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Teaching Youth Basketball

Teaching youth basketball can be a rewarding and satisfying experience. You will be helping young people learn fundamentals and habits that will stay with them.

It’s up to you to set an example, and teach kids about life lessons, as well as basketball.

Teachers would LOVE to have the enthusiasm that YOU get from kids – they come to you WANTING to learn. That’s a tremendous asset, and you should take good advantage of it. Your young players look up to you, and they listen to what you say. You can make a positive impact on them.

A lot of people who teach basketball aren’t sure how to start or what exactly to teach. This article will try to help you out in those areas.

It’s a good idea to have all beginner players start with Level One, no matter what they’re age. If you’re teaching youth basketball for a large number of kids, you could have an older Level One group and a younger Level One group, so they will get along more easily.

Depending on the skill level and age of the kids, you may be spending more time on Level One with younger players, while the kids who are a bit older may go from Level One to Level Two in one year or season.

If you’re teaching for the summer season, you may want to start at Level One every year, to refresh your memory and let the children brush up on their skills. The more schooled players will breeze through Level One, but some high school and even college coaches start with Level One every season. It helps ingrain the importance of fundamentals every year.

It’s a good idea to take a few hours and type up a practice schedule for the entire season, so you can teach the fundamentals progressively. It may take more than one season to get to all you’ve noted, but that’s OK. In teaching youth basketball, the kids need to learn at their own pace.

The younger players should be doing more focusing on fundamentals than scrimmaging to win. If you push them forward too fast, they will never get a handle on the fundamentals, and they may be frustrated. Build a solid foundation for their future. Don’t try to work on the harder skills until they master the basics.

In Level One, you will want to concentrate on lay-ups, footwork, shooting, ball-handling and basic passing. Have the kids work on layups with both hands, until they can do equally well with either hand. Start near the basket, with no dribbling, and help them work their way up.

To teach the young people footwork, show them how to pivot on their right and left foot, without traveling. Teach them to square up to the basket as soon as they catch a pass, so they’ll learn to use a triple threat position.

Your players need to develop proper shooting form, and learning this at a young age will be very beneficial to them. You can use a smaller-than-regulation ball and hoop for the smallest players, but most kids learn what they need to know with full-size equipment.

Teach your players to dribble with the right and the left hand equally well, so they can do it without thinking, when they start playing in games. Teach them to speed dribble, protect-the-ball dribble, crossover, and back-up dribble. Teach your players chest passes, as well as bounce and overhead passes.

As your players improve in their skills, they can move onto the next level. Right now, your goal is to build a foundation that they can learn on for their school years and beyond.