Youth Basketball Practice PlansBasketball practice plans and award certificate templates for youth basketball coaches. We took 4 of our most popular basketball products and bundled them together, and tried to price them at an irresistible number. This season, you’re hoping that your players will learn and play to the best of their abilities, parents will enjoy watching the action, and everyone will have fun. How to keep you players engaged throughout the course of a long season and at every practice.  How to balance repetition with variety so that kids stay interested. Preparing your team for different situations that come up in the course of a game and season.  What should players do when they face a zone press?  How to inbounds the ball from the sidelines to create a scoring opportunity?
A guide for volunteer basketball coaches — especially those coaching girls in 4th – 8th grades — provides an easy to follow approach to coaching and managing your team.
O’Halloran’s “Never Forget They’re Kids” philosophy places an emphasis on learning, having fun and creating memorable experiences for players.
This basketball coaching book covers important fundamental basketball topics like defensive and offensive skills, rebounding know-how, shooting technique (including the 2 most common shooting flaws for this age group and how to address them), your coaching approach on the bench and practice preparation. Includes 114 basketball  certificates to recognize players — both boys and girls — coaches, team parents and more. Most coaches teach plays for inbounding the ball underneath their offensive basket, and have structured plays for inbounding against a press after a made basket against their team. For many teams, especially at younger ages, some of the best open looks players will get at the basket will come as a result of defense. If the best ball handler and playmaker on your team happens to be the tallest, don’t be afraid to have that player bring the ball up.
Without wearing your team out, you can still cover a lot of topics in some pre-game warm-ups. Teaching players the importance of being in position to shoot, pass or dribble with each possession is one of the strongest signs of a well-coached, offensive basketball team. Basketball is inherently a fun sport, and typically youth basketball coaches will find ways to make it fun for players. We all know the type of youth basketball coach that stands up the entire game — every game.
It’s as if they’ve watched NBA games or ESPN’s Sports Center and taken their cues on how to coach by listening to the broadcasters and by watching the sideline antics of some coaches. What’s not shown during games and highlights is that there’s so much more to coaching than what happens during game time. In the same way that the most critical factor in determining the quality of an education is the quality of the teacher, the most critical factor in determining the success of a season is the quality of the coach. My wife works at a wonderful school where the motto is “Not for school, but for life.” The school’s founders clearly understood that students’ time in school was really preparation for something much bigger. There’s a reason that classroom teachers plan out their year, plan out their month, plan out their week and plan out their day. A school teacher will collect materials for their class from various sources including training materials, other teachers, books, seminars and from materials used in past years. From grade school thru college, it’s not uncommon for teachers on the first day of class to review their expectations with their classes.
By coming to class with a sense of purpose, some organization that enables them to use time well, and real enthusiasm helps great teachers get a lot out of students.
Finding ways to engage students might mean being able to relate on subject matters beyond the intended course.
At certain points in the school year or season; great teachers and coaches reflect on their own work.
Just as most great trial lawyers will tell you that cases are won or lost before they reach court in research and preparation, most great basketball coaches know that games are won based on practice and preparation.
When coaches come prepared with a practice plan, players learn more, coaches can focus on teaching in the moment vs.
In basketball, kids usually want to shoot and are impatient about learning proper technique. Here are some Kansas Basketball Academy youth shooting drills that encourage muscle memory and discipline.
For this drill, it's important for coach to emphasize footwork and form, not making the shot.
Coach should emphasize form and footwork: feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent and hands in shot-ready position. Place chairs or cones at the elbows and in the middle of the free throw line. Players start a few feet behind the free throw line and work on taking a pass and stepping into a shot. Join STACK MVP and gain instant FREE access to resources that have helped millions of people jump higher, run faster, get stronger, eat smarter and play better. Youth Basketball Offensive Play 11 is a very simple, yet highly effective play that creates an easy last-second shot and scoring opportunity!This play utilizes multiple screens and cuts to create shots close to the basket. Keep in mind that there is so much to learn about Youth Basketball Offense Basics that it would be impossible to cover all the information on one page.
