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PostPosted: 14 May 2018, 05:51 

Posts: 11
Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for me here.

My daughter is 9 and has been playing for the last 4 years. She plays in an under 11 yr old team on Saturday and plays under 12 championship comp on Friday nights. This is her first championship season.

We are in Australia.

My daughter just loves her basketball...can't get enough of it.

She's a good little player..very good defender. Scores in every match. She never gives up, always there to rebound. Always happy to defend the biggest player on the court. My daughter is tall for her age but very thin.

She has lost her confidence in dribbling the ball down the court. This has only happened in the last few months or so. She can do it but for some reason she's got it in her head that she can't do it. She said she can't get through or the players take the ball off her. She hates being on the bench and is worried that she will be pulled off if she looses the ball when she tries to dribble.

We spend a lot of time do handball drills, dribbling which she loves doing at home with me and I notice her confidence starts to build then drops off again when on court & dribbling.

I've played all my life.

Trials for next year's championship season will commence in October. She obviously keen to try out again but I'm thinking that this will go against her. I haven't said this to her but let's face it- they want players who are even willing to dribble the ball.

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Thank you :)

PostPosted: 15 May 2018, 12:25 

Posts: 900
Sounds like you have a good basketball player in the making. It's a huge plus when a younger player really enjoys the game.

It appears she's playing at least 2 years up in one league and 3 years up in another. That's a pretty big jump. I'm guessing this might be part of the problem. You mentioned this was her first championship year which I assume means you're running into some bigger and better teams. Even if she has the skillset to dribble just fine in practice or a low key game, going up against tougher players can get inside a player's head if they're not used to it. Maybe I'm on the wrong track, just throwing that out there. Are there other 9-year-olds up on the team?

In terms of what you can do, there's no shortage of YouTube dribbling drills. One major deterrent for someone trying to steal the ball is the dribbler being a real threat to blow by them. It sounds like she needs some confidence building, maybe a private coach for a few sessions?


PostPosted: 15 May 2018, 20:15 

Posts: 11
Hi Coach Rob,

Thank you so much for your reply. I really appreciate it.

The way the two competitions are structured are based on age:

Her Saturday competition is currently in the Winter Season. The Winter Age Groups ( odd numbers) are Under 9's, Under 11s, Under 13s, etc. As she was already 9 years of age as at 1 January 2018, she plays Under 11 age group.

In terms of her Championship Competition, Under 12s are made up of players who were born in 2007 & 2008. She is an August 2008 baby, so is lower age for her Championship Competition. For 2019, they will call for players born 2008 & 2009 to play Under 12s in 2019. I hope that all makes sense.

Yes, I agree with you in what you have written. The Friday night comp is a lot more fast paced and we do play against higher skilled players but my daughter can hold her own on the court. She does all that the coach asks of her and has taught them.

I will continue looking at dribbling drills for her to do at home. Maybe it's time and maturity. I have to keep reminding myself she is only 9...

I don't put pressure on her and am very gentle when we talk about her lack of confidence in dribbling. I just get frustrated inside as I know she can do it, I've seen her do it many times before...

I will also speak to her two coaches and see if one will do a one on one session with her to focus on her dribbling.

Thanks again.

Bball 2008

PostPosted: 16 May 2018, 05:11 
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Posts: 1279
Agreed. She's only 9... so young. It should be fun for her and the competition level should be adjusted so it's both fun (develops a love for the game) and to keep in sweet spot of development. Ideally they succeed 60-80% of time in practice in games. If they fail too much young kids start to get discouraged and lose confidence. If they succeed too much they are not getting challenged enough. So the 60-80% range is that sweet spot.

I would also do 1v1 full court dribble. Maybe have some passing options. Learn how to change speeds, dribble with eyes up, basic change of direction moves (cross over), and when to retreat trouble when need to create space. To really develop those PG level dribbling skills you need to mix in drills that have defenders.

Good luck.

Jeff Haefner

PostPosted: 02 Jul 2018, 20:51 

Posts: 11

I thought I'd pop back in with an update.

My daughter has been doing a lot of practicing outside her normal training. All lead by her not me. She's the type of kid who will go outside on her own and dribble, etc without prompting.

The last few games she has been dribbling a lot more and on Saturday drove to the basket to score the winning goal for her team. When she got the ball, the look on her face was of determination and she just took off and did a perfect lay-up to the basket.

I can see her confidence improving and she said she is feeling a lot more confident too.

My daughter had a lengthy chat with her Championship coach the other week ( I was there but the coach spoke to daughter directly) and her coach is very happy with how my daughter is developing as a player. She spoke to my daughter about how much my daughter has learnt from last September and daughter agreed. They do a lot of set plays in their championship game that my daughter would not have even heard of prior to playing Friday nights. My daughter really appreciated the chat with the coach and I think this chat alone has helped too.

It's school holidays and my daughter has drawn up a practice chart - each day she does a shooting practice (ie. Free throw) and records how many shots went in, etc. Again, she has done all this on her own.

PostPosted: 03 Jul 2018, 13:36 

Posts: 900
That's awesome! Thanks for the update. Keep encouraging her.


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