How to Be an Effective Basketball Coach to Kids
Teaching adults a new sport is easier than teaching kids because, with children, you also become their role model. Children tend to look up to older people, so you must set a good example and instill in them sports’ ethics. Furthermore, it would help if you came up with creative ways to train them to make the process more exciting. If you want to become a basketball coach to kids, you should learn how to become an effective one that will build a good team. Here’s how you can do that.
The most important thing to teach kids is manners, even before teaching them what basketball is. Reinforce the most basic principles, such as giving a firm handshake, maintaining eye contact, being nice to those who are not as strong, and congratulating the opposing team when they win.
Since basketball is a team game, they must understand what it means to be selfless and work towards everyone’s glory and not for personal gain. The players must learn to support and encourage their teammates rather than bring them down when they don’t play well, maintaining a positive attitude towards each other whether they win or lose.
For them to learn the importance of manners and respect, you must set an example. You can do this by interacting well with parents, other coaches, and your manager. Children will watch you attentively and will follow your rules when they see you applying them.
Young players may come to you without skills or prior knowledge in basketball. Your role is to build their skills and give them enough confidence; this is achievable by allowing everyone on the team to take turns and become whoever they want to be. It is not right to limit some spots to the taller kids and let the shorter ones handle the ball from below. You will never know which one of them will hit a growth spurt before the other or how their hormones will affect them. Therefore, all players should learn how to play in any position and choose which one they prefer.
The players can get better or worse according to their environment and the place where they play. Source a good place for them to train and get them the appropriate junior basketball hoops so they can practice shots rather than missing all of them and getting discouraged. Most kids are competitive, and if they don’t become good quickly, they may give up on training. However, don’t let the game become too easy and actively challenge them because they may think they are above it and stop practicing.
Start with the Basics
It is exciting to start training kids, and you want to teach them everything you know all at once. However, always keep in mind their mental capacity and start with the basics without rushing them. For starters, get the players close to the basket and show them how to get a clear shot. Let them know that they should keep their knees bent, close their elbows, and release the ball with a little jump.
Teach the children how to work on their pass and introduce them to the chest, bounce, and over-the-head passes. Other important basics are the triple threat position, defensive stance, and screening. Even if these are boring for your players, by keeping the session interesting and fun will help them learn.
Give the Kids Breaks
You shouldn’t measure your stamina and physical ability to the kids’ because you surpass them, and you may burn them out by long practicing hours. Consider their demands, know when to believe that they are tired, and when to dismiss their complaints. Children will always try their luck. Be smart and realize when to push them further so they can exceed their limits. However, give them breaks even if they don’t ask because their training time should be fun, not tiring. It will also be great to encourage the children to play other sports because some of them complement basketball and may help them advance faster.
Basketball will teach the kids how to play as a team and respect their teammates as well as their opponents if they have the proper coach. If you want to become that person, the above tips may help you deal with your young players. Being their role model won’t be easy, but it will be worth it when they become great basketball players and respectable individuals, especially if you incorporate exercises that make learning all the more fun.
JR Dominguez is the technology, finance and music editor for MiLLENNiAL. When he's not writing, you can find him day-trading stocks, playing video games, or composing commercial scores.