How to teach the essential basketball skills

Give your class the opportunity to improve on their basketball skills – You don’t need to be the pro yourself as the teacher, you just need to know the core coaching points when starting out (for grades 3-6).

Take a look at the fundamental skills below, (part of the ‘Basketball PE lessons’ pack) – and teach them in your next gym class when working on basketball. If you need an example basketball lesson, click here to see an easy to follow 1-hour example lesson.

dribbling basketball skills sport pe

  1. Use your fingertips to bounce the ball
  2. Stay low by bending your knees as you move
  3. Try to keep your head up as much as you can
  4. Keep your hand above/on top of the ball while bouncing it
  5. Use your body to shield/protect the ball when defenders are trying to steal it from you
  •  You are not allowed to bounce the ball, catch it, then bounce again
  • You must bounce the ball within every 1 and a half steps

cross over basketball skill games ideas teaching sport pe

  1. Bounce the ball across your body from left…to right…to left in a ‘v’ motion of the ball
  2. Move/rock your body as the ball moves side to side, staying low with your head up

basketball passing skills sport pe

(Chest pass)

  1. Hold the ball with 2 hands in front of your chest
  2. Step forward and push the ball to your target (once you have let go, point your hands to where you are passing to


  • If you stop dribbling and are holding the ball in both hands, you can keep one foot on the floor (it cannot come off), and swivel/rotate your body around and then pass

Other types…

basketball shooting ls games tips coaching pe physical education sport

  1. Face the net with your feet shoulder width apart, holding the ball with your strong hand under it, and support the ball with your other hand on the side 
  2. Lift the ball up in front of your head, making an L-shape with your elbow/strong arm
  3. Use your whole body to push the ball, straighten out your elbow and release the ball off your wrist to get backspin with the ball


  • Hold the ball with spread fingers, and snap your wrist as you release the ball to get backspin
  • You can aim to shoot the ball off the backboard and into the basket
  • Try to shoot in a high arc towards the basket

layup basketball skill ball net pe teaching coaching how to lesson plan

(opposite for left hand from left side of basket)

  1. Dribble towards the basket from the right side and leap up off your left leg with a high right knee, and grab the ball with both hands
  2. While in the air, roll/release the ball off your right hand with your fingers to bounce it off the backboard into the basket


  • You are allowed to take 2 steps after you have stopped dribbling, to shoot a layup
  • Jump off your foot opposite to your shooting hand
  • Try to stay upright and balanced in the air
  • Aim for the sweetspot (top corner) of the square on the backboard

basketball skills ball handling pe teaching stations ideas


Take a look at our Basketball PE lessons pack – You’ll be fully equipped with a huge range of activities for your grades 3-6, and the unit is great to start anytime of year in the gym/sports hall


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click to view

8 great PE warm-up games

These 8 warm-up games are a fantastic way to get your sport classes started – so easy to set up and play, your kids will never want to skip a PE class again! Let us know your favourites.

Click to view each game plan, or download the pack for free here


pe sport games lesson plans elementary

Warmup games pack grades 3-6

Warmup games pack grades 3-6

Warmup games pack grades 3-6

Warmup games pack grades 3-6

Warmup games pack grades 3-6

Warmup games pack grades 3-6

Warmup games pack grades 3-6

These are great to use before the start of any sport lesson – if you need some awesome PE lesson plans, click here to check out our digital resources for grades 3-6, full with loads of activities, skill stations, games and more…

Challenge your PE class with these 6 lesson adaptations

This post covers 6 essential changes you can make for your lesson skills and games you are teaching, to be at the right level for your class. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out our complete K-2 PE skills and games pack, full of over 100 awesome PE lesson activities to use.

