Youth Basketball Drills – Rebounding

Youth Basketball Drills

(2 on 1 Rebounding Drill)

 

In our previous Youth Basketball Drills blog post we shared our tweak to the 6 Shot Circuit Shooting Drill called the 10 Shot Circuit.  In this post we are going share a simple Rebounding Drill that over the years has become a staple in our practices.

Youth Basketball Drills - 2on1 Rebounding Setup

Youth Basketball Drills – 2on1 Rebounding Setup

Drill Setup

  • 1 basketball
  • Line up players in a single file near half court from the shortest to tallest player.
  • First player goes to the rebounding position in the middle of the lane.
  • Second and third players line up on the elbows as shooters.
  • Coach is on the wing with the basketball.
  • Rotation is rebounder to end of the line, shooter to rebounder, shooter to shooter, next player in line to shooter.

Youth Basketball Drills - 2on1 Rebounding

Youth Basketball Drills – 2on1 Rebounding

Drill Execution

  1. Coach passes to one of the shooters who then takes a shot.
  2. Rebounder blocks out the opposite shooter who is trying to get the offensive rebound.  Note: If the shot is made, just treat it as a miss.  
  3. If the shooter/offensive player gets the rebound, the rebounder must do 5 push-ups on the side of the court prior to rotating to the end of the line.
  4. To make the drill more challenging require the rebounder to let the ball hit the floor before securing the rebound.  This will put an emphasis on the rebounder moving their feet.

 

Coaching Points

  • Rebounder should find the player first, block out, and then go get the ball.
  • Emphasize proper spacing from the basket.  If the rebounder is too close to the basket, the offensive players has the advantage.
  • Teach the rebounder that if they get pushed under the basket to spin putting their rear-end on the offensive player’s rear-end pinning them under the basket.

If you need more drill ideas, please take a look at our YouTube library of youth basketball drills.

Youth Basketball Drills – 10 Shot Circuit

Youth Basketball Drills

(10 Shot Circuit Shooting Drill)

 

In our previous Youth Basketball Drills blog post we shared a simple drill to help your players develop their weak hand.   In this post we are going share our tweak to the 6 shot circuit drill outlined in the YouTube video below:

 

 

Youth Basketball Drills - 10 Shot Circuit

Youth Basketball Drills – 10 Shot Circuit

Drill Setup and Execution

  1. We add 4 cones to the 3 used in in the 6-shot circuit above.  2 in the short corner and 2 on the wing.
  2. Execute the 6 shot circuit as normal.
  3. After the 6th shot, the player sprints to the short corner for shot 7.
  4. After shot 7, the player sprints to the opposite corner for shot 8.
  5. After shot 8, the player sprints to the wing position on the opposite side of the floor for shot 9.
  6. After shot 9, the player sprints to the opposite wing for shot 10.

We like this drill for a number of reasons:

  • The variety of shots being practiced.
  • Weak hand development with both the drop step layup and hook shot.
  • Works on shooting on the move.
  • Practicing shots when fatigued.

Coaching Points

  • Have a player or coach rebounding each shot and passing it back to the coach on the foul line.
  • Make sure players are going around the cones and not short cutting the paths.
  • Emphasize using the weak hand on both the drop step and hook shots.
  • On jump shots players should be catching the ball and squaring up prior to taking the shot.  By squaring up we mean get their shoulders and feet pointing to the basket.

If you need more drill ideas, please take a look at our YouTube library of youth basketball drills.

5-3 Defense

5-3 Defense for Youth Football

 

One of the most popular Youth Football defenses is the 5-3 Defense.  Oddly enough there is very little material available covering the 5-3 Defense in any great detail.  If this is a defense that you are interested in, we highly recommend that you take a look at Coach Hickey’s 5-3 Defense clinic. In this clinic Coach Hickey goes into great detail covering his version of the 5-3.  See below for a brief clinic preview.

5-3 Defense Clinic Preview

 

Youth Basketball Drills – Weak Hand

Youth Basketball Drills

(Weak Hand Development)

 

To be a good basketball player it is critical that a player learn to shoot and dribble with both hands.  A simple youth basketball drill for Weak Hand Development is what we call the Weak Hand Layup Drill.  The purpose of this drill is to work on dribbling and shooting layups with our weak or non-dominant hand.

Youth Basketball Drills - Weak Hand Layup

Youth Basketball Drills – Weak Hand Layup

Drill Setup

  • Place a cone on the wing 4 feet outside of the 3 point arc.  Note:  For very young players you can move the cone closer and for older players you can move it out a little more.
  • Players line up behind the cone with a basketball.  Note:  You can split your team up onto multiple baskets and turn this into a competition to see which team/group makes the most layups in a given time period.

 

Drill Execution

  1. On Go the first player in line dribbles to the basket with their non-dominant hand and executes a layup with the same hand.  They then get their own rebound and dribble with their non-dominant hand back to the end of the line.
  2. As soon as the player in front shoots their layup the next person in line goes.
  3. This drill should be done for a set period of time like 2 minutes with the coaches counting each made layup.  If you choose to make this a competition, losers can do 5 pushups or sit ups.

