Kudda. Why Coaching Matters.

Categorized | Coaching 101

Follow-up to McCormick Article on Skill Development

Follow-up to McCormick Article on Skill Development

     In yesterday’s post Brian McCormick asks why are kids not learning basic skills in basketball. He points out that teams will run lots of plays and defenses but that the players don’t see HOW to play. He comments that kids also have zero athletic skills and can’t do basics like pushups and skipping.

    Brian touches on several types of skills, technical skills associated with playing basketball; tactical skills of understanding HOW to play, and athletic skills like fitness, agility and speed. In previous posts I have lamented that youth coaches spend too much time teaching kids PLAYS instead of teaching them HOW to play. Is it better that the player follow exact step by step instructions to run a play or better to see opportunity for backdoor cuts and easier shots? Should a player dribble to a spot and pass, then set opposite screen and replace, per the set play, or is it better that the dribbler sees the defender off balance and drive towards the basket? Should we be teaching players to develop their vision or should we focus on them being able to follow the playbook? Will running plays make them a better basketball player? Yet, watch any youth league game and you will see Coach “K-wannabe” dads calling out one of their 6-8 set plays or one of their special defenses. I once watched a 9-10 youth practice where half of practice was in learning a set play off of the tip-off. Incredible! These dads need some education about how to coach youth players. It’s not about running plays!

    Brian also comments on a topic near and dear to me and that is the reasoning behind youth basketball playing 5v5. Is there really any learning when 9-10 year olds are playing full court 5v5? Typically, you’ll see players heads down running to their spot in the 2-3 zone, turn and put their hands up. They know exactly where their zone area is and heaven help them if they step out of their box. Why aren’t they playing man to man and learning those principles? Offensively, they run down to their spot and stand and call for the ball. Usually the strongest player dribbles down and takes most of the shots while the other teammates watch. If one of these players ever does get a pass, they immediately dribble once and then look like a deer in headlights because they don’t know what to do. “We don’t have a play for that, so I didn’t know what to do.” In previous posts I have supported the adoption of youth basketball for U-12 and younger playing 3v3. More touches, more decision making and more learning on how to play. You can’t hide in 3v3. All of the principles of how to play can be taught in this format. Yet the common complaint of a proposal to change to 3v3 is, “it’s not real basketball.” And 5v5 for 7-8 year olds is real? In order for the change to 3v3, more education for the coaches needs to take place. They will be required to actually be able to teach kids how to play, not simply teach them a bunch of plays.

Facebook Twitter You Tube