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KevB
11-12-2012, 01:06 PM
Got pegged to coach my son's basketball team this year (5th graders). I'm a bit of a basketball junkie, but I've never actually coached. Anyone have any suggestions or words of wisdom? I'm thinking drills, plays, skill development, dealing with 10 boys that age, etc. It's not a super competitive league, but I take teaching kids seriously, whatever the context. Appreciate any help.

BigCatDaddy
11-12-2012, 01:09 PM
Only throw chairs on the floor if it's a REALLY bad call.

theelusiveeightrop
11-12-2012, 01:10 PM
No showering.

BigRedChief
11-12-2012, 01:12 PM
I coached a couple of years. Didn't know shit about how to coach basketball. It's all about getting a shooter/ball handler and work together as a defense. Got some fun drills from this site that the other coaches told me about.
http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/drills/basketballdrills.html

There was a series of youtube videos on setting up a defense and teaching it to kids. sokakis or some name like that.

DaKCMan AP
11-12-2012, 01:15 PM
Run the Rah! defense.

El Jefe
11-12-2012, 01:22 PM
Yes, I have coached a lot of youth basketball. Most important things to teach are fundamentals. For your age range I would teach and hit the following:


Box out drills
defensive turning the ball drills (no hands, behind back)
free throws
dribbling (both hands) very important, I usually use the shell drill for this
Bigs, catch ball, drop step, finish off the glass, switch sides, learn to use both hands.
Layups, layups, layups, layups, free throws, layups

Theres plenty more.

El Jefe
11-12-2012, 01:24 PM
Another thing that this age group does that you have to pound out of them. DO NOT PICK YOUR DRIBBLE UP! If you have a good ball handler on your team it helps a lot, but most young basketball players pick their dribbles up when pressured and then they either travel or turn the ball over. I had a group of kids at a camp one time who almost made me lose my mind because they wouldn't stop doing it.

KevB
11-12-2012, 01:32 PM
Run the Rah! defense.

Nice, Shaq would be proud of me.

KevB
11-12-2012, 01:34 PM
Another thing that this age group does that you have to pound out of them. DO NOT PICK YOUR DRIBBLE UP! If you have a good ball handler on your team it helps a lot, but most young basketball players pick their dribbles up when pressured and then they either travel or turn the ball over. I had a group of kids at a camp one time who almost made me lose my mind because they wouldn't stop doing it.

Thanks for the feedback. I have an hour twice a week, trying to figure out how to structure practice time in a way that keeps their attention but also creates enough repetition for muscle memory to set in. 10 minutes per drill reasonable?

Mile High Mania
11-12-2012, 01:35 PM
I coached basketball for a few seasons - boys 3rd and 4th grade, 4 seasons in total (fall and spring twice).

The key is this - keep them moving in practice. If you can get a parent to assist, that's great. Have a flow that is consistent with each practice, always have 1-2 things you want to focus on ... review the last practice drills and then end with a scrimmage.

I'd always start off with 5 minutes of running, jumping jacks, etc. I'd end it the same way. If you have to repeat yourself - pushups or running, the whole group - not just the kids goofing around.

I liked 90 minute sessions compared to 60, but you may not have that option. Keep things basic early on ... ball handling drills, dribbling, focus on control and confidence. Basic passing drills (bounce and chest).

I'd always use cones on the court maybe 3 max and have them run drills from one side of the court, ask them to dribble with control while running/jogging to certain points - practice shooting from the cones. Practice stopping at 1 cone, passing to a player at another cone and then they shoot.

Depending on the level of skill - you'll have a mix, but you need to find out who will be your point guard - you may want to mix it up a bit, but you need to know who is going to control the ball - then move kids around and let them know where they should be in position on the court.

There are lots of great basketball drills on YouTube - just spend some time looking and you'll find lots of great ideas.

The kids love to scrimmage - so I would always say "if we have a great practice and we focus, we'll end with a scrimmage". Use it as a reward - USE YOUR WHISTLE! You have to show them you're in control - be firm - but coach them up, realize that some of the kids will feel out of place or not confident about their play compared to others.

I don't think it matters how much you know or don't know... you have to build trust with the kids, if they don't trust you or respect you or think that YOU believe in THEM - you've lost the team.

It can be a lot of fun, just be organized and make sure they have fun - celebrate the successes. Don't make a big deal about screw ups.

Most teams (as I learned) will play ZONE defense 95% of the time... realize this and get them to work on their jump shots.

Passing is key - but INCREDIBLY hard to coach, you have to make it a habit. Don't play favorites with kids ... don't put 1-2 kids on a pedestal, they'll never earn the respect of the team. They should earn their playing time and that's by hard work in practice and being a great teammate...

