You can become a stellar player very quickly with superior ball skills and you can practice them at home. All players but especially young ones need to focus on their individual skills. The best players spend hours just playing with the ball to the point that it becomes like a magnet to the hand (basketball) or foot (soccer). The best coaches spend practice time on ball skills and not so much on running drills or plays to ensure proper development of players.
At Atlantic Stars Academy we spend 1/3 of the practice on ball skills. Younger players start with easier skills and then we load them making them increasingly difficult as the player masters the skills. You can be creative by using tennis balls which increses awarenes and touch because they are more difficult to handle. When a player practices dribbling with two balls (basketball) imagine how easy it is when they only have to dribble one ball in the game. Ball skills develop awareness and relationship with the ball so acutely that players are magicians in the game and can dribble through several players when attacking toward the net or basket.
Check out this video of Johan Cruyff for a spectacular demonstration of ball handling skills. He is the product of the Ajax Football Club of the Netherlands which is meticulous and relentless in teaching ball skills. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU-k-Ots3iY&feature=related
Basketball player Corey Rich spends hours a day working on his ball skills. Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGkvYIQkKl0
Atlantic Stars Academy will soon have a video online with some examples of beginner ball skills to work up to these levels. Stay tuned!