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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another Observation About Coaching Second-Grade Basketball


Continue to drill.

And drill some more.

Yes, the kids love to scrimmage (who doesn't), but without the skills the scrimmages are exercises in dribbled balls off feet, dribbling into the corner and getting trapped, or taking wild shots. That was more of the case at the beginning of our season, but it's gotten better now. The more you drill, the better the scrimmages will get.

If you're a history buff, you know that the U.S. Army only could win the War of 1812 after Winfield Scott took the troops to the Lake Champlain area and drilled them for months before they were ready to battle the then better-trained British. If you're a movie fan, you'll recall the famous scenes in The Karate Kid, when Mr. Miyagi trained Daniel in karate by having him perform a significant number of chores around his house that involved repetitive motion -- before he even started to teach Daniel actual karate. Daniel developed a lot of muscle memory, and that helped him prevail in a tournament (okay, it was fiction, but the point's a good one).

That's why you need to work on dribbling drills (especially where the kids move with the ball and can't look at it), passing drills and catching and shooting the ball. We have one boy on our team who isn't a good dribbler. He's a big kid, and he's decent at catching the ball. He didn't score a basket in our first four games, but he tried hard in practice (mind you, we practice once a week). We worked with the kids on catching the ball five to seven feet away from the basket and shooting it (they aren't allowed to put the ball on the floor, because from that distance they should be able to shoot it, and the fear is that the lane gets so congested on defense that if they dribbled the ball they'd lose it). Last week, he flashed through the lane twice, caught the ball, shot it, and scored two baskets. Last night, when we scrimmage, he called for the ball and drilled several shots from that distance. Why? Because he doesn't have to stop and think what to do -- he's been taught to shoot from there. His improvement has been so significant we named one of our catch-and-shoot drills after him.

When we do scrimmage, we stop play to teach if we see a common mistake -- picking up the ball and running with it, dribbling into a corner, failing to go for a rebound, you name it. The kids respond well -- we teach gently, we don't scold or embarrass -- and they generally get it. It's fun to watch them develop as players.

So plan your practices. Roy Williams plans his to the minute, and since our gym time is much more limited, you should too. Summarize at the beginning and end, and then make most of the time in the middle. You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish in 50-60 minutes.

And, as always, make sure it's fun!


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Anonymous Kamagra said...

My husband loves basketball, he is a real fan of this sport, when he was a child he and his father played in four different teams, he really enjoyed those days, nowadays his father can not play because he has a heart disease, but the way my husband will love a basketball forever.

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Anonymous Kamagra said...

If drilling is the secret, Then I want to drill too!

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Anonymous Miami Information said...

I'm totally agree, because if you practice a lot you can play perfectly

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