No class is the same as others.  I can safely say that after having taught all over the world – from the United States and Canada, to Australia and New Zealand, the sporting ability and gross-motor skills of young kids at school are widely different. Kids always need something that CHALLENGES them – But too hard and they’ll soon give up and lose confidence, too easy and they’ll be left unmotivated and distracted.

pe equipment baseball hoop cones sportIt’s important that kids use the right size of equipment to learn, but also good to practice with a variety to really get a good feel and become adaptable. Change the:

  • Size of the bat, racquet or paddle used – larger is generally easier, smaller is harder
  • Size of the balls – larger (basketball) or smaller (tennis balls)
  • Shape of balls – round, or oval (e.g. American football or rugby ball)
  • Type of balls – spongy, soft, hard, bouncy

basketball ball court lines sport pe lessons teaching spaceChange the playing area allowed with cones or with the sport hall lines:

  • Distance between pairs – nearer (easier) or further away (harder)
  • Size of playing area – smaller (harder) or larger (easier)
  • Distance to targets – closer (easier to hit) or further away (harder)

movement jumping skipping hopping gross motorYou can specify a particular way to move around for some activities:

  • Skipping or galloping
  • Hopping
  • Side-stepping
  • Walking or running

8scorWhen the kids are motivated and like to compete, points can be a great way to get them involved, but keep it interesting:

  • Amount of targetsMore or less targets to hit
  • Size of targets – Bigger (easier) or smaller (harder)
  • More chances to earn points – Give extra points for getting near to the targets, or set challenges like throwing whilst balancing on 1 leg
  • Lose points – e.g. if you hit the red cone

8actSpecify the way the action must be performed, this will really improve their skills across multiple sports:

  • Only allowed to use your left or right hand (throwing, hitting, holding…)
  • Only allowed to use your left or right foot (kicking)
  • Over or under-arm throwing
  • 2 handed or 1 handed throwing and catching

8groupKeep the class engaged by working with different people:

  • Switch up partners for a range of ability and experience
  • Work alone/individually for exploration
  • Put into groups for teamwork – also change up the amount in each group

We’d love to hear other ideas you have that can challenge and extend your students’ skills. Read our ‘PE teaching Fundamentals’ post as well, then have a look at the K-2 PE skills resource, where you can put these ideas into your next PE lesson – to deliver

Other awesome sport lesson resources: 60 Skill Station activities, 25 Relay Races

PE Coaching fundamentals. 6 ways to get the most out of your lessons

Now you’ve had a chance to look at some skill activities to try out (if not, have a look here), this short post covers a few fundamental principles to really MAXIMISE what your kids can get out of the lesson.

At elementary level, it is crucial that focus is placed on 🏀 enjoyment 🎾 individual effort 🏈 team co-operation 🏒 skill exploration. Naturally, kids may be drawn to competition, but never place the emphasis on the winners – always give praise and reward to those who put in the most effort no matter what the outcome.

Read the 6 tips below (or watch the video) – Perhaps try to put into practice 1 principle a lesson, and within 6 lessons your teaching technique and confidence will be greatly developed ›››


Always visually show the children what they need to do – it doesn’t matter if you can can’t do the skill properly yourself! Click to view our “How to teach the core PE skills” videos for a recap on what exactly to say when you are demonstrating skills to your class.

  • Use a child to demonstrate where possible
  • Show the action from the front and side

Ask for feedback with questions to check for understanding…

  • “Look at my legs when I kick the ball, what are they doing?”
  • “What is my non-throwing hand doing”
  • “What can I do to get more power?”

mirror tennis how to teach pe sport skills kids

Once a skill has been shown, get the students to copy you, without a ball, going through the motions of performing the skill so they can get an idea of what it feels like.

  • Do this 3-4 times, then give plenty of opportunities to experience with a ball

soccer skill pass kids sport teach pe games

Use unique phrases the children can relate with, making it fun and easier to grasp

  • “Stand in your warrior pose holding your cannonball behind you, and point to the castle before firing.”
  • ” Swing your golf club leg behind you before shooting the egg into the cave”

throw catch sport pe skill ball fun games activity

The less waiting around the better…whatever you can to maximise  hands-on participation time.

  • Where and when needed, create an additional line, group or extra team to if you have the space and kids are just standing around waiting
  • If you have extra players, put them into 3’s instead of 2’s

basketball skill challenge player sport pe teaching ideas activities

Encourage personal achievement, trying to beat your personal best,  or “one more than before”, for example:

  • “See if you can score more than 4 goals”
  • “See how many catches you can do in a row
  • “How many cones can you collect in 2 minutes

pe class management sport teaching elementary school soccer ball

High energy levels and excitement (from our awesome activities) sometimes needs management out on the field or in the sports hall:

› Get them to hold their balls still when you are talking/explaining

  • Sit on your ball like it’s a horse”
  • “Squash the tomato with your foot”

› Get their attention and keep them quiet, educating them about different muscles

  • “Hands on your biceps (arms)”
  • “Touch your hamstrings (back of legs)”
  • “Sit on your gluteus maximus (bottom)”

Award ‘player of the day’ as positive reinforcement of good behaviour.