An Offensive “Play” is a “planned” pattern taught to the players to keep the players “organized” on the court – Plays give the team a more structured opportunity to score a basket vs. There are many types of offenses, and each have several variations to them (there is not just one type of zone offense – there are many). These are the players on a team that are usually the best outside shooters, good ball handlers, fast, and usually the smaller players on the court. A great offense is very disciplined, works as a team, demonstrates patience, executes and attacks at the right moment. Not to take anything away from defense, but offensive skills take more time to “master” than defensive skills. Let’s review some of the fundamental skills used on offense that all players should know, and what coaches should be “drilling” in their practices.
A Shooters Range is basically the distance from the basket where players can make a high percentage of their shots. In a game situation the “ball handler” is usually the player (or players) that can dribble the ball extremely well.
The Jump Stop is one of the most important footwork skills that all players must learn and use. Movement without the Ball refers to offensive players who do not have the ball and tend to stand still.
Hopefully you get the bigger picture and see that there’s more to a basketball offense than just shooting the ball. Exactly What Happened 9:10 pm By GPetrin Exactly What Happened this Season? A third way to dribbling while watching TV is to sit on your butt, spread your legs a little, and dribble between your legs. Go ninja and karate chop the ball with both hands, use your knuckles, or use your fists to pound the ball. As a side note, if anyone ever makes fun of you for dribbling or having a basketball with you, don’t worry about it. One thing any of your passing drills need to do is always reinforce the basic fundamental skills of passing.
The appendices include diagrams and graphics to enable you to quickly grasp and explain coaching concepts. The topics covered in these practice plans, and the order in which they’re taught, have led to many a successful season, dozens of tournament trophies and a Minnesota State Championship title.
By having a complete plan in place for every pre-practice meeting and every practice, you’ll be more relaxed and be able to enjoy the process more. Basketball is a fun sport, but even the most dedicated players can get bored or not feel challenged unless the coach keeps them engaged throughout the season.  These practice plans will keep your players involved as they improve their games and have a lot of fun in the process.

You’ll learn successful strategies and tactics to use for your team on offense and defense to make your team more competitive. A guide for setting team objectives, running your first meeting with players, and your first meeting with parents.  Includes a template for your first email to parents.
Suggestions on how to create a team website easily, incorporate film sessions for your team and more.
They were always well-received but I can’t wait to hear the reaction to these awards.
Print as many of these basketball award certificates as you like on the paper of your choice. These professionally designed certificates look great on refrigerators, bulletin boards and bedroom walls. You may want to slow down a scoring run of the opposing team, rest your players after a tiring stretch, switch your offense or defense approach, or prepare your team for a critical possession. Teach your players how to steal off the dribble, including which angle to take and how to tip the ball without fouling.
Because of the player’s height, many coaches might tend to play this player in the center position. If the other team’s frontline is taller at every position than your team, but your guards are taller, consider posting up your guards on offense.
Don’t be afraid to review key concepts, inbound plays, zone offense, etc., during this time. For passes over 15 feet long, have your players ask themselves 2 questions: 1.) Will the completed pass give our team a distinct advantage?
The success of a coach at any level of play isn’t as dependent on their coaching from the bench and how well they can work over the referees during a game, but rather how they prepare and teach their players before the game begins.
Great teachers and coaches know that certain times throughout the year will present great teachable moments where life lessons can be taught. Likewise a coach will use materials from coaching books, websites, other coaches, and clinics.
To get a lot of people moving in the same direction, it helps to have some shared understanding.
Giving players and parents an early review as to how things are going on the basketball team is also important. Great basketball coaches like John Wooden, Dean Smith and Don Meyer were all great teachers. But youth basketball shooting drills need to start with footwork before moving on to shooting form.
With each drill, use a game speed progression that accommodates your players' skill levels. Types of offenses include: Zone Offenses, Motion Offenses, Press Breakers, Transition (Fast Break), and Inbounds plays (all these types of offenses have different names for easy identification). Zone Offense: A Zone Offense is a type of offense that is run within the half court area vs.
Transition Offense (Fast Break): Transition Basketball Offense is when the defense “converts” into offense.
In-bounds Play: An In-bounds play (also called “out of bounds” play) is the best way to put your offense in a good position for a quick score or to get the ball in safely (without the defense stealing the ball). A guard must look to score or get the ball in to the post players when the opportunity is there.
Usually size matters on offense – a very small player can’t play in the post, but can shoot a 3-pointer, a tall player may not be able to bring the ball up the court like a smaller point guard, but they can get rebounds. Players must understand their shooting range and try not to attempt shots from beyond their range. Triple Threat: The “Triple Threat” stance is likely the most valuable skill that a coach can teach their players – it is used at all levels of basketball.
