skilled but timid
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Author:  craigmcole [ 06 Jan 2016, 08:05 ]
Post subject:  skilled but timid

My daughter is 10 years old and in 5th grade. She is extremely skilled as you can see here however she is extremely timid when it comes to playing games with her team. She has an extreme fear of getting hurt and plays about 25% of what she is capable of doing. My wife and I have tried everything we know as well as the varsity coach and nothing seems to work. I would love any suggestions you might have!

Author:  Coach Rob [ 06 Jan 2016, 19:37 ]
Post subject:  Re: skilled but timid

Wow! That's some awesome dribbling for her age.

Tough to give a good answer without knowing more history or what you've tried so far, but I'll give it a shot. This is more common than you might think with variations on the theme and she's only 10. I witnessed all kinds of things at the 10 year old level and there's no way I could have predicted how these kids would turn out in terms of their basketball careers. I can tell you that some of the timid kids (my son included) turned out to be very good competitive basketball players. Some of the more aggressive kids ended up dropping basketball in middle school. That's not always the case, my point is that kids change A LOT from the ages of 10-18.

Some practical stuff to try and a few questions (apologies if you've already tried some of these):

-try some 1 v 1 with a good comfortable friend

-try some 2 v 2 or 3 v 3 in a casual setting with comfortable friends. No scoreboards, no refs, just fun at the local gym or outside.

-maybe a few sessions at a local karate place? I know sometimes kids that have a fear of contact or getting hurt have been helped with sessions like these. A lot of these places place the emphasis on self discipline and character with less contact, but still get the point across.

-have you tried to address that 'extreme' fear of getting hurt? No one likes getting hurt, but you described it as 'extreme' which makes me wonder if that isn't a big part of why she's not enjoying playing in games.

-is she playing with friends on her team? does she seem to have a good time hanging out around them and at practice?

It must be frustrating to see the talent your daughter has and feel like she's not playing up to her potential. You have a hard little worker there. Give it some time, a lot of changes will happen in the next 5 years.

Author:  craigmcole [ 06 Jan 2016, 20:41 ]
Post subject:  Re: skilled but timid

I greatly appreciate your response and encouragement. She actually had a game tonight and showed some improvement I think it's just going to take some patience. I have tried often to get some 3 on 3 pickup but it's so hard to get kids together like the old days to just play for fun I'm going to try again though. I had also thought about karate lessons it's funny you should say that. maybe I need to explore that further. I really am thankful for your response and taking the time to spur us on!

Author:  JeffHaefner [ 07 Jan 2016, 06:59 ]
Post subject:  Re: skilled but timid

As suggested, I think 1v1 is a good thing. Lots of 1v1 and other small sided games like 3v3 are very helpful, regardless of the "timed" issues. We play 1v1 in every single one of our practices. Often times it's 1v1 advancement with no shots so we get more reps in dribbling skill and defense.

I think you're right, time and patience is key. But I do know some high school kids that are timid... not reaching their potential. So I'd encourage and give positive reinforcement in regards to hustle plays and being aggressive.

I also have a 5th grade daughter. She used to be a little timid... I thought she could play a lot harder and more aggressive... but she did just enough so it wasn't much of an issue.

For her things started clicking last year during Italian 3v3 drills. It's a very fast paced game where you can score at either basket. Bounce the ball off the center of the court, go get it and try to score. 5 points for assists. 1 point for made baskets. Players love it!!!

You have to be aggressive to get the ball and after a while something just was triggered with my daughter. She was a beast during the drill (one of the smallest players).... ripping the ball away from other players and fighting for it. Ever since then she has been very aggressive and scrappy on defense... stealing the ball tying it up, getting on the floor, etc.

Good luck!

Author:  craigmcole [ 07 Jan 2016, 08:35 ]
Post subject:  Re: skilled but timid

You guys are so helpful thanks for taking the time to respond. Would I be able to get the exact details of the italian 3v3 drill it seems like a great drill? Thanks

Author:  JeffHaefner [ 07 Jan 2016, 13:44 ]
Post subject:  Re: skilled but timid

Kinda hard to explain. Looks like this is pay for access but it's listed here and that's the coach I learned it from.

