Coaching Youth Basketball

Our goal on this page is to show you how to approach coaching youth basketball in a way that causes your players to enjoy the entire learning process.

Remember the Fun

We vividly remember being kids and how great it felt when we would get our friends together to play some basketball.

This was before we ever had a teacher or coach start telling us the proper way to do things.

This was the very beginning. We all just grabbed the ball and started playing a game we loved. We picked things up from more experienced friends and let it fly. What fun we had!

Did we have a lot to learn as far as technique, fundamentals, drills, plays, etc. You bet! But at that age, did we care? Of course not. We just wanted to have fun.

Do you remember that feeling? Do you also remember that feeling later on when a coach began to teach you an endless bunch of drills and fundamentals without allowing you to get into a game situation and just let it fly? Remember getting frustrated and feeling a bit bored?

When it comes to your youth basketball coaching style, be sure to tap into these child-like feelings because your young players are feeling the same way.

By the way, would you like to learn how to dramatically increase your focus on coaching youth basketball without ingesting a pill or drink?

Questioning the Traditional Approach to Coaching

Teaching skills and fundamentals before allowing your players to see game situations seems like a great way to approach coaching youth basketball.

However, for the players, this can be an extremely boring way to learn the game.

Also, it’s difficult for youngsters to understand how their passing and shooting skills relate to game situations if they haven’t experienced those situations.

By stripping the fun from the learning process and adding boredom, you and your kids could be in for some long practices.

If you follow the approach we’ll outline below, you’ll find that your players will love learning from you, you’ll have a great time teaching and coaching and you won’t experience much in the way of discipline problems.

Your kids won’t have time for getting out of line because they’ll be having too much fun discovering how good they can be at this great game of basketball.

“Play the Game”

We suggest you use the “Play the Game” style of coaching youth basketball.

You may be wondering, “What’s that?” It’s very simple, actually. Just reverse the traditional approach to coaching youth basketball from:

1) Learn skills & fundamentals

2) Learn how skills fit context of the game

3) Play the Game


1) Play the Game

2) Learn how skills fit context of the game

3) Learn skills & fundamentals

When you take this approach to coaching youth basketball, you’ll have your team play a “game within the game”, or “mini-game”.

As your players have fun during these games, you’ll be teaching them the concepts of basketball. As they are learning the concepts and fundamentals, they’ll begin to understand why they need to better their skill-sets.

Do you see what happens here?

You have just very effectively motivated your young players to learn the skills of the game. They want to work on whatever drills or plays you now introduce because they understand why it’s important. You’ll find they’ll be more open to your instruction and corrections.

A Refreshing Coaching Angle

What a refreshing way to look at coaching youth basketball!

The “play the game” way of coaching allows the players to discover for themselves, through game experience, what to do in an actual game. Isn’t this much different from you telling them what to do? You bet!

This way of coaching your team allows them to discover for themselves what works and what doesn’t. This makes learning fun as opposed to drilling them to death on stuff they don’t understand the point of yet.

Remember, your role as the coach is to empower your players to discover through experience what they need to get better at. Then you introduce the plays, drills and fundamentals that will help them at that point in their development.

Now, click over to our Play the Game page for details on how to employ this new coaching angle, or philosophy.