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Coaching Adolescent Basketball

Wheelchair basketball studentCoaching Wheelchair Basketball for Children Aged 12-18

Coaching Tips

  • Provide a safe atmosphere

  • Be a motivator

  • Be consistent

  • Continue to teach fundamentals

  • Continue teaching sportsmanship

  • Be aware of fatigue

These drills are for adolescent aged children who are competing on a wheelchair basketball team.

Drill 1 - Loose Balls

Put the basketball ahead of the wheelchair athlete on the floor. The athlete must roll into position to pick up the basketball from the floor. The idea is to pick up the basketball while the wheelchair is moving forward and the athlete not falling out of the wheelchair. When getting to the ball, maintain pressure on it until as the wheel nears the apex. Once this occurs, rotate the hand under the ball and place in the lap. The athlete may use the opposite arm rail for support.

Drill 2 - Dribbling When Accelerating

Wheelchair athletes must learn how to dribble the basketball while accelerating to get down the court during a fast break. To do this, the wheelchair athlete starts at one end of the court with a basketball. Begin the drill by dribbling the ball at a forward angle, take two pushes on the wheels, and the ball should be at a position where the athlete can pick it up. The angle of the dribble is very important. The faster the wheelchair athletes goes, the angle must also increase. The angle of the ball is difficult to judge, therefore, it is important for the athlete to practice this drill over and over. Continue to increase the speed of the wheelchair when comfortable with the drill. This also needs to be learned with both hands.

Drill 3 - Shooting Lay-ups

Start at the 3-pt line with a basketball on the right side of the floor. Take 1 dribble to every 2 pushes of the wheels. Dribble in and execute a lay-up. The wheelchair will be moving in a forward direction, therefore, the athlete must learn how to shoot the ball at the correct angle on the backboard while moving. Do this on both sides of the basketball to become comfortable using both hands.

Drill 4 Passing

The best location to pass the ball to a teammate is chest level no matter what pass the athlete decides to make. To practice the two-handed chest pass, the athlete uses two hands to make a pass to their teammate. Other passes the athlete can practice are the overhead pass and the one hand pass. The overhead pass is performed with two hands on the basketball starting over their head and passing into the chest of their teammate. The one hand pass is used when a defender is in the way. The athlete uses one hand to pass the ball around the defender.

Web Sites

Special Olympics


Content created by Bambi Ferguson

Edited by Gary Christopher, MS, ATC, August 2004

page last updated 1/23/2017 12:47 PM