Have you decided to volunteer to coach your kid's youth basketball team now that they are old enough to play but are not sure what you should be doing? A lot of the kids are not going to have a lot of the fundamental skills that they need, and now is the time to teach them. Here are three fundamentals that you should be teaching to help ensure their success on the court.
Teach Planting Their Feet
A very basic skill that every basketball player needs to know is how to plant their feet. You need to have a steady base when shooting, passing, and coming down from the air from catching the ball. A good way to teach this is to have the kids line up along a line on the court so they are facing 90 degrees away from it. Pass them the ball, have them turn and face the line, and plant their feet along the line in a slightly crouching stance. This fundamental will prepare them to be balanced for the next move that they are going to make on the court.
Teach Basic Ball Handling
A common mistake that beginners make is dribbling the ball in the same hand, which makes it easy for someone to steal the ball. A basic ball-handling skill that everyone should be learning is dribbling once on their left side, handing the ball off to their right hand, dribbling once on their right side, and then handing the ball off to their left hand to repeat. This helps alternate which side of their body the ball is on and helps prepare them for additional skills. For example, if you steal the ball from an opponent on the right side of your body, you want to quickly hand off the ball to the left side of your body so that it is away from them. A good drill to teach is to do this drill 10 to 20 times in a row, alternating between each hand so that the motion is smooth.
Teach Jump Stops
Another good skill to have is a jump stop. This combines the basics of planting their feet and ball handling to put the player in a position to shoot or pass the ball. Have them start on a line, move forward while dribbling with basic ball handling while passing the ball from left to right hands, then stop with a jump stop. They'll plant their feet together and slightly crouch down while holding the ball. From this position, they can take a jump shot or pass the ball to another player but have the stability on their feet to have accuracy with where they are shooting.
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