Basketball is like a dance, a graceful and powerful performance that relies on the perfect combination of skill, agility and technique. For young players aged 8, developing their basketball skills can often seem like an intimidating prospect. But with the right drills and techniques, basketball for 8-year olds can be as simple as a layup.

Learning how to dribble, shoot and defend are essential components of any successful basketball player’s repertoire. Whether you’re a parent or coach looking for ways to keep your young players engaged and motivated, or an 8-year old looking to improve their game, Hoops Addict has the answer. Our comprehensive guide to basketball drills for 8-year olds will help bring out the best in your young athletes both on and off the court.

We’ve compiled some of the most effective drills out there to help develop fundamental skills like ball handling, shooting form, defensive positioning and more! With plenty of exciting drills tailored specifically for this age group, we guarantee that your 8-year old will be having fun while learning essential basketball skills. So if you’re ready to take their game up a notch then let’s get started!

Warm Up Drills

Getting a good warm-up is crucial for 8-year-olds playing basketball. A dynamic warm-up helps to get the blood flowing and stretches the muscles, preparing them for play. It’s also an important part of injury prevention. Hoops Addict recommends 10 specific exercises for a warm-up that includes jogging, high knees, butt kicks, and jumping jacks. All of these exercises can be done in short bursts of 30 seconds to one minute each with rest periods in between to ensure that the players don’t overwork themselves.

The next step is ball handling drills. To develop the skills needed to play basketball well, 8 year olds need to practice core fundamentals like dribbling and passing. Hoops Addict suggests five specific drills that focus on agility, accuracy of passing and hand control while dribbling. These drills include cone drills, zig zag dribbles and figure eights as well as defensive activities such as wall taps and defensive slides. It’s important for kids this age to practice different kinds of movements so they’re prepared for anything that happens on the court during a game.

In addition to physical preparation, mental conditioning is important too. While practicing ball handling drills it’s essential for kids this age to focus on their goals and stay positive throughout the exercise – even when mistakes are made or if they become frustrated. Keeping a positive attitude will help them stay motivated and keep working towards improving their skills.

Ball-Handling Drills

It goes without saying that ball-handling is an important skill for 8-year olds to learn. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, eight is the age when kids start to get more involved in organized sports. Therefore, it’s essential that they master proper techniques early on.

With this in mind, let’s look at some drills for improving ball-handling skills. To give a visual representation of these ideas, here are three interesting statistics:

• Nearly 80% of all basketball actions involve ball-handling • Ball handling accounts for roughly two thirds of a player’s offensive value • About 50% of turnovers are caused by poor ball-handling decisions

To help get kids started, here are three drills that focus on honing their ball-handling abilities: • Around the World: Start at one point and dribble around the court while making sharp turns as you reach each corner. This drill focuses on maintaining control while changing direction quickly. • Figure 8: Begin with both hands on the ball and then cross one hand over the other while dribbling around your legs. Focus on keeping your head up while performing this drill. • Mirror Dribble: Place two cones about five feet apart and have an individual stand between them facing away from you. You should then proceed to mimic their moves as they dribble back and forth between them trying different moves and speeds. This drill helps develop coordination between vision and movement.

These drills provide a great foundation for young players to build upon as they progress through their basketball careers. But it’s also important to remember that passing is just as important as ball-handling when it comes to mastering the game of basketball...

Passing Drills

Passing drills are an important part of basketball for all levels, from 8-year olds to pros. A great example of a passing drill is the Around-the-World drill. In this drill, players stand in a circle and pass the ball around the circle with one hand while staying in their spot. This helps develop good passing technique and builds confidence in making long passes.

In addition to Around-the-World, there are many other passing drills that 8-year olds can do to work on their skills. The Three Player Passing Drill encourages players to make quick passes between three people without ever having the ball go out of bounds. The Three Man Weave helps players practice making fast outlet passes and moving without the ball. These drills help young players understand the importance of quick passes and creative angles when playing against a defense.

Overall, these passing drills provide a fun way for 8-year olds to learn how to move the ball effectively as a team, setting them up for long term success on the court. From mastering these drills now, they can move onto more complex ones as they get older and become better at basketball. Next up: shooting drills!

Shooting Drills

Like a smooth jump shot, transitioning to the fourth drill section is effortless. Shooting drills are an essential part of developing 8-year olds’ basketball skills, allowing them to practice shooting from various distances and angles. From hoop-rolling to free throws, these drills will help young players become confident in their ability to score points for the team.