Hopefully you will take some of these tips and put them into practice in your next lessons. We’d love for you to let us know in the comments of any other great ways you have managed to develop your kids skills out on the field. These tips are a great support to the complete K-2 PE games pack, which has HEAPS of content – lesson plans, games, skills, challenges and ideas to get your class loving your sport lessons ›››

kindergarten sport pe lessons tennis baseball soccer basketball american football

How to teach the ‘Throwing & Catching’ skills – Key cues for different variations

Throwing & catching skills are a MUST for your PE lessons, kids need as much fundamental gross-motor movement experience as possible in order to develop their abilities. This post covers the basics you need to know as a teacher, to help your class with their:

  • Underarm throwing
  • Overarm throwing
  • Chest passing
  • Individual throwing & catching skills

First, watch the ‘How to teach Throwing & Catching ‘ PE instructional video below ›

Now you’ve watched the videos to see the simple demonstrations on the variations, recap with the printable skill cards (click to view) ›

Take a look at the “See if you can…” poster below (click it to view and/or save), which gives you some quick ideas for individual challenges your students can try out, exploring their throwing and catching ability (you can print it out a put it in your sport hall) ›

throwing catching games kids ball skills cha ideas

Now most importantly, check out the Complete K-2 PE and Sport skill & games pack – a perfect resource for elementary teachers who need everything prepared for them when it comes to PE! It’s packed with all the fundamental skill elements, and the throwing & catching section includes the following games/drills:

• chest pass the chestnuts • launch the lemons • swing the strawberries • bounce the berries • catch the apples • toss the garbage • castle knockdown • bop the beavers • tidy the bedroom • rotten tomatoes • tricky switches • serve up the ice-cream • skittle ball • protect the castle • throwball • captain ball • fire the cannons • cakes, cookies & pies • handball


How to teach the ‘Bouncing’ skills – Key cues for basketball dribbling and control

You may have never played basketball yourself, but that’s why we’re here to help – In this post we’ll give you the simple phrases to use when teaching basketball in your next PE lesson, to help your class on the way to becoming basketball stars!

Watch the ‘How to teach Bouncing ‘ PE instructional video below, which covers

• Bouncing with 1 hand
• Cross-overs
• Dribbling and ball handling skills

Take a look at the “See if you can…” poster below (click it to view and/or save), which gives you some quick ideas for individual challenges your students can try out, exploring their basketball dribbling and ball handling ability (you can print it out a put it in your sport hall) ›

basketball skill dribbling bouncing ball sport pe sports gym class lesson teaching ideas

Now most importantly, check out the Complete K-2 PE and Sport skill & games pack – a perfect resource for elementary teachers who need everything prepared for them when it comes to PE! It’s packed with all the fundamental skill elements, and the bouncing section includes the following games/drills:

• all you can dribble • ball control • dodge the dinosaurs • paint the eggs • grumpy grandpas • chasers • rob the nest • sweep the beach • shark attack • the iceman • weaving’ wasps • racing cars • air traffic control • nifty ninjas • round the world • into the hole • babel challengers • the incredible journey • zig-zag relays..


‘Rapid Relay Races’: 6 competitive, challenging relay race ideas

Do you need some competitive sport ideas for your kids to do to break up their class time? Are you looking for some captivating ways to get your kids interested in your sport lessons? We’ve got a few ideas here for you to use in your next gym lesson using simple equipment that should be available at your school! Split your class up into equal teams, maybe in their house groups or school colours, and have them complete against each other with these exciting sport skill challenges.

These relay activities below are just a part of the Rapid Relay Races PE Sport – Grades K-3 pack, available now for immediate download onto your computer, tablet or smartphone, which now includes access to all 25 online ‘how-to-play’ videos.

