Knowing how much vertical jumping is important in basketball, some safe plyometric workouts for 10-12 y/o kids would be to have them squat down and jump up as high as possible while reaching up with one or both hands and hit a flag or a point directly above them. Then, upon landing, immediately jump up again and attempt to reach higher. It is important to use both upper and lower body movement, to keep landings short, and to perform multiple jumps in succession.
Another exercise to work on quick muscle twitching, and foot speed would be to have them run various ladder drills. Some good drills include:
- The Two Step High Knee Drill - Simply step both feet into each space of the ladder, one at a time, as you forward.
- The High Knee Drill - This drill is very similar to the Two Step High Knee Drill, but you’ll only be landing one foot in each space on the ladder.
- The Right Legged Thrust Drill - only the right leg will be inside the ladder while the left leg will stay on the outside for balance and support
- The Left Legged Thrust Drill - Opposite of the The Right Legged Thrust Drill
- The Double Foot Shuffle Drill - Begin on the left side of the ladder, directly beside the first space. Then step each foot into the first space one at a time (right foot first, then left foot). Continuing right, immediately step each foot outside of the ladder one at a time, (again, right foot first, then left foot). As you step outside the ladder, plant with the outside foot (the right foot) and then step into the ladder’s second space (this time, left foot in first, followed by the right foot).
- The Single Foot Shuffle Drill - Begin the same way as the Double Foot Shuffle. Step into the ladder with each foot, one at a time (right foot, then left foot). Then step out on the other side with just the outside (right) foot. Then, step into the second space with your left foot, step with the right, step outside the ladder with your left foot, and then step into the third space with your right foot.
These are some very basic exercises for developing fast twitch muscles, which are easy and safe for the ages previously mentioned. Hope these descriptions make sense.