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Fundamentals - Youth Practice Structure

Basketball practices for children under the age of 12 should emphasize development of a strong athletic base (a good athlete can move in all directions, quickly, smoothly, and on balance). Agility, balance, coordination, and speed are most receptive to training Ė the ABCíS.

At the novice level (ages 6 to 9), fundamental drills should be supplemented by small-sided/modified games such as 3 on 3. Atom players (10-11) can be introduced to 4 on 4 and 5 on 5.

A generic practice plan should try to cover

  • warm-up
  • motor skills & footwork
  • ball-handling
  • dribbling
  • passing
  • layups
  • shooting
  • small-sided games (1 on 1, 2 on 2, 3 on 3)

Progressions

  • defending on the ball (then off the ball)
  • offensive concepts, e.g. give and go, spacing
  • transition, e.g., 2 v 1, 3 v 2

Steve Nash Youth Basketball (SNYB) - Small-ball rules

  • ages 5-6 (7-foot rims) to 7-8 (8-foot rims)
  • 3-on-3 or 4-on-4, 4-minute shifts running time
  • one team starts with the ball in their backcourt
  • 4-dribble limit
  • halfcourt defence, guard only your check, at armís-length distance.

See Youth dynamic warm-up, Favourite drills for kids, Skills checklist for novice players, Coaches handbook.

For other ideas on youth practice plans, see

For ready-made lesson plans and drills, see

Also see


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