Sharks and Minnows – Dribbling Drill

Sharks and Minnows

Exclusive Bonus: Download the Sharks and Minnows Drill for free as a PDF so that you can print it and take it to practice!

How the Drill Works:

Sharks and Minnows is one of my favorite drills for youth basketball. The aim of the game is for the minnows (dribblers) to dribble from baseline to baseline without getting tagged by the sharks (taggers).

Purpose:

A super fun drill that forces the dribblers to keep their heads up and dodge the defenders in front of them.

Setup:

• All players have a basketball and line up along the baseline.

• The coach selects one or two players to be taggers. Taggers don’t have a basketball and are preferably in a different coloured singlet.

• The taggers stand in the middle of the court.

sharks and minnowsInstructions:

1. The game starts when either the taggers or coach call out ‘go’. On this signal, all the minnows (dribblers) attempt to dribble from one side of the court to the other without getting tagged by the sharks.

2. If a shark does tag them, they must stand in the spot they were tagged, place the basketball between their feet, and now are scarecrows. If a minnow comes within reach of them, they can tag them to get them out.

3. The last minnow that hasn’t been tagged is the winner.

Variations:

Taggers Dribbling – Depending on the age and skill of your players, decide whether you want the sharks to be dribbling a basketball or not.

Number of Sharks – Adjust the number of sharks to the skill level of your team and who you’re selecting as the sharks.

Coaching Points:

• As always, if there’s a dribbling violation by a minnow they are immediately out.

• Scarecrows must hold the ball between their feet at all times and stay on balance. This stops them moving too far and cheating.

• Implement a time limit if players are taking too long to get from one side to the other.

Have you used this drill with your team?

I’d love to hear any other variations or changes you’d make to the drill in the comments below!