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First Time Youth Basketball Coaching pt. 3 - Practice


Youth Basketball Game


Practice is where you learn to play the game of basketball and work on weaknesses. A good player will play to his strengths and to his opponent’s weaknesses. “Game Time” should be where you display what your team has learned. Everyone remembers Allen Iverson’s rant a few years back about this very thing – practice.

Organize, organize, and organize! Do not show up to practice without a game plan! This will help keep your team on track. Do not try and run a practice without a game plan!

Plan on using a whistle in practice – and invest in an erasable playbook/board. Using a whistle will help establish the need to play until you hear a whistle.

If it is the team’s first practice introduce yourself to the kids and parents (this goes a long way). Give all of the parents a good contact number for yourself. Make sure you have a good contact number for each player as well.

Have the kids introduce themselves to each other. Explain to the parents what you expect from the kids, and what you will teach them. Having the support of the parents will help ensure your season is successful. They play a pivotal role in helping accomplish this. The kids will know if their parents don’t “like” the coach – or don’t respect them. Explain your rules and expectations to the kids and parents. Tell them the discipline for breaking those rules (pushups, running, etc) they will be getting in better shape too! And they will break the rules and test the boundaries – so be ready!

One of the most important rules is “No talking while coach/coaches are addressing the team” period! Many times important bits of instruction are being handed out and if the kids are talking or playing they aren’t hearing the important information! Then you waste time retelling or teaching things.

Also have rewards set-up for good behavior or a good game. Establishing your team rule’s up front lessens would be grief later. It is easier to start off running a tight ship and easing as the season progresses than trying to gain control after weeks of being too laid back.

Be sure to check back for more installments of first time youth basketball coaching!