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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2014, 12:24 

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I'm teaching my 4 year old to play basketball, the right way. He played last season on a team and you know, they us balls that are to big and goals that are to high. I kept telling him to use the correct form even though his teammates wasn't and by the end of the season he felt discouraged, because he couldn't even come close to making a basket shooting with the correct form. We have a goal at home that lowers down to 5 feet and I am able to teach him the right way and he loves to play. Now, my question to you is, should we skip this season of basketball and I just play with him at home or should he be playing on a team with other kids to get the feel of the game? If he plays on a team this year, I'm not gong to make him shoot with the right form in the games, because it only discourages him from the game. What is your opinion?


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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2014, 13:04 

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vinsonmatthew wrote:
by the end of the season he felt discouraged, because he couldn't even come close to making a basket shooting with the correct form
When you use the word discouraged, it sends up red flags to me. You'd be lucky to find any average 4-7 year old that shoots with the proper form and makes their shots, especially when leagues keep the baskets at higher levels.

At age 4, your son has plenty of time to be exposed to playing on team with other kids. I'd tend to work with him at home or find a program that uses fun mini game-like activities for kids his age.

I'll throw this video out, one of my favorites on how it is for a kid to shoot a basketball. The first 1:30 gets the point across. More leagues need to watch this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kjZhJvmHAE

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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2014, 13:18 
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Yea. Seasonally put him in age appropriate sports like soccer, swimming, gymnastics, martial arts, flag football so he can develop coordination, balance, and a little athletic ability.

I didn't start my kids with basketball until 7 years old... we only did 1on1 and 2on1 the first year. The following year 2on2 and 3on3. And I still feel like we're going to fast.

Steve Nash didn't play basketball until he was 13 and became one of the most skilled points guards in the NBA. But he had a solid athletic foundation and loved the game when he started to play.

So don't feel like he needs to play at such a young age.

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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2014, 16:59 

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@ Coach Rob

Loved the video! At home we practice on a five foot goal and use a ball 7" in diameter. We have been working on his form pretty much every day and he does a good job with one exception: he wants to move his elbow to the side of his body; i will correct it by moving it in front of him, but then the ball stops rolling off of his fingers. Any suggestions?


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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2014, 17:54 

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@ Jeff Haefner

It will be hard to avoid basketball right now, because he is adamant to play.The season is coming up and I wasn't sure if I wanted him to play on a team or not. I've been thinking about letting him play, but tell him to focus on defense, passing, dribbling and we would work on shooting at home. If he was okay with that, would that be a bad idea?


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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2014, 18:46 
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As long as it's fun, a short season, and not too serious it should be fine. I'd imagine it will barely resemble basketball with 4 and 5 year olds. Will be a couple kids swarming the ball and the rest not having a clue what they are supposed to do. I have no idea how you play a basketball game at this age.

Just have fun, don't take things too serious, keep it short, and move on to the next sports/season. At this age it's all about learning fundamental movements skills, free play, and having fun.

Here's an article about shooting. My son is 7 now so it wash;t long ago I was in your shoes. My son wants to shoot constantly... it's hard to keep him away.
http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/coaching/youth-basketball-sizes.html

Keep in mind I have not taught my son shooting technique. I think he's too young. Although I do try to encourage him to use a really light ball and low hoop. I have told him to hold his follow through once or twice. And practice shooting with left (to develop strength and coordination). But that's about it.

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PostPosted: 21 Jul 2014, 11:12 

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vinson -

At 4 yrs old, I wouldn't worry too much about his form just yet. Trust me, he has plenty of time to work on the different aspects of form. If he's laughing and having fun, he's got the proper shooting form right now. ; )

I have to echo what Jeff said here, don't get too twisted up about things right now. The number one priority is that your son has fun playing basketball. As a dad, just enjoy the time hanging out with your son and try not to get caught up in all the details of how he shoots, dribbles, passes, etc. If you have the resources to do so, I would highly encourage you to expose him to different sports.

On a side note for basketball, I used all kinds of little tricks to teach my son proper form and keep it fun when he was a bit older at 7-8. We'd play H-O-R-S-E and I would add things like shooting one handed, shooting with left hand only. swish only, etc. It was a fun way to sneak in some fundamentals. Heck, I still do that and he's 15.

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PostPosted: 23 Jul 2014, 08:11 

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Both of you have been very helpful; I highly appreciate the advice.


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PostPosted: 10 May 2016, 09:28 

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I am surprised to hear of an organized basketball team for 4 year olds. At 4, these kids are just learning to share and get along with other kids. 4 is way too young for a child to have the stress of an organized team. Let your child have fun. He sure has plenty of time for the commitment, and discipline of team sports. Enjoy!


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