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3 Keys ToYouth Basketball

We coaches continue to talk about the importance of fundamentals in basketball.  

But are we teaching the right things?  

Below are three of what I believe are important elements to coaching youth basketball. 

Make sure your youth get these down before moving on.


1. Ability to dribble equally well with both hands  

It amazes me that older youth come into our program each year and are very talented but are one-hand dominant.  While there are numerous advanced dribble drills that can be used, at the youth level keep it simple.  My suggestion, teach your players to speed dribble and hesitation dribble with both hands well.  Once they master this, teach them to zig-zag dribble utilizing (in this order) the crossover, between the legs, and behind the back dribble.  Do not move on from the cross-over until they perfect it.  All these dribble types will greatly enhance their game.

2. Ability to throw a chest, bounce or overhead pass

One element of the game that a lot of young players like to pattern from the pros is one handed passing.  I am not against one handed passing but there is no place in the game for youth basketball players to learn one hand passes until they can properly throw a two-handed chest, bounce, and overhead pass.  Again, keep it simple line up your players across from each other and teach them to properly throw two-handed passes with arms extended and thumbs down on the finish and hit their target.  Once they are able to do this well, begin to add in running and passing.

3. Ability to Shoot Lay-Ups Equally Well with Both Hands

Many times prior to our camp beginning you see young players jacking shots from 15-20 feet.  However, when you watch youth basketball games the most popular shot you see are lay-ups.  By the nature of the game (and lack of defense) lay-ups are very popular in youth basketball.  Teach your young players to be skilled with both hands when finishing around the rim and stay focused.  


Good luck with your game,

Coach O

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