Coach David Akin's "Basketball
Skills/ Objectives/Tips - by Age Group":
1. Team Concepts
•Team Mission Statement: Inform parents of what the team's goals will be this season.
•Coach’s Mission Statement: Inform parents of what you plan to teach their child on and off the basketball court.
Interaction with Players
•Learning teammate’s names are essential, thus I recommend you have name tags at each practice or at least until everyone knows each other’s names.
•Terminology: Introduce terms such as baseline, sideline, free throw line, etc. so that the players start to learn the diagram of the court. Also, this will help you keep your practice organized if you can tell players where to stand specifically instead of having to show/place them every time.
•Learn ways to communicate to your players in order to get their attention or to refocus. Children’s attention span is very short and thus using a simple clap of the hands can sometimes get them to refocus on what is being taught.
•Positive – Negative – Positive Feedback: A big piece of coaching is getting the most out of your players. Therefore, understand that your players want to succeed but are certain to make mistakes. When they do make a mistake, correct them by: Complementing their efforts, instruct them on what they should do different and then encourage them to continue.
•Limit the topics and length of your speeches to the team. Most players can only handle three concepts at a time. Most players’ attention spans are very short and therefore I would limit the amount of time you talk to them. Keep things detailed, however don’t overuse your wording.
•Players can be influenced by the actions of the coach. As coaches we have to be weary of extreme actions. The will learn to react to certain situations based on how the coach reacts. We should be setting the standard, and therefore make sure you set the standard high.
•Have a team motto. Having a team motto can help instill a concept in the team’s mind that will help them on and off the court. Example:
Work Hard, Play Hard. There is nothing wrong with shouting out your team’s name after the game. However, think past what is easy and popular and wrap your mind around the idea that this is more than just basketball. We have the power to influence these players in a positive manner. Let’s maximize this opportunity.
•Have a practice plan (Outline of what you plan to do during practice) for each practice. When you are preparing the plan, be mindful on how long each drill will take as well as, how long will it take for you to teach each aspect of the drill.
•Keep your pregame practice and game warm-ups consistent. This will help keep your team organized. Implement some type of stretching during your warm-ups as well.
•Going into practice, know that the players are going to want to scrimmage the entire time. However, they need more than that to develop basketball skills. It’s important that the players are practicing drills for a longer time span than scrimmaging. In any drill you are teaching, make sure that you are maximizing your time.
*Get as many players involved in the drills with as many basketballs as possible. The players will learn through repetition so the more they drill, the more they can improve.
•Coaches are in place to teach the fundamentals of basketball and what it will take to improve. Teach drills that the players can take home and work on to improve their skills.
•In practice, practice game situations. For older age groups, it can be effective and fun to practice late game situations. Basic basketball fundamentals are essential, but teaching them strategy can also be very important as well.
•Limit the distractions during practice as much as possible. Realize that the parent wants to watch their child. However if a player is going to be preoccupied with their parent being there, than that is a distraction that needs to be taken out of practice.
3. Ages 7-8
4. Ages 9-10
5. Ages 11-12