fitness(sit-ups, jumping jacks, lunges, etc).
    • Answer a question from the teacher (skill cues, rules, etc).
    • Have multiple games going and they must switch to a different game.
    • Perform a ball handling skill 10 times.
    • NO STUDENT IS EVER ELIMINATED.
  • Modifications for success:
    • Allow students to use two hands.
    • Split the class into competitive and non- competitive.
    • Allow students to choose from different ball sizes.
    • Vary rounds based on dribble technique (right hand, left hand, crossover, etc).

Frenzy Basketball:

The purpose of this fast-paced game is to introduce full-court basketball with large groups, practice transitioning from defense to offense, and teach basic basketball strategy and game rules. It allows all students to be involved and be part of the game even with limited space and large class sizes.

  • Split class into even teams (you need two teams of at least ten at each full court).
  • Teams line up on opposite sidelines with each line starting at center court.
  • The first five players from each team enter the court.
  • Play rock- paper-scissors to determine who gets first possession.
  • The offensive team- the blue team, brings the ball down the court and attempts to score.
  • The defensive team- the red team, works on one of the strategies previously covered (zone, man to man).
  • Once the team on offense (the blue team), loses possession, those five players leave the court (turnover, made basket, missed basket rebounded by the defense, etc).
  • Five new players from the blue team come onto the court and set up their defense.
  • The team that started on defense (the red team), now brings the ball down the court and is now on offense.
  • Once possession is lost by the red team, those players go off the court, and five new players come on the court and set up their defense.
  • The Blue team then moves down the court on offense and the process continues with each possession change.
  • If a foul occurs I have used these options:
    • Automatic point for the offensive team.
    • A checked ball front the point of the foul.
    • A checked ball at half court.
    • A free shot from where the foul occurred.
    • Use what fits your student’s needs.

When beginning this activity, the teacher stops the game at every possession change to allow students to transition on and off the court. Once the students begin to understand the flow of the activity, it is not necessary to stop for transitions.

Wrap-up:

Whatever activities you use to teach skills and games remember, you are doing it for the students, and it’s your job to make sure they are successful!

Do you have any basketball drills or games to share? Please add them in the comment section below!

One Response

  1. I currently teach 8th grade PE and basketball is one of my favorite units. What are some different ways to keep students engaged who struggle or become bored with the activities?

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