What skills do young basketball players need? Is natural talent enough at this stage of their development? Good players train just as well as they play. They appreciate the fact that what they display in competitive games is the result of the training they put in earlier. It is for this reason that their coaches should know the kind of skills to focus on enhancing prior to the game.
Below are some of the most important skills these players need to build.
Speed is essential. Nobody can play basketball well at a snail’s pace. Speed does not merely refer to the ability to run faster than everybody else on the field. It is all about anticipating the next move. It is about seeing one or two plays ahead of everybody else, especially your opponents. Speed is a skill that coaches can only build in young players. Once they grow older, it becomes harder – if not impossible – to improve any aspect of the pace at which they play.
Strengthen Weak Hands
Young players should find ways of strengthening their weak hands too. Few players are highly effective at playing basketball with their weaker hands as they are with the stronger hands. You will not always be in a position to block, pass, catch the ball, or score with your stronger hands. Moreover, some opponents excel at derailing you so you are not in a position to do anything worthy with your stronger hands.
Strengthening your weaker hands makes you unpredictable too.
Your opponents never know how to handle you.
Similarly, young players should develop their strength. Many coaches do not focus on this aspect of training because of the belief that strength-training stunts the young players’ growth. Recent research appears to shed doubt on this belief. However, coaches should develop a strength-training program that suits the players, based on age. Some of the tools to use in young players include the following:
- Body weight
- Medicine balls
Lastly, coaches should encourage the young basketball players to work on improving their coordination. Here, the goal is to enable the young ones to develop different athletic qualities that will prove beneficial to their fledgling careers. Jumping, throwing, running, carioca, cartwheels, jump ropes, and skips are effective here. Be as creative as possible to identify drills that can challenge the young players to go beyond their comfort zone.
Young basketball players need their coaches to help them develop these skills early.