First up is hoop-rolling, an exercise that encourages players to shoot from a variety of angles and distances. Players line up behind the three-point line and roll the basketball down the court towards the basket. As they do so, teammates stand at different spots around the basket and yell out “shooter” when they believe it’s time for someone to take a shot. This drill helps kids get comfortable shooting while on the move as well as make more accurate shots with greater consistency.

Free throws are another important part of any shooter’s game, and this drill helps build confidence in those key moments when kids must make clutch shots in order to win games. Each player lines up at the charity stripe and practices making ten consecutive free throws before moving onto the next person in line. This drill also allows coaches to give individual feedback on how players can improve their technique and increase their accuracy with this all-important skill.

Armed with better shooting skills, 8-year olds will soon be ready to tackle rebounding drills too!

Rebounding Drills

Rounding off the court, rebounding drills are a vital part of any basketball practice for 8-year olds. Much like a boomerang, the ball’s energy can be used to the team’s advantage if it is harnessed correctly. As the old adage goes, “the best offense is a good defense,” and this couldn’t be truer when it comes to rebounding.

The key to successful rebounding drills is being able to anticipate where the ball will go and body positioning. Players should focus on boxing out their opponents and controlling their space on the court. This means bending their knees and jumping up with arms extended above their heads to secure the rebound. Additionally, timing is important when leaping for rebounds as players must get their hands on the ball before it touches anyone else’s hands.

Players should also work on reading the flight of the ball and learning how to move accordingly. Practicing these skills in drills can help 8-year olds develop more effective rebounding instincts that they can use in actual games. With some practice, players will be able to move confidently around the court while also having an eye for rebounds before they even happen.

With these techniques in mind, 8-year olds can hone their rebounding skills and become defensive powerhouses of the court – ready for whatever ‘on-1 defense drills’ come their way!

1-On-1 Defense Drills

Ah, defense drills for 8-year olds. What a laugh! Let’s all hold our sides as we giggle at the thought of pint-sized warriors trying to guard against each other. I mean, what else can you do when it comes to basketball drills for 8-year olds?

But don’t be fooled by their age – these kiddos are ready to show off their defensive chops. With some guidance, they can even learn the basics of 1-on-1 defense and make it work in games. To teach them the ropes, start with some basic drills that focus on footwork and blocking their opponents’ shots. For example, set up two players facing each other in the lane and have one player execute a jump shot. The defender must then try to block the shot while keeping their feet planted firmly on the ground for balance.

If that goes well, progress to more difficult drills that involve fast breaks and double teams. Teach them how to stay low and properly use their hands to push away balls from their opponents’ hands. Show them how they should spread out across the court while defending against breakaways and how they should move in unison with teammates when double teaming an opponent.

These drills will give 8-year olds a good foundation in 1-on-1 defense which they can carry over into game situations. Before long, they’ll be locking down opposing players like pros!

2-On-2 Defense Drills

If two’s company, three’s a crowd. That certainly rings true when it comes to 2-on-2 defense drills for 8-year-olds. This form of basketball drill is designed to help the young ones acclimate to the rules and regulations of the game while providing them with a fun and exciting way of playing. Here are some key points to keep in mind when teaching 2-on-2 defense drills:

  • Communication between teammates is key. The better they communicate, the better they can cover their opponents.
  • Developing good defensive footwork will be beneficial in avoiding fouls and steals.
  • Strategically positioning themselves can give one team an advantage over another.

It is important for coaches and parents to remember that these drills should be done in a safe environment where everyone feels comfortable practicing their moves without fear or intimidation from other players. Furthermore, by encouraging fair play among the participants, they will learn how to respect each other on and off the court. By following these tips, 8-year olds can develop into better basketball players as well as gain knowledge about teamwork and sportsmanship which will prove valuable later on in life. Having said all that, it’s time to move onto 3-on-3 defense drills!

3-On-3 Defense Drills

Engaging in defensive drills is a key element of basketball, and it’s even more important for 8-year olds to practice the fundamentals. Like a jigsaw puzzle, each piece must fit together just right to create a successful defense. So let’s take a look at some 3-on-3 defense drills!

