Teaching Youth Basketball Plays
What about Basketball Plays?
We use the concept of teaching the kids HOW TO PLAY, before teaching the kids HOW TO RUN PLAYS. This is easy to say and sometimes very difficult to do. WHY…..?
It is common to hear coaches talk about the importance of teaching youth basketball players the fundamentals. Most coaches will agree that one of the main goals of youth coaches should be to teach the kids HOW TO PLAY. We start the basketball season with plans to run drills and teach skills, BUT……
Most youth basketball teams have a limited amount of practice time, averaging 1-2 hours per week, and with games always coming up too soon, there is a certain pressure and urgency the coach feels to prepare the team for that game.
It is very easy for the coach to focus mostly on preparing the team to play and WIN the game coming up, and maybe lose focus on TEACHING each kid HOW TO PLAY.
Is it important to WIN that game (by having more points than the other team at the end of the game)?
There are many different opinions on this and I am in no way an expert on this answer. But, I will say, NO. It is important that the coaches, players, and parents WANT to COMPETE TO WIN and understand that learning and improving each time you play and practice will eventually result in success. That success may not always result in having more points than the other team, but that success will result in the game being more fun and allow coaches, players, and parents to know they are all learning, growing, and benefiting from the game of basketball.
So, the GOAL of this website is to provide information that identifies WHAT TO TEACH, and HOW TO TEACH IT. We are not talking basketball at the higher levels, but at the youth level, where establishing a solid fundamental base of basketball knowledge and skills, will eventually result in each player having a better opportunity to WIN in situations later in life when THE SCORE OF THE GAME is more important.
The most common question, by far, we receive from Youth Basketball Coaches is:
What OFFENSE should we run?
Other common questions:
What BASKETBALL PLAYS should we put in?
What do we do if they put a FULL COURT PRESS on us?
What about OUT-OF-BOUNDS plays?
Should we zone or play man-to-man DEFENCE?
How are we going to FAST-BREAK?
These are all good questions, but mostly relate to the urgency of the game situation coming up and preparing the team to play a game.
It would be perfect if every kid just knew what to do and had great instincts and ability, but heck, then they wouldn’t need a coach. Coaching at the youth level requires a discipline to teach each player the fundamental skills of the game as a priority over teaching a team to run Basketball Plays.
We would like to credit the coach that originally made this statement but do not know the source – “Anyone can coach your best five players, the real measure of a coach is how well you coach the other five”.
This is especially true and important in youth basketball, because it is also generally true that – “The best five players in Grade School, will most likely NOT be the best five players in High School”.
We need to coach them all, and know that each kid will develop in time, at their own pace. The two most important traits young kids can develop is a love of the game, and a desire to work and become the best player possible. They all do not have equal potential physically, but they all have ability to learn, dream, and work towards success with basketball.
There is unfortunatley a lot of attention in youth sports on Premier Teams, Elite Teams, National Teams, and others. In my mind, ALL our kids are Elite and Premier, and we should teach and coach them all like future National Champions.
Complete Coaching Instruction on Youth Basketball Fundamentals
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