Should Youth Basketball Practices be Fun?

by on October 12, 2009
in Fun

My friend Sefu Bernard posted the link to this video on his twitter feed. Enjoy.

How does the video relate to basketball practice? If making it fun to walk up the stairs encourages more people to walk up the stairs, can a coach change his players’ behavior through fun drills as opposed to yelling or running?

Basically, do drills need to be fun?

When players do not pay attention at practice, or when a coach believes that the players are not playing hard, coaches tend to yell or make the players run. Why?

Running does not motivate the players to play harder or pay attention. If anything, this behavior creates an antagonistic relationship between coach and player. Instead, a coach wants to create an environment where the coach and players work together to meet similar goals.

When I see players losing focus, I change the drill. I want to end a drill at its peak, before the effort, intensity, execution and interest start to wane.

I also try to keep drills fresh so players feel like they are constantly learning something new. For instance, rather than doing zigzag defensive slides, I use a drill called “Mirror Defense.” Rather than do straight-line ball handling drills, I play tag. My goals are the same, but the drills are more active, competitive and fun.

By Brian McCormick
Director of Coaching, Playmakers Basketball Development League

Sharing is caring!

  • What Is A Playmaker?

    Who decided that a point guard has to be small? More importantly, what is a point guard? We expect a point guard to be a leader and have a high basketball I.Q. Why don’t we expect or challenge all players to develop this game awareness? Why rely on only one player? Read more →
  • The PBDL Concept

    English soccer academies wait until players are 11 to play full 11v11 soccer; in Italy, youth basketball players participate in skill-oriented clinics at 6-years-old, but start competitive games at 12. In the United States, kids play 5v5 full court games and compete for national championships when they are 8-years-old.

    Read more →

  • Starting A PBDL

    The PBDL emphasizes learning and development. Presently, players and parents have numerous recreation options - leagues based on fun and equal participation, typically for beginners - and numerous competitive opportunities - teams focused on strategy, game preparation and winning. There are few true development leagues - until now.

    Read more →