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In my opinion, dribbling is the 1st skill a youth basketball players should learn. Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. It is easy to coach! Dribbling is probably the most basic offense skill in basketball. It is much easier to execute correctly than shooting, passing, catching, or even taking a lay-up. Put players in a position where they can succeed.
  2. Young players love to dribble! If you ever give a ball to a young child for the 1st time, the majority of them will try to dribble it immediately. So why not start off with what they like?
  3. All the players can do it at the same time. If each player has a ball, there is no waiting in line for the players. All the players can be completing the drill at the same time guaranteeing maximum repetitions and learning
  4. There are so many stationary dribbling drills. There are quite a few stationary drills that are great for players of all ages and skills levels. The better players can attempt to complete the drills quicker or the coach can add a more challenging part to the drill.
  5. Inability to dribble well is the #1 reasons for violations in youth basketball games in the early grades. When playing a basketball game for the 1st time, players often travel or double dribble. If you have ever watched a 1st or 2nd grade game, there is almost never an entire possession where there is not a violation. Often at this age coaches and referees do not enforce these rules.
  6. There are so many dribbling drills that involve moving. After a very short time, players will be able to walk, jog, and even sprint while dribbling. Parents want children to get exercise for many reasons. Having players work up a sweat while dribbling is awesome!
  7. Advanced one ball drills can be practiced and mastered very easily. Once players see how quickly and easily they can improve their dribbling skills, many will work hard to master the dribble march or dribble walk.
  8. Players as young as ages 5 can learn to dribble 2 balls successfully. How proud is a basketball player (at an age) who can dribble 2 balls. It is actually pretty easy to master dribbling 2 balls. These drills are twice as good because players are developing the ability to dribble with both hands AT THE SAME TIME
  9. Many other drills involve dribbling, so in order to move to other skills dribbling must be mastered. To run a fast break or an offense, players need to dribble the ball, so have them learn right from the start.
  10. There are many fun games that reinforce this skill. Dribble tag is a great way to have players learn to dribble in chaos. Give 1 (or more) player a ball that is different. This is the tag ball. All players dribble around, avoiding being tagged. It a player is tagged, he switches balls with the player who tagged him and is not “IT.”

The final and most important reason is that many of the other basketball skills are too advanced to learn at young ages, so why bother wasting your time?