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coaching youth basketball

Tips for coaching youth basketball

Do not teach plays, teach HOW to play

The biggest challenge for a youth basketball coach is to teach the players how to execute a play efficiently. Focus on one simple play out-of-bounds under the basket, and one or two out of the half-court set. A coach needs to develop skill sets that will be helpful in the future rather than teaching three or four side-bound plays in one practice session.

Young players should be taught shooting, passing, setting screens, helping on defense and contesting shots without fouling. Spending considerable time in court developing these techniques will go a long way. The young players will always remember them and build upon these as they grow.

You are a coach and not a referee

Young players remember how you act on the court especially with referees. If you keep arguing with them, you lose precious teaching time. Moreover, the players will think it is okay to blame their losses on someone else. The referees are doing their job and so should you. Learn the names of each referee so you can interact with them on a personal level. It shows the kids how important it is to give respect to the officials and they will do the same as a result. 

Skill-building vs. Drill Building

When you include drills in your practice plan, remember to also build useful skills along the way. Some drills might be popular and make your team look cool but put your energy into what really matters; skills! Weigh the pros and cons before you focus on one drill. The long-term skill development should be your main goal. 

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