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Monday, October 22, 2007

Pointers, Anyone?

I've taken the plunge and am going to co-coach my eight year-old's basketball team in a local league.

Any and all constructive advice is welcome.


Blogger Superdestroyer said...

two opposing theories:

1. To get all of the kids to play, play and up and down game with wholesale substitutions and who ever is open shoots. A hockey coach at a Div. III school who was told to coach the basketball team tried this last year and it worked. He even did line changes by substituting five players at a time.


2. The Pre-1990 girls team strategy of playing slow and working the ball to your best player and letting them take all of the shots. Many girls high school basketball coaches make a living doing this.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Escort81 said...

1. I don't think you want anyone from the Joe Scott school of basketball coaching and philosophy as your assistant.

2. It should be about developing the skills of each individual player, especially passing, catching and dribbling.

3. Everyone should play in the games a fair amount. By all means, have your best shooter take more than a pro rata share of shots, but it will be a free-for-all anyway, as it is hard to run "plays" for that age group!

4:15 PM  
Blogger Helen said...

First of all, bravo and have fun.

Second, I second what's been said above, and add this caveat from an article about coaching girls hs bball:

Not all parents are willing to rely on a coach's judgment. Wolff of the Center for Sports Parenting identifies three distinct types of parents: The Discreet Parent, who meets several times with the coach during the season to "check up" on their child's progress; the Befriender, who hopes the friendship can be parlayed into more playing time for their child; and the Loudmouth, who screams and yells from the stands at both the child and the coach.

While some cross the line, Wolff understands the parents' intensity. "If you're a parent," he explains, "you've been chauffeuring your kids around to basketball games from the time they were 5 or 6 years old, you've been there for tryouts and travel teams and AAU teams. By the time the child is in eighth or ninth grade, you've invested quite a bit of your time, emotion and, of course, your finances in making sure your kid is going to be a star player. Now you're handing your kid over to a coach who may not see your kid s the same kind of star you [do]."

"Coaches biggest complaints, almost universally, are dealing with parents.

Since the reality is that only about one percent of high school girls' basketball players get scholarships, a coach needs to mange the parent's expectations. Preseason meetings between coaches and parents laying out the coach's ground rules and philosophy are essential. "Those meetings were a nice gesture or convenience 15 or 20 years ago," says Wolff. "Now you must have that meeting."

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have to tell you this, but just remember that they are eight years old. The important thing is that they get to play, improve some basic skills and have fun.

You can measure your success by the number of kids who want to play next year.

That strategy has done very well for me in Little League.


8:50 AM  
Blogger Superdestroyer said...

You did not say if there were any rule limitations for the children. Is pressing allowed? Can you play zone?

8:32 AM  
Blogger SportsProf said...

Thanks, everyone. Your responses are terrific. It's not a competitive league. We have one 55-minute practice each week, and then one game, and there only 9 kids on a team, 7 boys, 2 girls. Seems like there will be tons of playing time for everyone, which is great. Apparently the refs will stop the game at times and coach the kids on how to do things better. I'm reading a book by the former Dartmouth coach, Dave Faucher, on the subject, and your comments have been helpful, to wit:

1. Everyone is to have fun and better appreciate the game.

2. Everyone should develop his/her skills so that he/she can play better.

3. Everyone gets ample playing time, gets a chance to play different positions, bring the ball up.

The goal is to have the kids look forward to playing, to improve, to want to play the next year.

8:38 AM  

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