When it comes to coaching youth basketball, you might take a different approach to keeping stats.
In fact, if you talk about stats with your team, you may want to completely ignore the amount of points that individuals score. That way, your team doesn't suffer from a bunch of ball hogs.
For our youth teams, we have three separate categories that we like to focus on.
You will find that this could transform your team into an unselfish and hard-working group that plays the game the right way.
Hustle stats include rebounds, forced jump balls, steals, blocks, deflections, and forced turnovers.
There are a few benefits to focusing on hustle stats.
1 - You can always control your effort. You can't always control whether the ball goes in the hoop.
So if you rebound, get deflections, and play disciplined defense every single game, you give yourself a good chance to compete no matter how many points you score.
2 - Everybody can hustle. This means that even the lesser-skilled players can feel good about their production. Everybody feels like they contribute to the team.
Hustle stats will also prevent bad shots because a player will feel valued even if they don't shoot the ball.
Positive Touches - High Fives, Fist Bumps, etc.
I'm a big believer in creating a positive culture and improving team chemistry. One way to be a great teammate is to give out positive touches.
As shown in a past article, when Steve Nash played, he always gave out high-fives, fist bumps, and other positive touches. This could be part of the reason that many players had career seasons when playing with Nash.
Scientific studies show that Positive Human Touches:
- Reduces Stress
- Lowers Heart Rate
- Boosts Immune System
- Releases Oxytocin
- Creates feelings of connection, trust, & bonding
- Strengthens Relationships
So this can be one way to create better team chemistry.
In case you haven't read the story of How I Created Unselfish Passing Machines With My Youth Team, good passes is a great stat to teach players how to share the ball.
In my situation, recognizing players for good passes led to extra passes and ball movement.
I literally had players sprinting back to our huddles after substitutions, timeouts, and other breaks asking how many good passes they had.
This teaches your players good habits that will benefit their long-term development.
Optional Bonus Stat: Value Point Score
Danny Miles's Value Point Score is a simple calculation.
2x(Field Goals Missed) + Free Throws Missed + 2x(Fouls) + 2x(Turnovers)
*Recoveries include Steals, Blocks, and Charges Taken. Players are awarded one-and-a-half points (1.5) per charge taken.
The beauty of the system is that it motivates your players to take good shots, take care of the ball, and play hard.
You simply show them how the score goes down if they take low percentage shots, turn the ball over, and foul too much.
What's great is that you can track all of the VPS stats with the Breakthrough Stats App.
A word of caution: You want to be careful with how you share the VPS scores. I do not advise to share everybody's scores publicly to the team, especially with players 12 years old (6th grade) and under.
Some youth athletes may not contain the emotional maturity to handle lower scores. Most can handle it, but a few will not. As a result, you could shatter the confidence of some players and stunt development.
Even though, you use it internally to gauge process, you will pick and choose how you share them individually. With the players, you want to use it as a teaching tool to get them to play the right way.
So you can share it on an individual basis for when you feel like it will be a productive for a player. With some players, you can talk about the score every game. With others, you might have to wait until they have a better game.
That is why I list the VPS score as an optional fourth stat.
Focusing on hustle stats, positive contacts, the value point score, and good passes have helped me tremendously in the past. And I believe they can really help your team as well.
If you decide to use our Breakthrough Stats App for your stat tracking, be sure to get parents to help keep the stats.
That way, you can focus on coaching.
What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...