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PostPosted: 02 Nov 2021, 08:04 

Posts: 1
I have been coaching my my daughter's basketball team for the last 3 years and they have gotten pretty decent. This year (6th grade), we have a new girl that signed up to play. She's never played before. She comes from a broken home and a really bad situation in her homelife. I feel terrible for her, but something like this is what she needs. Our second practice is coming up later this week and I am struggling with how I am going to coach her this year. My other girls are light years ahead of her with skill. I want to help her, but I also don't want to hinder the team I have. How do you handle something like this? Thanks.


PostPosted: 04 Nov 2021, 06:54 
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I can only share what has worked for me...

Most of my drills are fairly simple. We focus on the basics. Even at the high school level.

For the drills, everyone does pretty much the same thing but the speed and constraints might change based on ability. For example, when practicing crossover moves with a finish... the advanced players should have eyes up, go FULL speed, and maybe even finish with a contest from a coach or teammate. But a beginners will go slower, might have to dribble with eyes down a bit at first, and will finish uncontested. Exact same drill... just different speeds and constraints based on the players ability.

Every player dribbles, passes, pivots, shoots. No matter what level you play. It's just a matter of how fast they go, amount of space available and how difficult the constraints are.

As an example, sometimes I'll have a very advanced player or a super fast player. I have adjusted things for them. One player was so fast I had to give all defenders a 2 step head start in a chaser drill. Other times I'll require a ball handler to only use weak hand when playing 1v1. Or I'll use 2 defenders on them... 2v1.

With all that said, I have a few other suggestions...

Coach at the level of best players. Don't coach down to the beginners. Some will catch up, some won't. But overall I found it is best to usually coach at the level of the most advanced players and "big picture", all the players got the most from the practice.

Work with struggling players before practice, after practice, or on the side (assistant or yourself). Sometimes beginners do need special instruction... maybe they need to learn a retreat dribble everyone else is good at. So you just work with them before practice and maybe give them a simple drill to do at home.

Tell ALL your players not to worry about mistakes! We constantly encourage mistakes and players getting out of their comfort zone. We praise effort, not skill or talent. This allows everyone to improve faster... beginners and advanced players.

Diagram BLOB plays and send them home with new players. Practice the plays with them 10 min before each practice.

Defense and team offense... be patient. Be creative to find solutions without slowing down the rest. It can be done.

Anyway, those are a few ideas that have worked for me.

I think it's admirable to help this player!! With the tips above, I think you can help this new player and also keep the rest of your team going full steam! Help all of them!

Jeff Haefner

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