🎽 6 races to try

Try these activities out these free activities below, we’ve given you a quick rundown for reach activity and the video of what it looks like! The first team to have each player complete the activity (one at a time) then all sit down wins. After, check out the complete pack containing 25 variations to work on your kids’ striking, moving, bouncing, throw & catching and kicking skills – where you’re also provided with instructions on how to teach the specific parts of the skills, and exactly what to say! 

  1. Split the class into 4 or 5 equal teams, then set up the relay race for each team
  2. Each group sits behind a starting cone at the start
  3. On “GO”, 1 person at a time from each group completes the task then comes back
  4. The next person in the group then goes…keep going until everyone has had a go
  5. The first group to all have completed the task wins

1 • Hockey target knockdown • a ‘striking’ pe challenge

hockey skills relay race game activity idea kindy school pe

2 • Zig-zag sprinting • a ‘moving’ pe challenge

physical education lesson idea running sprinting agility fundamental movement hoops cones bean bags

3 • Weave in & out then shoot • a ‘bouncing’ pe challenge

basketball drills kids hoop cones shoot dribbling kids pe sport lesson

4 • Throw bean bags in the hoop • a ‘throwing’ pe challenge

throwing bean bags hoops skill pe sport lesson kids grade 1

5 • Throw, clap and catch • a ‘catching’ pe challengecatch ball skills kids elementary school sport activity

6 • Dribble around the witch hat • a ‘kicking’ pe challenge

soccer skills kids ball dribble school lesson

We hope get a chance to play these 6 games at your gym or sports field, let us know your classes’ favourite out of the 6 – there’s 25 awesome activities to enjoy in the pack ›››

relay races games sport pe activities ideas

‘How to teach’ the PE & Sports Skills FREE video series

We have now uploaded a FREE, 5-video development series for you as a teacher to watch. These practical support videos go through the basic sport skills your Kindergarten-Grade 3 students will need to grasp in order to greatly improve their fundamental sporting abilities.


We all know that at some stage you have to teach PE & Sport to your kids, but knowing the specific cues for each skill and exactly what to look out for is not simple, especially if you are not a sporty person – The 5 videos are:

Striking Moving Bouncing Throwing & Catching Kicking

You’ll be shown how the skills should look, and what exactly you need to say to cue the kids to do it the correct way. The videos are a perfect support to the Complete Kindergarten-Grade 2 PE sport lessons pack – everything you need to deliver Game.Changing.Sport.

Click here to watch the playlist now:

Get your students practicing their tennis, soccer, baseball, basketball, athletic skills and more this year!


‘Exploring PE Stations’ 6 awesome PE Station Activities for you to try straight away (K-3)

Stuck with ideas to engage your kids in gym class? Why not run these super fun, easy to set up stations for your class to rotate around through, challenge themselves, set personal records and record their results. We’ve given you 6 station activities to try below, part of the Exploring Stations PE & Sport Skills pack (K-3).

  1. Once you have set up the stations, explain and go through each station to the class
  2. Divide the class into 6 groups (1 group for each station), and put them at a station
  3. Allow 6-7 minutes for the kids to practice the skills
  4. Blow the whistle, each group rotates around to the next station
  5. Keep going until everyone has had a go on each station!

1 • Tap the ball through the hurdles • (striking)

hockey skills stick kids school sport pe elementary

2 • Walk across the benches • (moving)

school pe benches cones kids sport balance

3 • Bounce into the buckets • (bouncing)

basketball bounce ball kids skills sport school lesson

4 • Throw hoops over the cones • (throwing)

hoop throw fun game kids skills kindy

5 • Catch the ball in the cone • (catching)

catching skill fun activity kids school gym class

6 • Drop, kick & catch • (kicking)

soccer skills fun idea sport pe school lesson

Let us know your kids’ favourites – and check out more info on the whole pack below ›››

1. 60 exciting Sport Stations

You will be fully equipped with 60 easy to set up stations, with clear instructions on how to run each activity and improve your kids sports skills. There are 12 activities for each skill element, for:

 Striking  Moving  Bouncing  Throwing & Catching  Kicking


These activities are going to help turn your kids into budding baseball, basketball, tennis, hockey, volleyball, american football and soccer stars in no time!! Impress your principal and other staff members with confidence, working on your pupils’ hand-eye co-ordination, balance, agility and fundamental movement skills!

