Designed for young basketball players, Worcester Wolves director of basketball Mick Donovan has produced a new practice bible with a series of must-do drills for the sport.

They’re contained in his new book – 101 Youth Basketball Drills – which covers all the main facets of the game.

As well as easy-to-follow instructions, each drill contains information on the equipment needed, the space required and how to progress each skill. Key information on how to coach and encourage children, and explanation of the various basketball terms is also included.

It’s on sale now, priced £14.99. But we have two copies up for grabs in our special competition.

To enter, answer this simple question.

Who invented basketball? Was it:

a – James Naismith

b – Gary Naismith

Send your answer to, including your postal address. We’ll draw two winners at random after the closing date of March 1.

Usual MVP rules apply. Editors decision is final.

But here’s a peek at what’s inside 101 Youth Basketball Drills

Pass and move in circles

Objective: To improve passing, awareness and fitness.

Equipment: Eight players, cones and one ball.

Description: Four players form a circle, arm’s length apart (cones can be used to help younger players to find the correct position); the remaining four players form an outer circle 2 m away. The players in the inner circle jog in a clockwise direction and the players in the outer circle jog in an anti-clockwise direction. The ball must be passed from one player in a circle to another player in a different circle as the players are jogging around.

Coaching points: The players need to be aware of the position of the receiving player when timing the pass. All players must be ready to receive a pass at any time.

Progression: As confidence increases within the group, so too should the speed of the drill.



Objective: To improve dribbling technique whilst changing pace and direction.

Equipment: Pairs with one ball and a full court.

Description: The players are divided into pairs. One player starts with the ball and takes the role of the leader, whilst the partner takes the role of the shadow. When the drill begins the leader must dribble the ball around the court and attempt to lose the following shadow who is attempting to stay within 1 m of the leader at all times. The players will change roles after two minutes.

Coaching points: The leader must keep their head up and be prepared to attempt to change hands, pace and direction. More advanced players can execute more complex skills.

Progression: This drill can also be used with the focus on defensive footwork for the ‘shadow’ player.


Team lay-up drill

Objective: To practise the lay-up shot, passing and rebounding as a team.

Equipment: Ten players, two balls and a basket.

Description: The players form two lines, 2 m away from the zone at positions A and B. The first two players in line A start with a ball. The first player dribbles towards the basket and performs a lay-up shot (leaving the ball) and immediately joins the back of line B. The first player in line B moves towards the basket, collects the rebound and passes to the third player in line A and then joins the back of line A. Whilst this is happening, the second player in line A who has a ball is dribbling to the basket to attempt a lay-up shot. This sequence continues.

Coaching points: Players performing lay-up shots are encouraged to drive strongly to the basket and release the ball with an outstretched arm and close to the basket, whilst pushing the ball against the corner of the small square on the backboard to help with accuracy. The rebounders are encouraged to take the ball at the highest point with outstretched arms and then release the pass quickly after executing correct pivot footwork.

Progression: The players can keep an individual score, or the team shooting into one basket can compete against the team using another basket. The coach could also set a target of successful baskets within a set time.


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