Imagine three defenders like walls of steel, positioned to keep their opponents out – that’s the first step. This drill focuses on getting the players used to playing tight defense and reading the offense. It requires players to move around as a unit and shift their man defense appropriately when someone cuts or drives toward the hoop.

The defenders need to stay active and be aware of their surroundings, using the help of their teammates whenever possible. They should also learn how to intercept passes and block shots without committing fouls. These principles will ensure they become better defenders and set up scoring opportunities on the other end.

By mastering these drills, 8-year olds will have improved footwork, body control, and communication skills – all essential pieces that make up an effective defensive strategy. Now let’s move on to full court offensive drills!

Full Court Offensive Drills

The ninth drill in our series of basketball drills for 8-year olds is focused on full court offensive drills. This drill is a great way to work on team offense and passing while also teaching kids the importance of spacing, ball movement, and shooting accuracy. In addition, it helps players become more aware of the court by helping them learn how to spread out and move quickly when attacking a defense.

To begin this drill, split the court lengthwise into two halves. Then assign one team to attack the basket from one side and the other team to defend it from the opposite side. The attacking team should focus on making quick passes around the perimeter while looking for open lanes or breakaways. Meanwhile, the defending team should try to force turnovers by staying in front of their opponents and playing tight defense.

At the end of each round, both teams should switch roles so that everyone gets an opportunity to practice both sides of the game. This drill can be modified in many ways depending on your players’ skill levels and experience with basketball. For example, you may give younger players a handicap by assigning different point values for baskets made at different areas of the court or allow older kids to practice more advanced skills like pick-and-rolls or backdoor cuts.

These full court offensive drills are a great way to teach 8-year olds some important fundamental skills while also having fun with their friends and teammates. By participating in these drills, kids will develop better footwork, coordination, and ball-handling skills that they can use during actual games. And now it’s time to move onto full court defensive drills!

Full Court Defensive Drills

Stepping away from offense, it’s now time to look at defense. As a coach or parent, it can be hard to find drills that are appropriate for 8-year olds as they require a certain amount of skill and understanding. Fortunately, there are several full court defensive drills that can help young basketball players develop their abilities in this area.

These drills sharpen up the fundamentals of man-to-man defense, helping kids learn how to stay with their assigned player and anticipate where their opponent might be headed. From keeping their hands up and protecting the ball handler’s space to staying low and playing with proper positioning, these defensive drills teach kids the basics of guarding an offensive player.

In addition, they also teach important team concepts such as when to help out a teammate who might be in trouble or when to give up a good shot so that your team can have an even better one down the line. With practice and repetition, 8-year olds can become more adept defenders and become valuable pieces to their basketball teams.

These full court defensive drills form an essential part of building any young basketball player’s game, setting them up for success on the court as they get older.

Full Court Passing Drills

When it comes to basketball drills for 8-year olds, full court passing drills are important. A key statistic to note is that the average 8-year old can pass a ball accurately over 10 feet. This demonstrates the importance of teaching proper techniques for longer distances.

When teaching full court passing drills to 8-year olds, it’s important to focus on developing their ability to move the ball with accuracy and speed. Teaching proper footwork and body positioning is essential in order to maximize accuracy and avoid turnovers. Additionally, breaking down each drill step by step helps them understand the fundamentals of long distance passing in a game situation.

Finally, it’s also important to practice proper technique when defending against long passes. Learning how to position oneself correctly can help them anticipate where the ball is going and increase their defensive skillset. With these tips in mind, 8-year olds will be well prepared for layup drills as they continue learning basketball basics.

Layup Drills

Layup drills are a great way to help 8-year olds develop their basketball skills. These drills help kids learn how to correctly shoot a layup with proper form and technique. Layup drills teach balance, coordination and control and can be done in an efficient manner. For example, one layup drill is the “Around the World” drill, where players start at one end of the court and have to make 10 layups in a row from different spots around the court. This helps them practice shooting from various angles while also getting used to dribbling in tight spaces.

Another effective layup drill is called the “Two Ball Layups”. This drill requires two basketballs and two players – one player passes the ball back and forth while both players run down the court making alternating layups. This helps players learn how to communicate with each other, as well as improving their agility, speed, and ball handling skills.

Layup drills are an essential part of any basketball training program for 8-year olds because they help young players build confidence when shooting from different angles. With practice and repetition, these drills can help kids become more comfortable with taking shots under pressure. Now it’s time to move on to agility drills that will further improve your child’s coordination and speed on the court.