Good luck - it's a blast!

Mile High Mania
11-12-2012, 01:37 PM
Quick follow up and in line with keeping them busy...

Some things can be done as a large group, but if you have help - maybe you can split them up into groups of two. One group works on dribbling and passing, while another group works on layups and jumpshots.

Mix the groups up - and be smart about splitting them up for scrimmages. Always mix up the scrimmage teams too, yes you want the boys to get familiar with each other, but you don't want 1-2 kids dominating the whole thing - move your power players around and build everyone up.

El Jefe
11-12-2012, 01:53 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I have an hour twice a week, trying to figure out how to structure practice time in a way that keeps their attention but also creates enough repetition for muscle memory to set in. 10 minutes per drill reasonable?

Yep, thats what I did.

ROYC75
11-12-2012, 02:17 PM
Brad hit a lot of things on his post, I'll only add that you try to get an extra practice each week by talking to other coaches.

Try once a week to schedule a practice the same time with another team if you're short on players, this will allow you to work on offensive & defensive plays when you are short on players ( 6 - 9 per team )

If both of you have 2 practices a week, it can turn into 4 if worked just right. If not, a 3rd practice helps your team adjust quicker.

CoMoChief
11-12-2012, 02:27 PM
scrimmage scrimmage scrimmage

At that age you don't need to focus on conditioning too much because they have so much energy they won't get tired.


Play knockout at the end of every practice......(sorta) helps on free throws and it's kinda fun.

Mile High Mania
11-12-2012, 02:29 PM
One thing that worked for me as well - and it built trust with the parents and showed the kids I was trying to be invested in their improvement... is I would send a quick email summary to the parents after each practice.

My summary would focus on what we covered - the highs/lows and maybe 1-2 areas where each boy individually should work on during the next week. Nothing major - it took 20 minutes to type, but I'm telling you - the parents enjoyed it and it shows you care about them and helping them to improve.

La literatura
11-12-2012, 02:30 PM
3 on 2 on 1 was the absolute best drill.

redsurfer11
11-12-2012, 03:00 PM
Got pegged to coach my son's basketball team this year (5th graders). I'm a bit of a basketball junkie, but I've never actually coached. Anyone have any suggestions or words of wisdom? I'm thinking drills, plays, skill development, dealing with 10 boys that age, etc. It's not a super competitive league, but I take teaching kids seriously, whatever the context. Appreciate any help.


Make sure every kid knows how to throw a pick.

the_finisher
11-12-2012, 03:04 PM
don't yell at the refs

CoMoChief
11-12-2012, 03:06 PM
3 on 2 on 1 was the absolute best drill.

this x10000

oldman
11-12-2012, 03:16 PM
I only coached basketball for a year, but I did coach baseball for 11 years and soccer for 5, so I'll echo some of the same things mentioned. Work on fundementals and keep your practices moving because if there's a lull, there's trouble. If you have 10 kids, that's perfect for scrimmage. Try to keep the the sides as even as possible. At that age, skill levels will be all over the place.
You're going to have some parents that are uber-competitive and some that are just looking for a babysitter, so be prepared for some grief about playing time. Communication is important not only to your kids, but to the parents. If you do send out an email, you can do just a broad overview about the team and tailor a short message about the kid's progress only to the each set of parents.

Buehler445
11-12-2012, 03:19 PM
I'm no pro, but I've helped a little.

Focus on the fundamentals. Shooting in particular. No kid is going to do much of anything in high school if they can't shoot.

Most of what we worked on was defensive movement (helpside and closeouts), screen and roll and basic stuff along with a lot of setting up shots at various spots on the floor.

We also did some 3 on 2 drills. If they can manage that, 3 on 2-2 on 1 drills are better. Those type of drills are good for conditioning, ball handling, and are competitive, so it is fun.

3 man weave is a big one.

Screen and roll against defense is a good one.

I guess some tips I've learned are:

Don't take and ounce of shit from them. Don't let them fuck off or make fun of each other. They'll continually try to push the limits. Suicides are your friend.
Keep constant feedback coming. Kids that young often don't have a clue what they're doing, so the more feedback, the better
Keep the energy up, even though it is tough with fundemental drills.
Keep as much competition in there as you can. It doesn't all have to be scrimage, freethrows, passing drills, ball handling drills can all be competitive. Just find a way to keep track, and find a way to reward the winners.


Good luck.

Buehler445
11-12-2012, 03:20 PM
One other thing, don't let scrimages be worthless.

Install an easy offense (pass and screen away is a good one) and don't let them get away with poor execution.

Mile High Mania
11-12-2012, 03:29 PM
I'm no pro, but I've helped a little.

Focus on the fundamentals. Shooting in particular. No kid is going to do much of anything in high school if they can't shoot.

