get the most out of my star player
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Author:  Coach Kris [ 21 Oct 2010, 01:44 ]
Post subject:  get the most out of my star player

I have got one very good technical player (14 year old). He has been the best of his team for years, just because he's working very hard off the court. But this recent year he's having some problems. He can't find his game, making wrong decisions and is not giving 100% in defense like he used to do. It's starting to frustrate him and that's not doing his game any good too. The last few weeks I've been (maybe too) tight on him, but I just know he can do better. How can I get the most out of him? Please help.


Coach Kris (from Holland)

Author:  Coach Sar [ 21 Oct 2010, 06:36 ]
Post subject:  Re: get the most out of my star player

This is a tiough age on him growing up..... he needs to have some fun playing this game...... the one thing you learn the longer you are in this game is that the older the kids get the faster/quicker, stronger and better they get. And its not all at the same time for kids. You say he is fundamentaly sound, tell him to stick with that while playing. Do what he does best and play great D, the rest will take care of itself. 14 is like 8th grade or freshman in high school here... they are a little flaky to begin with (haha) but a lot of fun to work with.
Be patient with him and get him to be patient with himself. I'm sure that all of us have had kids like this.... wanting to be like MIKE at a young age.... Things don't always go the way we want them to every time we play..... sometimes we eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats us.... its the nature of the beast.
Otherwise they would just look at each team and say, they are better, call in the score. Have you ever upset a team you had no business beating?
Tell him to watch some high school, college and even pro games and he will see guys good players playing poorly some nights..... it happens.
IF I were you I would lighten up on him and let him find his way........ coach him but go a little easier.... every kid is different - some respond when we are tough on them and some just melt.

Give us some examples and maybe we can tell you something more specific and also, let us know how its going.... if you decide to back off a little bit.

Author:  JoeHaefner [ 21 Oct 2010, 06:41 ]
Post subject:  Re: get the most out of my star player


Coach Sar offers some great advice. You may also want to read these articles and listen to this audio from Don Kelbick:

Personally, I've scared kids in the attempt to make them play hard and be disciplined. It's hard to score many points when your players are shaking every time they touch the ball.

Author:  Coach Sar [ 21 Oct 2010, 06:45 ]
Post subject:  Re: get the most out of my star player

I know what you mean Joe, I got an 18 year old senior close to tears because I got all over him in a game....... I looked at him and said.... " Let me put this a little differently " and we both laughed. He played a lot better after that. We have to know what works with each kid.

Author:  JoeHaefner [ 21 Oct 2010, 06:49 ]
Post subject:  Re: get the most out of my star player

Yeah. Some players respond great to a good butt-chewing. If I rip into other players, they play worse. You quickly learn how to work with the kids differently after the first few weeks.

Author:  Coach Kris [ 21 Oct 2010, 06:57 ]
Post subject:  Re: get the most out of my star player

I'm coaching this kid for years now, he is outstanding compared to his teammates and they look up to him. He used to determine everything that happened on the field. But I want a team not based by one player. I want a team where all players are important, I learned him that last year, he had some trouble with understanding that, because he thought I was saying he was doing wrong, but I just wanted him to make the extra pass more often, be more a teamplayer. Everyone here at the club has great expectations of him and they also see that he is not playing to his potential. So it's not just me who is pressuring him. That makes it extra difficult, because if I losen up on him, there will be others who push him, or do you think that it even then will effect?

It's a good idea to let him focus on his defense, haven't looked at it that way. Maybe I was looking a bit too much at what went wrong instead of coaching him to his old level.

An example was last game. We play a new fast break for them in which I want to pass the ball as soon as there is a teammate in front of you. But he has his natural feeling of dribbeling too much. We all know these players right? He is a good passer normally in half court offenses, but he dribbeles too much in full court, which results that in passes were send too late. He keeps dribbeling too much, I'm trying to teach him this for weeks now, meanwhile other kids do see it and pass at the right moment.


Author:  JeffHaefner [ 21 Oct 2010, 07:03 ]
Post subject:  Re: get the most out of my star player

Maybe there are some factors outside of basketball affecting him? Most (but not all) players need their priorities outside of basketball straight. If you have unfinished homework, family problems, friend problems that need addressed, etc... that can (but not always) lead into your performance on the court. All this other stuff that you have not addressed is called "mental clutter".

Author:  Coach Kris [ 21 Oct 2010, 07:08 ]
Post subject:  Re: get the most out of my star player

There might indeed be some problems at home, but I also think the pressure on him from inside the club and he is being too hard on himself I think. But I don't know how to deal with that.

Author:  Coach Sar [ 21 Oct 2010, 07:09 ]
Post subject:  Re: get the most out of my star player


First of all, tell him that YOU are the COACH.... and that he doesn't have to listen to others... and then you might tell them to please back off and let you handle this.

You might just sit down with him and explain that he is the QB/Coach on the floor, that HE runs the team out there. He doesn't have to do it ALL ... his job is to get the offense started keeping turnovers at a mininmum. Talk to him about ALL the POSITIVES first and he will be more abt to listen to other suggestions. Talk to him about how you love the way he plays defense and how good he is at that.

You put in a new fast breaks system.... he is used to the old one where he dribbled it a lot? That will take some time to break that habit, be patient with him and break it down in practice..... do it every day..... run your break where he gets the outlet pass and the first thing he needs to do is turn and look up the court and see if there is someone open, IF he is, get him the ball, IF NOT, push the ball off the dribble. This takes time. We did this in our practices when we put in a secondary break..... it worked well for us... he is a little younger but young kids respond when they know you care. I'm not saying to quit coaching him... I'm saying to just lighten up a little bit and see how it goes. He might repsond better if you do... you can try it and let us know.

Does this help? Let us know, this is an interesting situation.

Author:  Coach Kris [ 21 Oct 2010, 07:14 ]
Post subject:  Re: get the most out of my star player

That's a great way to deal with it! Thanks! I will definetly try it and will tell you the results!

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