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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2010, 14:04 

Posts: 1
I'm trying to get the Director of the recreation basketball league my daughter is in to lower the rim height for (at least) the 3rd grade girls. These kids are playing at 10 ft. rims and many are having trouble even reaching the basket, most of those who can reach the rim can only do so from very short range, and all of them are developing bad shooting form/skills because of the 10 ft. rim.

I saw the "what's wrong with youth basketball" article on your website, which included a bit on matching the age of the child with the height of the rim, and I plan to send that to the director to support my argument. Would you be able to point me to any more "official" guidelines or recommendations for youth basketball that include or address the benefits of lower rims for young players? Any assistance you can provide would be very much appreciated.

PostPosted: 27 Jan 2010, 14:09 
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Posts: 1187

When working with young players, always use a lower rim. ALL experts agree that it’s a huge mistake to use a 10 ft. rim. In most cases, an 8 ft. or 9 ft. rim is the way to go.

The biggest problem with kids today is that they use a full-sized ball, 10 ft. rim, and they have to “chuck it” to get the ball there.

This is where many players establish wrong habits in their shooting form. These habits often linger and hamper players well after they are strong enough and big enough to shoot properly at a ten foot hoop.

You’ll often find players that “chuck” the ball frequently miss to the left and right.

Getting rid of these habits takes a lot of time and effort, much more than is needed to establish correct habits in the first place.

So our advice is simple...


We also suggest that you use smaller basketballs. For kids 8 and under you can use mini-basketballs (7” in diameter). You’ll notice that their shooting form makes an undeniable improvement with the smaller ball. For 9 and 10 year olds, you can use a junior ball (8.75” in diameter), and 11 year olds can use a youth ball until they get to high school.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Other coaches on this forum -- PLEASE let us know if you agree with this concept and why you think it's so important.

Jeff Haefner

PostPosted: 27 Jan 2010, 14:17 
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Posts: 3139

How could anyone disagree with what you have written? :-)

Simply put, lower the baskets and use smaller balls and let the kids have some fun. They like to see the ball go in the basket too... and that doesn't happen to often with regulation balls and basket height! Well said Jeff!

NOW, IF we can just get those younger age group coaches / administrators etc, to do that... ALONG with stopping the pressing and zone defenses.... we might have something here.

PostPosted: 27 Jan 2010, 15:02 

Posts: 64
Location: Kentucky

I would encourage you to use this link as well to give to your administrator.
As coaches we are in the business to see players/children succeed. We must teach players the fundamentals of the game correctly and to their strengths according to their age or ability. Players must eventually learn the tools of the game such as proper passes, good spacing, and etc...In order to do so the game must be adjusted accordingly based on their age and ability.
Jeff did a great job with the post. I would be interested in knowing why the administrator believes players will succeed using regulation basketballs and 10 ft. goals.

Coach Hayden

PostPosted: 27 Jan 2010, 15:09 
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Posts: 3139
Good post Neil!

I think the big problem is that youth coaches and administrators do not know how to teach this game.... they need to go to some clinics, meetings with people in the know. (to be taught HOW to run a practice emphasizing fundamentals and having fun)

Somewhere, some group needs to sit down and write a directive on HOW to Teach Youth Basketball.....

Starting with 1st - 2nd graders all the way thru 8th grade. The teaching of ALL fundamentals, what defenses are allowed, when pressing may be implemented etc.
Teaching the kids how to dribble, pass, catch the ball, set screens and read them.... how to read defenses and SHOOTING the ball properly. (to name a few)

PostPosted: 27 Jan 2010, 17:17 

Posts: 1
No question about your comments. If you want to teach young athletes to shoot the ball, go with both a smaller ball and a lower rim. If you are just interested in exercise and some strength work, then use a men's basketball and a 10 foot rim, unless you want to use a medicine ball instead. If technique has anything to do with teaching, then make it possible physically as best as possible, for young athletes to get some success while working on the great stroke shooters MUST develop. The toughest part is when they graduate to a bigger ball/and/or a lower rim, but in several practices, the changes will begin to show.

PostPosted: 27 Jan 2010, 18:52 
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Posts: 315
Joe and all respected coaches: first of all I cant add anymore to what has already been offered. I am in total agreement with the lowering of the rims for very young players. If I can offer any credence to this topic, its from a perspective in China. First of all, coaches here have no concept of what coaching is all about they have never been taught how to run a practice let alone manage a game. I coach professional basketball here and really don't have to scout any of my opponents (I do) because i know exactly what they will do on both offense and defense. Here the 2-3 zone is the only defense used in my league except by me I am a pure M2M coach and it took me a long time to develop my system in my players. I have been to mainland china on many occasions and have witnessed first hand the poor shooting techniques displayed by young players because here in China, they don't see any reason to lower the rims. I have done many clinics here and have made that suggestion at everyone of them but it falls on deaf ears. Every kid here can dribble the ball between their legs, spin dribble, around the back they can do all sorts of things with the ball,but their shooting technique is awful. They shoot from behind thier heads, they "chuck" it up, they only use their arms and not their legs to get the ball to the basket because they have never been taught , the game in the US is played on 10' rims and that's the way we will play it in China. Passing the ball is another story and another area of failure. At one clinic, i used the son of one of the attendees to demonstrate my point about what happens to the body when a youngster cant get the ball to the basket. The do all sorts of things, contort the body, twist the body, shoot with two hands, I then put a piece of tape on the wall at around 8-9 ft. then i teach proper technique using that because the baskets don't go down here. I'm sorry to be so long winded, however, the US has been playing this game for over 100 years, and from what im reading, still many young coaches and administrators just don't get it!!!!! Coach Mac

PostPosted: 28 Jan 2010, 13:58 
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Posts: 191
Location: New Britain, CT.
Totally agree on a lowered rim for young beginners. My first years of coaching my son, 3rd and 4th grade Park & Rec (8 and 9 year olds), the rims were lowered to 8 1/2 feet. Which was perfect!! It allowed enough scoring to keep the kids happy and the parents applauding and it was at the right height to reinforce proper shooting form instead of "chucking".

As for a governing body to enforce/suggest rules for youth basketball....sounds good! Let's take this group on the road to instruct coaches on youth basketball.........Somehow I see a roadtrip to China!! Coach got room for us??? JK!!!

You guys are the best!! Making me a better coach one post at a time!!!

Coach A

PostPosted: 28 Jan 2010, 14:22 
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Posts: 3139
Coach A -

You seem to have your head on straight right now. You have some great ideas and are teaching the game the correct way.

We learn something new about this game every day... some one says something and it rattles my brain and then I think about it and bring something up that we did before or what I know that someone else has done before.

That's what I like about the group.... even the kids make us think.

Coach Mac could send us his Private Jet and we could go on a world tour... :-)

PostPosted: 28 Jan 2010, 22:08 
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Posts: 41
Location: San Antonio
Using a develomental approach to teaching shooting technique is common sense when we think about the stages of motor development a HUMAN goes through.

A proper jump shot takes the achievement of foot coordination, balance, deceleration, and accelration. Achievement of these skills is accomplished through thousands of proper repititions.

My favorite saying when teaching shooting is that "the ball will always mirror the body". When kids are forced to exert energy beyond the finesse movemnt of shooting, form will break down.

The has always has, does and will retard development.

Beyond that is the mental effect. I always tell my players that the difference between a good shooter and a great shooter is a great shooter has the form AND unshakeable confidence in their shot.

How can any player be confident in their shot if it's inconsistent?

Sorry for the long response. I'm a big advocate of this as well.

Coach Springer
Founder/Head Coach
Spartan Basketball

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