What’s the objective of youth basketball leagues?

A thread on the old Forum discussed 1st and 2nd grade basketball leagues. Personally, I find no reason for 1st and 2nd graders to play organized basketball, and suggest martial arts, gymnastics, swimming and/or soccer as sports that provide a better initial sporting experience.

However, if one runs a league for 1st and 2nd graders or puts his son or daughter into such a league, what are the objectives? Why play? Read more

Playmakers Basketball Development Leagues as a means to Increased Physical Activity

An oft-cited study by Gould, Feltz and Weiss of Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, found seven primary motivators for children’s sports participation:

  1. Fun
  2. Skill development
  3. Excitement and personal challenge
  4. Achievement and status
  5. Fitness
  6. Energy or tension release
  7. Friendship

Read more

Playmakers Basketball Development League as Physical Education Curriculum

For someone who played and loved sports as a child, I never really liked my P.E. classes. P.E. classes never seemed like real sports. Apparently, I am not alone. In an article titled “Student Activity Levels During a Season of Sport Education,” Peter A. Hastie and Stewart G. Trost write (Pediatric Exercise Science, 2002):

Sidentop has suggested that most sport within physical education rarely reproduces those features of sport that lead to its attractiveness, resulting in student claims of irrelevancy and boredom.

In the paper, the intervention measures the effectiveness of using a more sport or team-oriented approach to physical education which Sidentop called Sport Education; essentially imagining the block of time devoted to one sport as a mini-season. The intervention found that Sport Education can produce sufficient levels of moderate-vigorous activity, while not discriminating against lower-skilled players.

The Playmakers Basketball Development League offers an ideal Sport Education curriculum for the basketball lesson of a physical education class. The PBDL addresses the difficulties of playing basketball in a small gym with a large class and prevents numerous players from sitting out at any time. The PBDL teaches basic skills using a game-play model, enabling beginners and experienced players to play the game together.

If a physical education teacher uses a block practice instruction model for basketball, the teacher may focus on a simple skill like lay-ups or dribbling the basketball on the first day, but knowledge of lay-ups does not enable one to play a game or join confidently into a scrimmage. However, through a game-play model like the PBDL, beginners learn new skills like dribbling the basketball and making lay-ups while engaged in actual game-like play.

A P.E. teacher has two goals: (1) increase physical activity (fitness) and (2) teach/develop sport-skills. The concept of Sport Education enables instructors to meet these goals simultaneously, and the Playmakers Basketball Development League is a planned, organized six-week curriculum that uses the same ideas as Sport Education as a means for player development, learning and fun with youth basketball players.

By Brian McCormick
Author, Cross Over: The New Model of Youth Basketball Development
Director of Coaching, Playmakers Basketball Development League

Dribble Foosball Drill

Here is the Dribble Foosball Drill (via Casey Wheel) from the Playmakers Basketball Development League Transition League curriculum:

Tip Offensive & Defensive Transition Drill

Here is the Tip Transition Drill from the Playmakers Basketball Development League Transition League curriculum:

The Advantage Passing Drill 7v5

Here is the Advantage (7v5) Passing Drill from the Playmakers Basketball Development League Transition League curriculum:

Three-on Three Wildcat Rules

Here is the Three-on-Three Wildcat Rules Drill from the Playmakers Basketball Development League curriculum:

Individual Tag Ball-Handling Drill

Here is the Individual Tag Ball-Handling Drill from the Playmakers Basketball Development League Transition League curriculum:

Here is a second progression for individual tag, using shuffling instead of running. All players shuffle or ruffle (via Train 4 The game) – players’ legs cannot cross the midline of their bodies. Moving laterally, no crossover steps; moving forward or backwards, legs cannot cross the frontal plane.

Volleyball Passing Drill for Basketball

Here is the Volleyball Passing Drill (so named because we use the volleyball lines as the boundaries) from the Playmakers Basketball Development League Transition League curriculum (Thanks Danny):

Mirror Drill

Here is the Mirror Drill from the Playmakers Basketball Development League Rookie and Transition Leagues curriculums:

Next Page »

  • 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 →