Most of what we worked on was defensive movement (helpside and closeouts), screen and roll and basic stuff along with a lot of setting up shots at various spots on the floor.

We also did some 3 on 2 drills. If they can manage that, 3 on 2-2 on 1 drills are better. Those type of drills are good for conditioning, ball handling, and are competitive, so it is fun.

3 man weave is a big one.

Screen and roll against defense is a good one.


I guess some tips I've learned are:

Don't take and ounce of shit from them. Don't let them **** off or make fun of each other. They'll continually try to push the limits. Suicides are your friend.
Keep constant feedback coming. Kids that young often don't have a clue what they're doing, so the more feedback, the better
Keep the energy up, even though it is tough with fundemental drills.
Keep as much competition in there as you can. It doesn't all have to be scrimage, freethrows, passing drills, ball handling drills can all be competitive. Just find a way to keep track, and find a way to reward the winners.

Good luck.

Totally agree on the 3 man weave.

On the fundamentals, have them do the drill where they dribble two balls at once too. Lots of focus on looking up when dribbling and seeing the whole court.

If you can get them comfortable with dribbling and keeping their eyes looking ahead, making passes - that's huge.

ChiTown
11-12-2012, 03:40 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I have an hour twice a week, trying to figure out how to structure practice time in a way that keeps their attention but also creates enough repetition for muscle memory to set in. 10 minutes per drill reasonable?

I've been coaching BB for over 15 years. A 1 hour practice will seem like 30 mins. I'm just telling you right now, unless you are going 3 nights per week, there is no way to jam everything in, in one hour.

I go 90 mins 2-3 times per week, depending upon game schedules. I am currently coaching 6th Grade Boys. I do about 15-20 minutes of really hard 3 on 2. There is so much to be learned in 3 on 2 for both O and D. I then do 10 mins of FT's and line drills. Then we spend about 15 mins into some fundamentals with Rebounding, passing and ball-handling. Next, we do some defensive work - primarily shell drills and blocking out -10-15 mins. Back to FT's and line drills. Then we work on Offense and press/press break drills. Finishing up - yet again, with FT's and line drills.

I work my ass off to get all that in during my 90 mins. But, the boys have fun, work hard, and I love the opportunity to Coach. Have fun!

ChiefsCountry
11-12-2012, 03:48 PM
If you have a tall kid, don't just stick his ass on the block. Make him learn to play guard.

ChiTown
11-12-2012, 03:51 PM
If you have a tall kid, don't just stick his ass on the block. Make him learn to play guard.

This!

I run a motion offense, so my kids are all over the floor. Each of them handling the ball at different times. Tall kids stop growing, and short kids often get a lot taller. Today's Center, might have to play Guard in HS. Plan accordingly.....

Ceej
11-12-2012, 04:56 PM
Just practice three pointers, slam dunks, and trick passes.

ROYC75
11-12-2012, 05:22 PM
I've been coaching BB for over 15 years. A 1 hour practice will seem like 30 mins. I'm just telling you right now, unless you are going 3 nights per week, there is no way to jam everything in, in one hour.

I go 90 mins 2-3 times per week, depending upon game schedules. I am currently coaching 6th Grade Boys. I do about 15-20 minutes of really hard 3 on 2. There is so much to be learned in 3 on 2 for both O and D. I then do 10 mins of FT's and line drills. Then we spend about 15 mins into some fundamentals with Rebounding, passing and ball-handling. Next, we do some defensive work - primarily shell drills and blocking out -10-15 mins. Back to FT's and line drills. Then we work on Offense and press/press break drills. Finishing up - yet again, with FT's and line drills.

I work my ass off to get all that in during my 90 mins. But, the boys have fun, work hard, and I love the opportunity to Coach. Have fun!

That's why I told him to hook up with another coach that practices and get some scrimmage time in. We were able to run back to back practices in the gym for 2 hours, run 1/2 court for 30 minutes to 1 hour and scrimmage what we worked on.

At the 5th grade level, kids with talent are really starting to show up. I was able to win our County league that year, help assemble a AAU team and travel. Later we took 2 players from our county and played with a group of boys that took 5th place at the AAU Nationals in Coco Beach,Fl. The 2 boys we took to Fl were both starters.

Bothcof these boys are 8th graders this year, both skipping MS ball and starting both Fr. & JV ball. My grandson is one of them and he gets to back up Varsity team as well. 6'4", been dunking for a year and working as a 3 instead of the traditional 4 & 5 on the Fr.,JV & of years past.

Motion, move them around and drill fundamentals in them at an early age.....defense, closing out, recovery steps, footwork to gain speed, etc.

I was proud of my grandson that year and the work we accomplished