Usually the missed shot bounces off the backboard or rim (or sometimes doesn’t hit anything at all – which is called an air ball). Fakes: There are several types of basic “fakes” that are used in basketball – the Pass Fake, Shot Fake, Head Fake, and Ball Fake to name a few. There are different types of “fakes.” The “pass fake” is very effective and can throw off many defenders if executed correctly.
The Point guard is usually the best “ball handler” on the team, but make no mistake about it – all players must learn good ball handling skills! The Jump Stop is a move that players use to properly “stop” suddenly from a jumping or running motion.
Screens are also used in zone offenses and many other circumstances (inbounds plays, press breakers, etc). I don’t know if any one thing works, but I do know that it takes a while for younger players to fix a confidence problem. A good offensive player must be able to shoot, pass, dribble, catch, rebound, use the triple threat position, use pass fakes, move off the dribble, screen, and have good hand quickness and footwork skills (understand the importance of youth basketball offense basics). In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Try to get so fast at the two hand dribbles that it sounds like a typewriter or a drum in a marching band. I know there are drills out there that focus on how to handle a poor pass - drills where you do things like throw the ball at a players feet as he is on the move, and he needs to adjust and gain control.
For whatever reason, I have found this more of an issue with passing than with other skills such as shooting or ballhandling.
He authored Never Forget They’re Kids — Ideas for Coaching your Daughter’s 4th ? 8th Grade Basketball Team and co?created “The Well?Prepared Coach™” line of coach handout and award certificate printables.
As a coach or team manager, you’ll look polished and well-prepared with these awards. They look great and there are lots to choose from; some for boys, some for girls, some for all players and even some for assistant coaches.
Don’t lose sight of the opportunity to call a timeout to simply save possession of the ball. When the opponent’s best ball handler is taking a break might be the time to apply a full court press. If your center has a speed advantage over the person guarding her, pull her out, feed her the ball and let her drive around the slower opponent. If you add up all your pre-game, warm-up time over the course of the season; it’s a significant chunk of time. It can be embarrassing for a player, parents, team and community if some players don’t handle this component of the game well. However, along the way, some coaches find ways to cut into the fun players have and the effectiveness of their team. The game of basketball presents some wonderful opportunities to teach the value of winning and losing with grace, understanding that hard work and purpose can lead to success, and knowing the value of teamwork – everyone can make a difference. A successful coach will not only share expectations with players, but also with the players’ parents.
If a couple players were out of line, the entire team was punished, thereby creating some peer pressure for the offenders to watch their ways. I’ve always found it valuable to meet 10 minute before court time for practices in order to not only cover the practice agenda, but also to connect with players on something different than just basketball.
Usually, after the first tournament, I’ll send an individual email out to each player’s parent letting them know a few of the good things that their player is contributing to the team.
When 2 competitive teams play, many times players will spend about equal time on the court playing offense and defense.  Make sure defense is getting its proper due at your practices. So keep in mind that there are going to be dozens of different skills that players will need to be taught individually (according to size and speed).

A good rule to use for players shooting range: If a player can make at least 6 out of 10 shots from a spot on the court in practice, then they are allowed to take that shot in a game.
The Triple Threat Position is a basic offensive position that a player may Shoot, Pass, or Drive to the basket out of. Good ball handlers can dribble the basketball without having to look at the ball, they can see what’s happening on the court (they can see the floor). Foot speed and Hand speed are very important skills for players, and coaches must make time on their practice schedule to include drills for this. The Jump Stop is used at the start of a “screen” (jump stop and screen), used to jump stop and pivot, and also jump stop to shoot the ball. Driving to the Basket (Penetrating the Lane) is an offensive move that a player with the ball uses to advance the ball to the basket.
Conditioning is very important and should be part of every practice (if you don’t run your players in practice, don’t get mad at them when they aren’t hustling in the game). The screen is widely used but seldom taught at the younger ages because it is a difficult skill to learn and execute.
One of the worst situations that a coach faces is players that are highly skilled, but are not using these skills in the game. One way is to lay on your side, prop your head up with one arm while the other hand dribbles.
Throwing in a few basketball practice drills in mid-season practices with a focus on passing fundamentals can help reinforce those passing skills and keep your team on track. There’s a big difference between these professional looking award certificates and the ones I prepared. You can personalize each certificate with players’ names, team names and your personal comments.
