Years ago

Getting beginners involved in getting the ball

Hi all,

Just after some advice. I am coaching some young Aussie Hoops boys around the age of 7 -9.
A couple of the boys are very good and the others more beginners. When we play a proper game some of the boys run up and down with the group when the ball goes up and down the court but make little attempt to get the ball. They stand back while the others get to the ball. The other players don't seem to pass to them because of this. I feel that due to this their interest is waning. It wouldn't be much fun just running back and forth all the time.
I really want to get these kids into the action but am not sure how to do this. What more can I say to them or what practice drills could I apply or any other suggestions.
I really want to get them excited about the game and get into it and play as a team.


Topic #35750 | Report this topic

Years ago

The ones who run up and down the floor and never get the ball will go on to be post players. The ones who never pass it to them will be guards.

Ask any big :)

Reply #499961 | Report this post

Years ago

Not much you can do on a fast break (which is fine), but for a dead ball situation, rotate which players bring the ball down each possession and make the others wait near the offensive key. Limit this to the boy passing in and 1 other (or 2 at the most). They can pass to each other if they run into trouble.

At that age, the refs are generally leanient on travel calls so they should be able to bring down ok. If the other team have all 5 guarding your 2 or 3 players, you should have plenty of free players up the court for them to pass to.

This will get them all involved & hopefully build confidence, enjoyment & team work.

In the half court, the good players generally arent pass first (or at all) players. Most of the time they dont realise they are doing this and will change if asked.

You need to tell the good kids to pass (challenge them to build up assists and get personal satisfaction when their team mates score) and teach the shy ones to call for the ball (they are usually doing this anyway) and where to stand to receive passes.

Reply #499970 | Report this post

Years ago

I used to have them inbound the ball - that way they at least get a touch and get to throw it somewhere.

Reply #499976 | Report this post

Years ago

should be playing half court , not full court.

full court at that age group is couple of kids dribbling up and down the court. Much more value in half court.

Reply #499990 | Report this post

Years ago

Do you play 5v5 scrimmages? Kids of this age have a difficult enough time interpreting time and space with 9 other players running about and possession changing constantly, let alone consciously utilizing basketball and motor skills.

A simple solution is to play 2v2 or 3v3. Fewer players = more touches and doesn't allow the timid kids to shy away from receiving the ball or their teammates from purposely not passing to them. Having fewer people on the court also makes it easier for kids to interpret time and space, making decision-making easier.

You can also further this concept by grouping the kids of similar skill levels so the better players aren't dominating the ball.

Otherwise, just keep encouraging the timid kids to 'have a go', and applaud them when they do. A little bit of positive reinforcement will go a long way.

Have fun, and good luck!

Reply #499997 | Report this post

Years ago

Also, look up "Brian McCormick" and "small-sided games". There is some good stuff out there for teaching fun, competitive basketball skills.

Reply #500005 | Report this post

Years ago

Thanks to everyone for their feedback.

This is a set Aussie Hoops program so we play a full court 5 on 5 game. I can't really change that as that is set out by the BA program.
The games are fun and more like an AFL game where all kids are in a "pack". The kids don't play any positions or anything and just run with the Ball. The skilled kids are really motivated as they shoot and pass only to the other skilled kids. I feel for the kids running up and down as that would be boring. One boy I feel sad for as he pretends he is injured so he can go to the bench. He looks unsatisfied and bored not getting any of the ball.
I'll push for all kids to pass and get free so they can get passes, also call out for the ball.
Appreciate the help :)

Reply #500023 | Report this post

Years ago

"Getting beginners involved in getting the ball"

First things first what kind of ball?

If it's a basketball, tell them to put it down.

Pick up a rugby ball. Play a mans sport ;)

Reply #500030 | Report this post

Years ago

What are you smoking right now^? Put that sh_t down!

Reply #500050 | Report this post

Years ago

Satire mate.

But i am a Kiwi so its probably my true opinion ;)

Reply #500061 | Report this post

Coach Bruce  
Years ago

Hey coach,
Most important advice I could give is get them to practice their catching and passing skills. No point in asking the better players to pass it if....
A. Hits them in the face
B. Goes through their hands
C. They're not confident in catching
Lots of passing and catching drills that lead to a shot.
Dribble around chairs, pass to a coach, receive it back, continue on to something else, then finish with a lay up.
All facets covered, lots of movements, skills improved, can be done in half court.
Hope this helps
Coach B

Reply #500065 | Report this post

Years ago

I agree with the points expressed by others that 2v2 and 3v3 small-sided games are more effective skill development tools than 5v5, though I find it's a balancing act - if you have 15 kids and one coach/ring, you don’t want to have kids on the bench for 60-70% of the time (and one presumes their parents won’t either).

When I’m coaching my local Aussie Hoops, I tend to modify the game in the following ways:
- Select the inbounds passer myself (as has been mentioned)
- Add a rule that every player on the team must touch the ball before shooting
- If needed, verbally assist the passer on additional passing options (i.e looking outside of their best friend/team mate)

In my experience, a participant that is keeping up with the flow of play isn't necessarily waning interest, they perhaps just understandably don’t have the confidence of the more advanced players yet, and will gradually build this up through the other 'game sense' activities that make up the session.

It’s worth noting that the session cards provided by BA for Aussie Hoops are just a guide, and are not mandated activities to follow. Variety is the spice of life and definitely I've found when it comes to coaching beginners! Hope this helps – Cheers

Reply #500244 | Report this post

Years ago

If you're playing games then put a limit on how many goals anyone can score. That way you force them to pass it around. But make sure the defenders still man up or else they'll all gang up on the last players who can still score.

Reply #500260 | Report this post

Years ago

Thanks everyone for the responses. All great input and a lot here to assist me.
I really just want to get them all involved, learning to love the game and not wanting to quit due to being bored.

Many thanks again :)

Reply #500378 | Report this post

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