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Old 11-12-2012, 01:06 PM  
KevB KevB is offline
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Anyone ever coach elementary/middle school boys b'ball?

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.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:09 PM   #2
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:10 PM   #3
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:12 PM   #4
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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.co...alldrills.html

There was a series of youtube videos on setting up a defense and teaching it to kids. sokakis or some name like that.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:15 PM   #5
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Run the Rah! defense.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:22 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:24 PM   #7
El Jefe El Jefe is offline
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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.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:32 PM   #8
KevB KevB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaKCMan AP View Post
Run the Rah! defense.
Nice, Shaq would be proud of me.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Jefe View Post
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?
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:35 PM   #10
Mile High Mania Mile High Mania is offline
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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!
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:37 PM   #11
Mile High Mania Mile High Mania is offline
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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.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:53 PM   #12
El Jefe El Jefe is offline
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[quote=KevB;9109442]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?[/QUOTE]

Yep, thats what I did.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:17 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:27 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:29 PM   #15
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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.
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