2. Printable Station Cards
You are provided with a file with all the stations, layed out in a way that you can print out and laminate them to last a long time. You can then put the station cards on the wall, or on a cone at the station you setup, so kids know exactly what to do.

3. Individual score sheets 
You can print out a score sheet for each student, where they can record their results from the tasks given at each station. Not only does this encourage a personal challenge, it aids with reading comprehension and counting and recording data.

Example questions for the students to fill out:
• “I carried ___ balls into the bucket”
• ” I jumped over the hurdles ___ times”
• “I hit the pin down ___ times”
• ” The most fun station was number ___”

4. Online video access
Now you’ll have access to online videos for EACH individual skill station activity – you can play the video to your class so you can see exactly how the station is setup and what you need to do – Teaching PE has never been so easy!

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Check out the full pack now, complete with 60 stations to get your kids challenging themselves, setting records and getting awesome at sport!!

Lifelong tool
Having these great ideas readily available on your iPad or printed out is a fantastic resource to use week by week, term by term, year by year, and we guarantee your kids will LOVE your new PE station ideas. This pack is also a great compliment to the Complete Kindergarten PE Sport Skills Games Pack , which has in-depth whole lesson plans for large classes, going through technique and progressions on each skill element.

Check out the stations at

Some sports equipment you might like to check out:

Kindy-Grade 3 Sport. The Complete Package. (and 6 free lesson ideas)

There’s a new lesson resource on the market – The Complete PE lessons, Skills & Games pack for grades K-2 that will have your students squirming in their seats before their scheduled sport lessons – There’s not a chance that your students will ever forget their gym clothes again, we guarantee it!

We know you most probably don’t need to hear again the benefits of physical education (muscle & bone development, social assimilation, confidence, team working and leadership, higher concentration levels, memory, resilience…), but what happens when you don’t know how to organise a solid soccer lesson, with the key teaching cues to get kids ‘inside foot’ passing the ball to their partner? Or when you’ve got 25 kids lined up… waiting… to have a turn wildly swinging a bat at a t-ball stand without any success.

Get your students warmed up, then have them try out these 6 activities in your next PE lesson and let us know what you think ›››

1 • Knock over the towers • Developing ‘striking’ skills 

kindergarten pe games teaching sport activities kids

2 • Hurdling horses • Developing ‘moving’ skills

pe games teaching activities kids school sport

3 • Rob the nest • Developing ‘bouncing’ skills 

pe games teaching activities kids school sport

4 • Fire the cannons • Developing ‘throwing’ skills 

throwing catching skills ball pe games teaching activities kids school sport

5 • Protect the castle • Developing ‘catching’ skills

catching skills teach pe games teaching activities kids school sport

6 • Protect the castle • Developing ‘kicking’ skills

soccer ball pe games teaching activities kids school sport kicking

We hope you enjoy these activities. Take a look at our most successful, instantly downloadable Complete Kindergarten (K-2) PE Sport Skills and Games pack, you’ll get over 100 activities covering the 6 skill elements –

Striking – 2-handed, 1-handed, overhead, passing, dribbling & shooting
Moving – Sprinting, dodging, jumping, balancing, hopping skipping…
Bouncing – Dribbling, protection, cross-overs, shooting
Throwing and catching – Chest & bounce passing, overarm & underarm throwing, catching
Kicking – Passing, controlling, dribbling, shooting, skills, punting

You’ll feel confident to teach all these skills to your students, even if you’ve never done them yourself! Everything is ready to go, no prep or planning and searching, meaning you can choose a lesson plan or game and setup it up straight off the iPad at your gym or sports field. You can also assess the students with a simple rationale to follow, perfect for your report writing!

sport pe games lesson resources kindergarten

Turn your students into absolute sport stars, developing their ability for a range of sports including baseball, american football, basketball, tennis, hockey, volleyball, soccer, handball and much more… All the activities are so simple to follow, you can either go by the sample lesson structure, or simply pick and choose the activities you want to teach. Check out the pack now!

Some sports equipment you might like to check out: