Treat Causes not Symptoms...
Ever since I started working with Dr. Dan McBride (chiropractor) and with Kim Gallaher (physical therapist) I’ve been relatively pain free. Neither of them focused on what I thought should be worked on. My lower back pain was caused by the stiffness in the mid spine, hip pain was caused by tightness in the quadriceps, and finally the knee pain - tight IT bands.
Same in youth basketball. Players, parents and coaches focus on the symptoms and not the cause. Symptoms: inability to drive, inability to shoot, inability to make plays, inability to defend.
If these are the symptoms, what are the causes? If a player can’t drive, should I only focus on driving, or only shoot, shoot, shoot, or maybe only memorize a few offensive sets?
So many times I’ve been asked to teach somebody how to take contested shots, to teach a player one low post move to beat the whole team, how to blow by any defensive player, or what to do if you’re in a three man trap… And the answer to all these is the same: work on your ball control, footwork, shooting, and decision making. Basketball training is pretty straight forward, because youth basketball isn’t all that complex after all.
Most of the turnovers in youth basketball are caused by the lack of ball control, which forces the kids to focus more on the ball than what’s happening around them. Once ball handling is mastered then a player can move on to working on their fundamental footwork (cross step, open step, jump stop, one two stop, layup), then shooting, and lastly decision making (basic going left and right based on a verbal cue).
These basic principals of player development are followed in countries like Spain, Lithuania or Serbia which are hands down the best if it comes to developing great basketball players. NBA players like Tony Parker, Luca Doncic, Arvidas Sabonis or Pau Gasol and many more have all been developed in Europe.
There’s no magic beans in sports, and you don’t become a champion over night - in fact it takes 8 to 12 years to develop an Olympic athlete, and unless you build your game brick by brick from the fundamentals all the way to advanced concepts the chances are that you’ll never make it pass high school basketball.
Coach P. Basketball - Training Athletes to Victory
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