Here are a Few of MY Tips For Coaching Youth Basketball Boys 8-10 Year Old.
For the past two years I have been lucky enough to Coach basketball to boys ages 8-10. Having always been a fan of the game, and really only learning about basketball when I moved *stateside when I was 18, I was a bit nervous to take the helm for the first time, as Head Commander and Chief, The COACH!
(* Stateside: A term us Canadian’s use when, one has deflected from the comfort of the homeland, and settle south of the CANADIAN border… Yes America I am talking to YOU!!! You also have a northern border, eh!)
In the previous league I coached in, the basketball courts are not quite the full NBA size, nor are the balls. There is no 3 point line, and officially “they” don’t keep score, as the focus of the league at this age is to teach fundamentals, teamwork and good sportsmanship.
Some might say that our teams never lost, some might say we had the most fun, and some might think we had better basketball players. I would like to think that all three statements are true. YES some parents may have kept score at some of the games and let me know the positive outcome. YES some will say we had the most fun, as I don’t believe any other team had a mid-season dodge ball/practice party to increase team moral, and season ending pizza party. YES we had better basketball players, because they were allowed to be what they wanted to be on the court, just basketball players.
FORGET about teaching them about position’s (aka: PG, SG, SF…) Forget about teaching them set plays and defensive sets! FORGET IT! You are doing those boys a dis-service by NOT developing them as OVER ALL, Fundamentally Strong, Basketball Players, who LOVE to play the game as a TEAM!
That being said, let me teach you a few secrets that will help you become a better coach in any sport at this age… LEARN WHO THEY ARE… Take time to listen, acknowledge and try to teach them they best way for them to learn. To be a GREAT coach, you HAVE TO be a GREAT listener.
So now that I have given you almost the entire playbook you will need… Aside from a few small details I will share later… you are good to go!
Let’s review what “tricks”, “secrets”, “tactics”, or just basic coaching tips for boys basketball:
1.) Learn how your players like to learn.
2.) Listen to them and learn who they are as people.
3.) Coach them to be the best basketball player they can be.
If you can really focus and do the first three things I have listed above, then practice time will become easier. You will know what drills to run, you will know when to take a break, and you will learn when to push them to their limits…
IF you first learn who they are as people and players.
Once you learn how they like to be taught, you can then start influencing their decisions. THIS IS KEY! It’s psychological warfare at its best. Let THEM make the decision that they WANT to play as a team, that THEY WANT to become better basketball players and that THEY WANT to be there because THEY made the decision for themselves. If they don’t want to be there, don’t waste your time trying to force them, let them decide if they want to be there or not.
FUNDAMENTALS. I love this word, it’s long and I feel so “S-M-R-T” when I say it… It also happens to be the next BEST thing you can coach boys basketball.
Focus on the FUNDAMENTALS!!! This is HUGE!!!
Focus on the correct way to shoot a ball, the right way to do layups, and the basics of PASSING and TEAMWORK!
1.) How to Shoot a basketball.
– Elbow in, finger tips on ball, follow through and squaring up… Basic’s people…
– Don’t just let them “push shot” it in, but encourage them to flip it up from the hand they are attempting the layup with. Encourage the right foot/left hand and the left foot/right hand basic’s.
– If you have a team full of kids that can shoot and layup the ball, logically the next step would be learning how to put the ball into the hands that can finish. Teach them the bounce pass, cheast pass, over the top pass, and simple one hander pass for the fast break. Encourage team work and trusting in each other.
Ok so that should get you through your very first 30 minutes of coaching basketball practice, the rest is up to you and the team. Remember to have fun, because if you’re NOT having fun…then STOP COACHING and go do something YOU WANT to do.
TWEEEEET…”Toe’s to the line, ball’s behind me, ears up!” - Coach Michael