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PostPosted: 21 Oct 2009, 18:19 

Posts: 1
I'm a 7th & 8th grade girls coach and totally agree with you on teaching fundamentals at this age. 75% of my practices are focused on skill building. Unfortunately, the 5 & 6th grade coaches at the school don't. Their practices consist of goofing off and scrimmaging. You know the old "kids this age don't have long attention spans" and "just getting them in the gym is enough at this age" In fact they criticize me for not scrimmaging enough. I feel like I should approach them about the lack of fundamentals and that is going to hurt the kids' development in the long run. I don't want to start a fight but its hard to stand by and see the kids being cheated. Any advice on how to handle this situation? Thanks

PostPosted: 22 Oct 2009, 20:35 
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Posts: 3139

This is a difficult situation.... IF you were in charge of the entire program it would be easy, but I don't get that feeling. They seem to be running a "park" program while you are trying to get them prepared to play at the next level.
I think the best approach would be to sit down with them and discuss the goals of the program. Go in with a solid set of Goals and Objectives, the first being to prepare them to play at the next level... and the only way that will happen is to make them fundamentaly sound. Teaching them how to play m2m defense, how to shoot, pass and dribble. Setting screens, reading screens and how to set your man up to receive one. These are just a few items.
While I agree that it has to be fun, they still need to learn how to play the game. It's no fun playing poorly and losing big every time you set foot on the floor. Get some of their ideas and listen to them... see if you can meet them half way. That would be a start.
Do you have any players from your school that are playing at the high school level? IF you do, maybe have one or two come in and talk at the meeting and tell all the coaches what the girls need to know IF they are going to make it at the high school level.

Good luck and let us know what you think of this idea... and IF I have jogged a few thoughts of your own.


PostPosted: 22 Oct 2009, 20:56 
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Posts: 175
Location: Miami, Fl.
If you keep the periods short and challenge them, their attention won't wander. I work with kids that age all the time and I really get after them. If they are going to scrimmage, keep it short and don't play around with offenses or defenses, just let them play. Just a few minutes is enough.

There is thing called peripheral knowledge and by scrimmaging and not doing skill work, what you are teaching them is that skill work is not important.

Yogi Berra, the great Yankee catcher and philosopher, once said, "If the people don't want to go, you can't stop them." You are not going to convert non-believers. What you might try is setting up your own clinics and inviting everyone. Do your skill work with them and let them play with other people. Try a couple of times a week, use good progressions and you'll see results.

Don Kelbick

PostPosted: 27 Oct 2009, 11:15 
User avatar

Posts: 41
Location: San Antonio
I definitely agree with Don. I would approach them with the offer of finding a medium. There is always ways to have fun and and learn skill development at the same time. An approach I take with the youth alot is I will teach them a skill but let them know that it is preparation for the "competition". This way they are in tuned into the drill. I also make guidelines that if they skill (i.e. pivots, ball handling, etc.) are not performed right then thier team is either disqualified or penalized during the competition.

Coach Springer
Founder/Head Coach
Spartan Basketball

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