Branching Out: Teaching Leadership Through Basketball

Apr 02, 2014

While the Badges for Baseball program uses baseball as the initial hook to get kids to participate, the program doesn’t have to be baseball exclusive. The lessons taught in the HCHC curriculum can apply to any activity!

If you are running a unit on flag football, basketball or even volleyball, you can still teach these important lessons and reinforce them through the activity. This may even help you reach a different group of kids that you couldn’t before. In this series, we will take you through a variety of ways you can use other activities to teach these lessons.

Healthy Choices, Healthy Children Lesson - Leadership

After reviewing the lesson on leadership in the HCHC Coaches Manual, you can use this activity to reinforce that idea while practicing basketball:

Basketball Drill – Game Plan

Equipment Needed

·         Paper – As many pieces of paper as you have kids participating in the activity (it never hurts to have some extras)

·         5-10 Pens

·         Basketballs – One for each group of 5

How to play

1. Split the kids up into groups of five. Each group of five will be acting as its own basketball team.

2. Once the teams have been formed, have each individual team member draw up a play. The play could be an “out of bounds” play or a general offensive play.

3. Once they are ready, designate one kid to go first and give them two minutes (timed) to teach their play to the rest of the team.

4. After the two minutes is up, give each team the chance to run the play that they just learned from their teammate while a mentor watches and checks their progress to see if the teammate who coached the play was effective in their leadership role.

5. Once the mentor has had a chance to watch each team perform their play and provide feedback, give the next member of the team a chance to come up with a new play and teach the rest of the team (2 minutes timed) before they run their play.

6. Repeat this process until every member of each team has had a chance to create a play and attempt to teach their teammates.


After all of the plays have been run, engage the kids in a discussion about their experience with the activity. Ask the following questions during your discussion:

**Note – The below questions are just a few sample questions of ways to get kids thinking about their experience as a leader and their interactions with their teammates. Feel free to change these or come up with your own questions to emphasize lessons the kids learned during their leadership experience.**

-          How well do you think your team learned your play?

-          What was hard for you while you were taking your turn as the “coach” and teaching your play?

-          What came easier to you while you were taking your turn as the “coach” and teaching your play?

-          How did you rely on your teammates when teaching the play? How did your teammates rely on you as a “coach” when learning the play?

-          What would you change during your turn as the “coach” if you ran the activity again?