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PostPosted: 24 Feb 2015, 09:44 

Posts: 4
Just came across your website. I love the information and it falls in similar lines of thinking with my own beliefs.

After weekend of frustrating tournaments with my young son I am came looking for some information. My boy is in 3rd grade. He is playing on a competitive boys team in our town. This isn't a try out team but they are playing competitive tournaments. My son has a decent level of skill but is not an aggressive kid by nature at this point. The coaches are nice guys (2 of the 3 played college ball) but at times they worry more about winning than developing kids.

Here is my struggle. I am torn from having my son continue to play on this team or starting another team that focuses on player development and fun. The big struggle for me is the better players and my sons best friends play on this team. I have asked him several times if he would prefer to play on the team or have me coach a team that may not be as good but he would learn more and have fun. He wants to play with his friends.

I played college football so I am not a basketball expert but I did play through varsity level in High School and I still play 2-3 times a week. I feel I could get more out of the kids. I have offered to help the current coaches but they are really set in there ways.

I also haven't put my concerns to the coaches. I coach other sports and I understand the pressures they get from all the parents and it can be a pain when multiple parents are whining. I don' want to be that guy.

Thanks for any insight you can provide.


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PostPosted: 24 Feb 2015, 14:13 

Posts: 212
Can you explain in what ways the current coaches are putting winning ahead of player development?


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PostPosted: 24 Feb 2015, 15:00 

Posts: 4
90% of practice is running play sets

Very little individual skill development

Switched to zone to compete

Playing time. (They did there best to keep equal but at times they completely go away from it.)

A few kids never started a game.

Plays most aggressive kids

Start the 5 best players for a few games and stuck with them throughout

Again my son is not in the top 5, out of 10 kids I would put him at 7 or 8. He plays good defense, good passer, really good ball handling, good shot. Very little aggressiveness though which limits his scoring opportunities and he doesn't rebound or get after 50/50 balls very well.

I asked my son again if he would prefer for me to put together a team that focuses on equal playing time and player development. He wants to play with his friends but he does get frustrated during games that he doesn't play much.

What would I do different.

80% of practices would be drill based working on fundamentals and player development. I would rotate between boring drills and games to keep it upbeat and fun.

Drill would be planned to build off one another. I did this with flag football and I had incredible results.

I would have a very basic offense that is easy to run so we wouldn't have to spend much time on it.

Play strictly man defense no matter what other teams do or competition level.

I would have set structure to my playing time. It would be set prior to the game and only adjusted on foul trouble. Kids would all play equal time. For the first 34 minutes of the game. The final 6 minutes of playing time would be based on the kids giving the best effort and playing the best.

Starters would be rotated gamely so each kid gets equal starts.

Winning wouldn't be a priority but I would prefer for them to have some success, I wouldn't want them to loose all games


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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2015, 09:34 
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If the coach spent 90% of the time running set plays in practice I would coach the team myself or find another team. That is my opinion. That of course assumes you can find a team that puts in a good environment (setting good example for him, learning life lessons, etc). I'd say the priorities when choosing a team are:

- having fun and fostering a love for the game
- learning life skills, character, and lessons
- learning fundamental skills

It sounds like your current team has number 1 and 2. But is missing number 3.

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Jeff Haefner
http://www.BreakthroughBasketball.com


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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2015, 09:52 

Posts: 4
JeffHaefner wrote:
If the coach spent 90% of the time running set plays in practice I would coach the team myself or find another team. That is my opinion. That of course assumes you can find a team that puts in a good environment (setting good example for him, learning life lessons, etc). I'd say the priorities when choosing a team are:

- having fun and fostering a love for the game
- learning life skills, character, and lessons
- learning fundamental skills

It sounds like your current team has number 1 and 2. But is missing number 3.


I don't see it happening becoming involved with coaching this team. They don't want help.

Here is the problem though. I have offered to set up another team and coach. My son told me he wants to play with his friends and that he would prefer to work on skill development with me on the side. The question is do I just pull him off even though he doesn't want to and start a new team?

I am a little stuck. Good thing I have another son that is 2 years younger but he is the same size. I can work on some drills with the both of them in the off season and during the season.


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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2015, 15:28 

Posts: 892
I wouldn't pull him off the team if he wants to play with his friends. I can understand your concern about the fundamentals, but if your son is having fun overall, I'd roll with it for now. If your son was miserable, this would be a no-brainer.

Without knowing all the details, I'm guessing some of his friends get more playing time and are enjoying this team?

Is this the only league in your town? In other words, are these coaches going to continue from league to league with the same kids? Is there an opportunity for you to coach a team on the side in a 3 v 3 league or do you have to be in direct competition with these coaches?

I don't think there's an easy answer here, since we're talking 3rd grade. A 3rd grader isn't going to understand the need to have better practices, they're more concerned with seeing and playing with their friends.

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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2015, 11:46 

Posts: 176
Here's my take. If your son wants to stay and play with his friends then let him. He needs to learn to compete and get aggressive.

If you try to start another team focused on development be prepared to get clobbered during games. While everyone wants their kid to develop, nobody wants to get blown out every game. Been there.

So I would focus on working with your kids and maybe some of their buddies. Run extra practices for them focused on those developmental things. If you could get a group together and spend a couple hours per week, they could learn the fundamentals and then go play games with the other team. Saves you the aggravation of having a team. Just a thought.


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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2015, 12:22 

Posts: 158
Be careful with that.

If the coach of the team learns you are holding extra practices outside their observation, they could perceive it as an attempt to undercut their authority.

If they perceive it that way, then the results could be punitive benchings for the players involved. If you are going to drill, and develop the right way, then forming your own team and implementing your own philosophies is the way to do it.

Golfman is correct, at the start you'll probably get hammered more times than you will win. But I believe that there is a lot to learn in losing, and that the kids can see growth over the long course if your beliefs and foundations are strong, and if you do things the right way.

Youth basketball is not high school basketball. No Sportcenter, no ESPN, no highlight films. No one will even remember or care what their record is or was in a few years. What they would carry with them is the skills they are taught, the core values that are instilled, and the principles by which they live.

Just my thoughts.

Brian Sass


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PostPosted: 01 Mar 2015, 12:11 

Posts: 176
briansass wrote:
Be careful with that.

If the coach of the team learns you are holding extra practices outside their observation, they could perceive it as an attempt to undercut their authority.

If they perceive it that way, then the results could be punitive benchings for the players involved. If you are going to drill, and develop the right way, then forming your own team and implementing your own philosophies is the way to do it.


Brian Sass


If the coach is offended that a kid and his buddies are learning to shoot, pass and dribble on their own time, then the decision is made really easy. The guy's a schmuck and it's time to move on.


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PostPosted: 01 Mar 2015, 12:14 

Posts: 158
That was my point.

You can't have it both ways. If you are going to do that, then make the new team. What he has said leads me to believe they would not be open to that kind of thing being done.


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