FOUR FACTORS THAT IMPACT YOUTH BASKETBALL DEVELOPMENT
- Zone Defense
- Best Player Isolation
- Shooting Challenges
I consider these four factors the most important youth basketball development concepts because if I wanted to win at the youth level, I would press, play zone and isolate my best player.
So the best way to develop a youth player to experience success and increase their long term participation is to prepare them to handle these four factors.
HOW TO USE THIS YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PAGE
Each category of youth development links to a dedicated page that will provide you a pool of basketball drills, skills and concepts that are age appropriate for a prepubescent male and female basketball player. A blank practice plan template is provided, as well as, a number of sample practice plans. All the practice plans are based on a one hour practice.
Each practice is divided into two parts. Individual player development and team development are the two parts. Individual player development drills are focused on the development of positionless basketball players, and requires only the player and a ball, the player and a passer who is an active participant in the learning process, or a one-on-one drill. Team development drills are focused on those things that will help the team succeed, and require multiple players in a drill.
BLANK PRACTICE PLAN TEMPLATE
The practice plan template consists of four sections.
- Notes – These are pre and post practice notes that you want to address with players. And pre and post practices drills that you want to do with players. Things like a dynamic warm-up and side dribbles can be done off the court prior to the formal start of your practice time. Post practice is a time to address organizational and administration needs so that you don’t take away from practice time. It is also a great time to ask questions about the practice to check for understanding and to challenge your players thinking.
- Practice – The body of practice is outlined in this section.
- Things We Did Well – Post practice is an important time for reflection. Whether done as a team activity or on your own as a coach, I encourage you to take 5-10 minutes post practice to review and reflect on what you and/or your players did well at practice today. Reflection impacts future planning and team/individual development.
- Things We Need to Improve – As with the “things we did well” reflection, reflecting and what we need to do better is best done post practice. Players can be active participants in this process, as well as you taking time as a coach for personal reflection on how you can plan, organize, instruct and manage the practice better.
[file_download style=”1″][download title=”Practice%20Plan%20Template” icon=”style3-download_2_64x64.png” file=”https://basketballimmersion.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Basketball-Immersion-Practice-Plan-Template.pptx” package=”” level=”” new_window=”Y”]Blank%20Practice%20Plan%20Template%20(Modifiable%20Power%20Point%20Download)[/download][/file_download]
[file_download style=”1″][download title=”Sample%20Full%20Youth%20Practice%20Plans” icon=”style3-download_2_64x64.png” file=”https://basketballimmersion.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Youth-Practice-Plans.pdf” package=”” level=”” new_window=””]Drill%20names%20and%20links%20to%20each%20drill%20video%20are%20outlined.[/download][/file_download]
CATEGORIES OF YOUTH BASKETBALL DEVELOPMENT
- Ball Skills (Dribbling and Passing)
- Handling Pressure (Basketball Skills and Mental Capacity)
- Defensive Habits (Effort, Concepts & Competitive Mindset)
- Finishing Moves (Scoring at the Basket)
- Game Understanding (Decision-Making)
SHOOTING AND YOUTH BASKETBALL DEVELOPMENT
Shooting is not a priority for the prepubescent phase of basketball player development. I believe if I develop a player’s comfort with the ball, then shooting will be easier to develop later. Prepubescent basketball players develop many of their shooting skills based on their lack of strength to successful make shots. Many of these skills become bad habits that are difficult to change later. Shooting is a much better skill to develop postpubescent as players are physically ready for the development of proper shooting fundamentals. My focus would be on finishing moves (different types of lay-ups, back pivots, two foot and one foot shots close to the basket) to develop touch and feel around the basket.
This ideology is a challenge to sell to players and parents as shooting is such an important part of the game. So the reality is you cannot ignore it completely, however I would not make it a focus of my practices. The focus of my practices would be to develop the five categories of youth basketball development. Shooting would be a pre or post practice activity (if you have access to baskets pre or post practice). This way players could complete the Form Shooting Workout. Shooting is an individual skill. I do not believe there is a perfect shooting form that works for every player. Pre and post practice shooting work would allow a coach to work individually with a different player each day.
Teaching Concepts for Youth Shooting
- All shots early in learning shot be taken within 1-5 feet of the basket. As learning progresses some of the shots can be moved farther out.
- Ideally proper size balls and lowered baskets are used.
- The goal should be on technique and not success. Process over outcome should be preached every shooting session.