Coaching youth basketball drills is by far the most important aspect of coaching. Playing games is fun and winning is great but drills make players better.
There are a couple of challenges a coach faces when coaching youth basketball drills. Number one does the coach fully understand the drill and can coach it effectively. Take form shooting, for example. If the coach does not understand the drill and teaches it incorrectly more harm than good will is done.
Number two, does the coach have the motivational skills to get the player to work hard with energy and focus. Any drill done halfheartedly will become a waste of time for the player. Does the coach have the ability to motivate and give positive feedback to the player or be critical as the player learns something new?
Number three, is the coached disciplined enough to make sure that each player performs the skill correctly and consistently. Will the coach constantly remind the player how t perform the skill or teach it once and assume the player will be able to perform the skill.
Coaching youth basketball drills takes patience and tolerance.
Is the coach patient enough to realize that some drills may take a player hundreds of religions to finally scratch the surface of the technique, then another hundred repetitions in order to refine the skill and then another thousand reps to become semi competent at the skill? Can the coach be tolerant enough to look past mistakes and see the bigger picture? Too many coaches lack tolerance and patience when coaching youth basketball drills. Some believe that a skill taught once should be learned quickly and performed rapidly.
They do not allow the player the trial and error needed to perfect a skill. There are coaches and there are instructors. It is easy to coach. Put five players on the floor and let them go. Once the game starts the coach, ultimately has very little responsibility for the outcome. An instructor is a coach that teaches, allows mistakes and understands that learning new skill is hard and takes time.
Skills cannot be taught during the game so they must be taught during practice time. Coaches must learn that drill work and instruction is the most crucial aspect of their job. For youth coaches, player development is a better way of measuring success than wins and losses. They also have to begin discussions with parents and convey the importance of drills and they are more important than the games.
Our society demands instant gratification and this does not allow parents to understand the difficulty of learning a new skill. They believe players should be able to perform skills since they gave been practicing them. Scientifically it takes around 300,000 repetitions before the brain starts to develop the pathways to perform a skill without thought.
All young players are a long way away from the number of repetitions needed before a skill can become innate and natural. Once the coach and parents understand this they will then be able to look past the mistakes of their child and begin to see the efforts required to become proficient.
As a youth basketball coach it is vital to the players development to repeatedly perform basic skills, such as dribbling, shooting and passing. Fundamental skill training can never be overlooked and must be instructed and positively reinforced.