The post of these drills listed below (written by Tim Briggs) continues to be the #1 visited part of our website.

These games could be used for players of all ages but would probably work best for younger players (age 10 or below) still learning the basics of dribbling.

1.  Dribble Tag: While dribbling the basketball, and without double-dribbling or traveling, players must tag other players.  Once other players have been “tagged”, they are out of the game.  All players can have a basketball in this game or just the players who are “it.”  Play this game within a specified area (half-court for example) and the winning player is the last one remaining.

2.  Red Light, Green Light: Have all the players line up on the base line with a ball.  Coach yells “green light” and players move forward as quickly as possible while dribbling the ball.  When the coach yells “red light”, the players must stop and maintain their dribble.   Send back to the start any player not dribbling in control.  The winner of the game is the first to cross the opposing end line.  Coaches can mix in a “yellow light” as well.

3.  Dribble Survivor: Specify the size of the “island” (perhaps half-court).  While staying on the “island”, players must dribble their own ball (without traveling or double-dribbling) and simultaneously try to knock other player’s balls “off the island.”  If a players ball goes outside the specified “island,” then that player is out.  Play until one player remains.  A good game for the coaches to play with the kids as well.

4.  Catch the Cows: I recently made up this game although I’m sure there are other games out there similar to this one.  Create two teams amongst the players and put the two teams on opposing base lines from each other.  Roll multiple balls onto the court (spread the balls out).  Explain to the kids that sometimes on a farm, the cows break loose from their pens and the farmers have to round up the cows and put them back in their pens.  The “cows” are the balls and the “farmers” are the players with the basket being the “pen.”  Once the whistle blows, both teams run after the balls (the cows) and have to dribble the balls (without traveling or double-dribbling) and shoot them back into their own hoop (the pen).  The winning team can be determined by how fast all the balls (cows) are shot back into the basket (pen).

I would ask you to read further to see how to make these drills even more effective in the lives of your players.

What if instead of stopping with just the drills and the skills you were trying to teach, you could move seamlessly from the drill to life and then to truth?  If you could do so, you would thereby utilize sports as the character-building microcosm of life we all recognize it to be – but often don’t fully realize.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

Game:  Red Light/Green Light

Sports/Coach Comments (after the game):  What did it take to do well at this game?  (You have to dribble well but also had to be aware of the coaches commands)  So you can’t just focus on dribbling the ball, you have to also be aware of the coach.  That is not just true in this game but in basketball game as well.  When you have the ball and are dribbling in a real game, you can’t just focus on the ball.  I want you to have an ear for the other players who might be calling for the ball or for me who might be calling out a play.  If you don’t and all you worry about is dribbling, then what can happen? (someone who is open doesn’t get passed to)  At the same time, if you are only worried about other players or me and not paying attention to the ball, what can happen?  (Lose the ball) So we learn from this game the need to pay attention to both the ball and the voices of other players and the coach.  .

Life/Coach Comments:  This need to listen to others while we are focused on a task is true in life as well.  Let’s imagine you are playing with your friends and your mom calls out to come inside.  You don’t really hear her because you are so focused on the fun you are having with your friends.  She repeats herself but you still don’t hear her.  How would she feel?  (disrespected, upset, etc)  What is she was calling out for something important and you didn’t listen?  Could get you or someone else in trouble.  So you need to be able to have fun but also keep attentive to other important voices in life like you do on the basketball court.

Truth/Coaches Comments:  This is also true in our relationship with God.  One wonderful thing about God is that het talks to us.  Jesus said “My followers hear my voice.”  He wants to communicate with us as we go through the day just like our coach, our teammates want to communicate with us during the game.  But just like that game, we need to be attentive to his voice while we do the things we are doing.   So remember, as we play this game, you need to pay attention to the ball and to me the coach and let this remind you of the need to pay attention to the activities of your life while listening for God’s voice of instruction in those activities.


This unpacking of both the principles of the game, life and truth takes only a few minutes and doesn’t interrupt the flow of practice.  Rather it teaches a biblical worldview that integrates all of life with truth and maximizes the impact of their athletic experience. 


This method of utilizing sports, life and truth, we call 3D Devotionals.  Anyone can learn it.  To find out more about this method, watch the short 10-minute explanation below.  You can also find these 3D Devotionals in our store.

What Are 3D Devotionals (12min.) from Church Sports Outreach on Vimeo.

About the Author

Bob Schindler has worked at CSO since 2003. Prior to coming to CSO, Bob worked as a pastor for 18 years - eight as an Associate Pastor in Leadership Development, Outreach, and Youth, and ten as a church planter and Senior Pastor. Before vocational ministry, Bob worked in business for six years in sales and marketing and corporate training and played professional golf for four years. He still has an interest in golf but would most of the time rather play basketball or rock climb or kayak - something more active than golf. He and his wife, Beth, have four grown "kids" and a grandson and a granddaughter.

2 Responses to 4 Fun Basketball Dribbling Games For Young Players

  1. Drew says:

    Great drills, good fun. Thanks for that, will be using during my own sessions.

  2. Ben says:

    This is great. Going to use these today in our Junior Jazz game! Thanks

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