As a coach or team manager, you’ll be better organized and look polished and well-prepared. Some examples: if you’re team has nearly exhausted the 10 seconds it takes to get the ball over the half-court line when the other team is pressing, or a player is double-teamed in a corner with no good passing options, or your player gains possession of the ball but is laid out on the court without his feet on the ground. Also, try to put your best on-ball defender in the position to guard the other team’s point guard. As a head coach, you might assign an assistant coach to highlight where the advantages are in match-ups so that you can focus on overall team management during the game.
Telling, demonstrating, reviewing students’ work in action, and repetition can all be keys to learning. Topics of conversation have included what’s going on at school, pop culture and news events. Sure, there were the pre-test instructions, but after the test was handed out, most teachers sat back at their desk and just monitored the test taking.
The players running a zone offense in the diagram below are denoted by the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Games can end quickly if you are not ready to handle pressure defense with a good press breaker play. Transition offense refers to the fast break – where the defense rebounds or steals the ball, outlets the ball to a teammate, and the ball gets up the court quickly, with the possession ending in a possible score (all before the other team gets there to play defense).
A good forward can shoot like a guard, handle the ball, rebound, and also have some post moves like the center. Don’t get me wrong, there are tall players that can shoot 3-pointers and even handle the ball, but that doesn’t happen every day – so you have to deal with what you have, evaluate the talent level on your team, and come up with a plan.
Offensive players that rebound a missed shot usually get an easy basket (put-back) after the rebound. There are also “ball handling” fakes (cross-overs, behind the back dribbling, etc) but these are not usually referred to as “ball handling fakes” just “good moves”. The jump stop is a necessary skill for players to develop to coordinate a proper stopping position (remember that taking two steps and then stopping can be considered a traveling violation). A good shooter that has to be told to shoot, a post player that has to be told to box out (the list can go on and on). A coach should never, ever, try to “yell or scream” confidence into a player (using ridicule doesn’t work either) – this will only make the situation worse. You must understand that it will take a lot of hard work over a long period of time to develop these skills – and there’s no other way to make the process go faster. Dribble with both hands, then both thumbs, next both index fingers, and keep moving through all your fingers. Plus, soon enough when you have sick handles in the game, they won’t be making jokes any longer. Each form can be personalized, either via printer or hand-written notes, with your own personal agenda topics.
Using timeouts to save a possession here and there might be the difference in winning or losing a tight game. Well-constructed sideline inbound plays can put the defensive team on the defensive, and at a minimum, reduce the risk of turnovers. From a player’s perspective, to receive positive feedback from both the coach and a parent can frequently be a huge boost to their confidence. Compare that type of approach to many youth basketball coaches who are screaming instructions at players every 10 seconds during games.
Any shots taken far from the basket (3-point shot) usually bounce further from the basket (long shot, long rebound). Defenders tend to take their eyes off the ball when the player they are guarding is constantly moving, cutting, and faking movements when they do not have the ball. The player needs to be made aware of the “positive” results that can come from having more confidence, and coaches should try to practice situations where the player can gain confidence. Most drills are not much fun for players, but that’s the reality of hard work and dedication. A second way is to lay on your back and simply dribble with one hand on one side of your body.
Avoid patterns by sometimes passing to the post, sometimes to the wing, sometimes have the point keep it off a pick, or just replace positions with the wing. When kids are fidgeting too much or down in spirit, it might be time to try something new or move to an activity that is a class favorite. Teaching some of the fundamental skills with the number of repetitions required can get boring without adding some element of creativity, e.g.
Legendary basketball coach John Wooden knew that nearly all of his work was done by the time his players prepared for the tip-off. My daughter entered a 3-point contest and was extremely scared to participate, but ended up winning. Coaches should make every attempt to add a little fun and excitement to a drill – the more the players like the drill, the harder they will work at it. I can tell you that this one thing did wonders for building her confidence…it just takes a little time for some players. Having themed practices ranging from “Hat Day” to “Motown Appreciation Night” helped many players look forward to our next basketball event practices. In reflecting on the losses, we decided we needed more time spent in practices on breaking presses and better techniques on how to break them. These adjustments made a big difference and we didn’t lose another game the rest of the season. Today’s youth basketball coaches should be sitting down more and letting their players be the focus of attention.

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