Agility Drills

Agility drills are an essential part of any basketball practice, especially for 8-year olds. Being able to move quickly and efficiently on the court can mean the difference between winning and losing. It’s important to make sure that your drills focus on agility and speed, so that kids can learn how to improve their overall game. Here are five agility drills that are perfect for 8-year olds:

  1. Forward Crossover Drill: This drill requires players to dribble up the court in a zigzag pattern, crossing over the ball from one hand to another each time they reach the sideline.

  2. Slalom Dribbling Drill: Players should dribble up and down the court while weaving through cones or chairs set up as obstacles. This drill helps teach them how to change direction quickly while maintaining control of the ball.

  3. 2-on-1 Drill: Two players line up on one side of the court with one player at the opposite end. The two players must then dribble together past the opposing player who is attempting to stop them with defensive pressure. This drill teaches players about passing and decision making in a fast-paced situation.

  4. Backward Sprinting Drill: Players sprint from one end of the basketball court to another while facing backwards. This will help them learn how to move quickly without looking at where they’re going, which is an important skill in basketball games.

  5. Speed Layup Drill: Players start at either end of the court, then run toward the basket for a layup before turning around quickly and running back downcourt for another layup attempt at the other end of the court. This drill helps teach kids how to move quickly while still being accurate with their shots.

These agility drills challenge kids both mentally and physically while teaching them valuable skills they’ll need on a basketball court. With regular practice, these drills can help 8-year olds become more fluid athletes who can make quick decisions under pressure. As they progress, scrimmaging drills will be an even better way for them to put their newfound skills into action against opponents in real game situations.

Scrimmaging Drills

Imagining a bunch of 8-year olds running around the court, full of energy and enthusiasm, is enough to bring a smile to anyone’s face. With this in mind, let us dive into the world of scrimmaging drills – the perfect way to get kids motivated and active!

Scrimmaging drills are great for teaching players the fundamentals of the game. Through these drills, children can learn how to shoot properly, pass accurately, and move without the ball. Not only that, they’ll also be able to practice their dribbling skills while competing against their peers.

The key to success in scrimmaging drills is keeping it fun and lighthearted. By providing basic rules and involving everyone in the game, children will be more likely to participate. This will help develop their motor skills as well as their overall basketball knowledge. To top it all off, these drills also allow kids to make mistakes without being judged or criticized – something that can be hard for young players to do when playing in an actual game.

With scrimmaging drills providing so many benefits for 8-year olds, it’s no wonder why they are such a popular choice among coaches and parents alike. Now that we’ve explored this topic in detail, it’s time to move on to cool down drills – another great way to keep young players engaged while learning proper basketball technique!

Cool Down Drills

Cooling down drills are an important part of a young basketball player’s training. After intense physical activity, these drills help reduce the risk of injury and ensure athletes stay healthy. Research has shown that up to 67% of young athletes benefit from cool down exercises.

Cool down drills involve stretches, jogging, and movements that help players regulate their breathing and relax their muscles. They can also be used to practice specific skills in a more relaxed environment, like shooting or dribbling. 8-year olds should start with basic stretches like arm circles, toe touches, and side lunges to reduce muscle tension after playing high intensity games or performing difficult drills.

It’s important for coaches to set aside time for cool down exercises after every practice session. This will help young athletes develop a routine that allows them to end on a positive note and transition back into everyday life. Cool down drills are an essential part of any youth basketball program and should not be overlooked when designing a practice plan.


The ultimate goal of any basketball drill is to help improve the skills of 8-year olds. From warm up drills to scrimmaging drills, these exercises will help kids build strength, agility, and technique. By practicing each drill regularly, 8-year olds can become better players on the court and develop confidence in their game.

Repetition is key when it comes to honing a skill, and basketball drills are no exception. Keeping a consistent practice schedule will ensure that kids are getting the most out of their drills and that they are seeing progress in their game. With practice and patience, 8-year olds can become more confident players on the court – not only with shooting and dribbling techniques but also with teamwork and communication.

Basketball drills for 8-year olds are an essential part of a young player’s development. Whether it’s working on ball handling or learning how to box out opponents for rebounds, these exercises will help kids build strong foundations for their basketball careers. As Confucius said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” So keep practicing and have fun!

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