Teaching Basketball Skills

Help Your Players Develop Quickly

Do you feel you need to get better at teaching basketball skills?

If so, we’ll help you learn how to be very successful at giving your players the proper direction as they try to improve themselves.

Here are the five basic steps to teaching basketball skills well:

1) Introduce the Skill

2) Describe the Skill

3) Model the Skill

4) Practice the Skill Verbally

5) Practice the Skill on the Court

By the way, would you like to learn how to dramatically increase your focus when teaching basketball skills without ingesting a pill or drink?

Introduce the Skill

After you let the players know which skill they’ll be learning and practicing, you want to be sure they really understand the importance of it.

Always be sure your players know “why” you are having them do something. Explain to them how each skill will benefit them and why it’s important to their development.

The next two points are pretty interchangeable in that you may sometimes describe a skill and then model it, or you may model it and describe it, or you may be doing both at the same time. Whichever way it’s going, be sure to keep the following information in mind

Describe the Skill

When dealing with youngsters, realize that they have short attention spans. So, when teaching basketball skills, keep your explanation of each skill brief, simple and to the point. If you can, it’s a good idea to relate the skill to skills they’ve learned already.

Be on the look-out for players that look confused or lost. Also, since many people need to hear things differently than someone else, try to choose different words to explain the same thing. This way you’ll reach more players in a shorter period of time.

You may want to also break the skill down into smaller parts. Explain each part so they can digest the idea slowly. Then put the parts together to form the entire skill you’re teaching. Be sure to also explain how each skill fits into the bigger picture of basketball.

Model the Skill

When teaching basketball skills, always remember the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. A lot of your players have never done these skills or seen them done before. If you just explain things, a lot of kids will miss the entire idea.

As you or someone else is modeling, or demonstrating the skill, be sure to:

1) Keep it slow at first. Let your players see everything involved before you move it up to regular speed.

2) Show the skill from several angles.

3) Use both right and left hands when modeling the skill.

4) Always use the correct form.

Practice the Skill Verbally

At this point in the “teaching basketball skills” method, have your players explain to you what they are learning in their own words.

This does two things.

First, it allows the players to think about the skill and why it’s important.

Second, it allows you to see who has grasped the skill and who needs further help.

Asking questions can help. Ask things like, “What do you do first?”, or “Why is this skill important?”, etc.

This may be a good time to have players perform a few aspects of each skill individually for you just so they get a good feel for it.

You don’t want to turn your players loose on the court until they have a good mental grasp of what’s going on.

Practice the Skill on the Court

Once you feel the players have a good grasp of the skill you’ve taught, it’s time to get them on the court. Many of your players will be unsure and timid at this point. Be sure to walk them through and re-explain in order to boost their confidence.

Once the team has a good grasp and is ready, use the Play the Game method of coaching.

During this stage of teaching basketball skills, pay close attention to your team, observe what needs to be worked on and tactfully detect and correct mistakes. Remember that the way you provide feedback to your players plays a big role in their development.