Many reading this right now might say, “basketball drill?” “What do you mean?” “Dribble Tag is just a fun camp game that allows kids to run around and tire themselves out.” The usual response to these comments is to say, dribble tag is one of the most game relevant ball handling drills ever created. It is also one of the most multidimensional basketball drills that works to develop fundamental movement skills, evasion skills, and vision. Quite frankly, dribble tag is also very FUN (often a curse word when it comes to basketball drills).
Any variation of tag is a great youth basketball drill. Tag games natural put players in positions to learn to change directions, change speeds, avoid an opponent, and make decisions on spacing. These are all transferable skills to any sport and especially relate to basketball. The reason dribble tag is such a game relevant ball handling drill is because it calls for dribbling while on the move and making decisions. The player must change speeds, directions and decide how to get around their opponent because they do not want to be tagged. Avoiding being tagged is a fundamental concept of avoiding a defender and getting past them while on the court in a real game. In one game of dribble tag, you will see players use crossovers, pull back dribbles, speed dribbles, all off pure reaction and not a set cadence like most ball handling drills. As discussed in earlier posts here at the Locker Room, basketball is a random variable environment. The game is based on making decisions and reacting quickly to constantly changing variables. Dribble tag helps create this environment naturally.
Dribble tag is played by designating a field of play, giving every player a basketball and then designating one person to start as “it”. From there, the person who is “it” chases the other players and looks to tag them some where on their body. Here are some rules and progressions you can add to the game to tailor it to your desires:
- After the person who is “it,” tag someone else. They immediately leave the field of play and make a speed dribble layup on a basket.
- Make the participant only be allowed to dribble with their weak hands.
- Make a rule that the player who is “it” must tag a shoulder or knee of the other player for it to be a successful tag.
- Increase or decrease the field of play.
Dribble tag can be used at any level, for any purpose. The variation discussed in this post, makes dribble tag a great youth basketball drill for developing multiple skills. Below is a video of dribble tag being used with a large group of players. Thanks for reading.