Players start in middle of the court. 3v3. Slam the ball or throw it in the air to simulate a really high jump ball start of the game. Players fight for it. You can then score at either basket. Players will figure out you can dribble all the way to one basket, then change directions and dribble to the other end for an assist. You get 1 pt for a made basket and 5 pts (or whatever you want) for assisted baskets.... trying to encourage creativity.

As soon as shot is made or out of bounds, etc... yell "next group", slam the ball as they are coming in and it's off to the races. Very fast paced, lots of possession, controlled chaos.

Author:  amarirae2101 [ 09 Feb 2016, 13:12 ]
Post subject:  Re: skilled but timid

I have been working with my 10 year old son for the last 4 years on fundamental basketball, protecting the ball when he is dribbling, and dribbling. My problem with him is that as much as I have worked with him which is 3 days a week and with what he has learned through me, practices, and camps. He doesn't apply in games, it's like he forgets everything we have worked on once the game starts. I'm looking for some advice so I can help him apply the basketball knowledge he has and apply it when necessary in games.

Author:  Coach Rob [ 10 Feb 2016, 13:31 ]
Post subject:  Re: skilled but timid

amarirae2101 wrote:
He doesn't apply in games, it's like he forgets everything we have worked on once the game starts. I'm looking for some advice so I can help him apply the basketball knowledge he has and apply it when necessary in games.
My first piece of advice is after every game (regardless if it was a good, bad or ugly one) say some version of this statement to your son, "I enjoyed watching you play out there!" and leave it at that. Go have an ice cream or do something non basketball related. The temptation to review the game right after the game will be overwhelming at times. "If you would have..." "Next time try...." "We've talked about this before, but you need to..." "That one play..." Trust me, being a dad/coach I've been there many, many times. The best thing I ever did is follow the advice above that an older wiser coach told me. Three days later when you're out on the court messing around with your son, that's a good time to work on some skills and drills.

Regarding your son executing what he's learned in a game, that's one of the most difficult things to do in sports at any level. You hear it all the time, especially in the pros, we need to execute out there today. At age 10, that court can be a big place. Throw in parents yelling instructions from the bleachers, coaches yelling instructions from both benches, and refs blowing whistles, it can be pretty chaotic for a 10 yr old.

When I worked with my son (3 days after the game), I'd pick one or two skills and focus on those. Then encourage him when I saw it in a game. So, I might modify my, "I enjoyed watching you play out there today" into "I enjoyed watching you play out there today, you really snagged a ton of rebounds" or whatever skill I was working with him on.

I also tried to make the drills fun when working 1 on 1 with him. He always wanted to play H-O-R-S-E, so to incorporate some skills, I'd make it swish only or you had to dribble with your left hand 5 times before you took a shot. We'd have free throw shooting contests for the most in a row. Best 4 out of 5, winner got a shake or ice cream, loser paid. I made it close, but somehow he would come out on top.

A lot will change from ages 10-16. Lots of encouragement and keep it fun.

Author:  amarirae2101 [ 10 Feb 2016, 14:09 ]
Post subject:  Re: skilled but timid

Thank you for the advice Coach, I will use it and I hope it will produce results

Author:  JeffHaefner [ 10 Feb 2016, 15:05 ]
Post subject:  Re: skilled but timid

Good advice.

I would just add the emphasis of competitive drills. You can dribble all day long with two basketballs, around cones, zig zag, etc.... but none of that really happens in a game.

I believe that to develop skill you need to simulate what actually happens in a game. So a large part of our practice incorporates 1v1, 1v2, 2v2, 3v3, etc. Lots of small sided games simulating chunks of what happen in games. With this practice you learn to change speeds, when to cross over and when you have to retreat a little so you have room to cross over, how to out of out bad spots, how to combine changing direction with change of speeds, etc, etc.

Nothing beats a simple game of 1v1 full court advancement or 1v1 advancement in a small area. Great for self discovery and improvement.

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