Coaching Points

  • Head up when dribbling.
  • Try and get to the basket with as few dribbles as possible.
  • Go above the block to get a good angle to the basket.
  • Make sure the player is going off the correct foot when shooting the layup.  Left hand layups should be off the right foot and right hand layups should be off the left foot.
  • Aim for the top corner of the square on the backboard.
  • Dribble all the way back to the line.

If you need more drill ideas, please take a look at our YouTube library of youth basketball drills.

7 Tips to beat a Youth Basketball Press

7 Tips to beat a Youth Basketball Press

 

Beating the PressIn our previous Basketball Blog we shared 5 Tips for Coaching Youth Basketball.  In this post we are going to turn our attention to keys for Attacking the Press.  The Press at the Youth level can be both devastating and demoralizing for your team if not properly prepared for.  Below are 7 tips for preparing your Youth Basketball team to beat the press:

  1. The best way to beat the press after a made basket is to attack it before it can set up.
  2. Teach/Drill Players that you beat the press with the Pass and not the Dribble.
  3. Teach/Drill your player initiating the press break to not inbound the ball from behind the backboard.
  4. Teach/Drill your player initiating the press break that they can run the baseline after a made basket.
  5. Teach/Drill players to face the press and not turn their backs to the defense.
  6. Teach/Drill players to stay out of “Danger Zones”.
  7. Teach/Drill players not to fear the press, but rather see it as an opportunity to score.

If your are interested in learning more, we encourage you to take a look at our Youth Basketball – Attacking the Press eBook below:

5 Tips for Coaching Youth Basketball

5 Tips for Coaching Youth Basketball

 

Coaching Youth BasketballFor our first ever Basketball Blog post we thought we should share 5 Tips that we have learned over the years coaching youth basketball.

  1.  It’s not the X’s and the O’s – It is important to understand and always keep in mind that you may be the greatest basketball mind since the Wizard of Westwood, but it isn’t what you know that is important, but what your players know.  Don’t ever expect your players to execute a skill you have not taught them and allowed them to adequately practice through drills.
  2. Be the Great Communicator – One of the easiest ways to keep your player’s parents happy is to keep them informed.  Another way is to manage their expectations and the best way to do that is to conduct a Parents Meeting as close to the first practice as possible.
  3. Organizing is Coaching – As a youth basketball coach we often don’t have all of the practice time we would like.  Because of this fact practice time is precious and should not be wasted.  Consequently we feel one of the most important things you can do as a youth coach is have a written plan for every practice.
  4. Games are won on the Practice Court – Having a plan is not enough without proper execution.  Below are some key points to follow when conducting your youth basketball practices:
    • Be positive and enthusiastically encourage your players.
    • Be consistent and set parameters you won’t allow to be crossed.
    • Encourage teamwork
    • Don’t use abusive language and be careful when touching a player.
    • Keep practice moving at a rapid pace and prevent players from standing around.
    • If a drill isn’t working, move on to the next one and revisit it at a later time.
    • Sweat the small stuff and remember what you allow is what you teach.
    • Be confident in what you are doing and why you are doing it.
    • Don’t take yourself to seriously and always find ways to show your players you care.
    • End on time and on a positive note.
  5. “The Hay is in the Barn” – Anonymous – This  is one of our favorite quotes when it comes to game day and stands to remind us our work is done and it is time for some fun.  It also reminds us at this point we are who we are and to resist the temptation to try and add any special adjustments/plays we haven’t practiced.

If your are interested in learning more, we encourage you to take a look at our Youth Basketball – Coaching Guide eBook below:


Youth Football Drills – Linebackers

Youth Football Drills

(Linebackers)

 

In our previous Youth Football Drills blog post we shared a Defensive Line Swim Move Progression Drill that we have used in past seasons to help our Defensive Lineman.  In this post we are going to share a Drill we call Fill the Alley that we use with our Linebackers to help them execute their run fits.

Youth Football Drills - Linebackers

Youth Football Drills – Fill the Alley Setup

Drill Setup

  • Plenty of Cones to define Alleys.
  • Blocking Dummies to define Line of Scrimmage and “A” and “B” Gaps.
  • 1 Football
  • 1 Line for Runners
  • 1 Line for Linebackers

 

 

 

Youth Football Drills - Linebackers

Youth Football Drills – Fill the Alley Execution

Drill Execution

  1. Linebacker aligns at his proper depth to the line of scrimmage and alignment relative to the “A” and “B” gaps.
  2. Coach designates Alley 1, 2, or 3 for the Runner.
  3. On “Go”, the Runner will run through his designated Alley.
  4. The Linebacker should take his read step and attempt to tackle the Runner.

Note:  To make the drill more difficult you can add a Blocker on the line of scrimmage so that the Linebacker must shed a block and then attempt to make the tackle.

For additional drill ideas for your team, we encourage you to download the CLYFL Youth Football Drill Book, as well as visit our YouTube library of football drills.  Our library includes drills for Offense, Defense, and Special Teams.  We have even included some Flag Football drills.

Youth Football Drills – Defensive Line

Youth Football Drills

(Defensive Line)

 

 

In our previous Youth Football Drills blog post we shared a Defensive End Box Drill we developed several years back to help teach our Defensive Ends how to properly box.  In this post we are going to share a Defensive Line Swim Move Progression Drill that we have used in past seasons to help our Defensive Lineman.  Below is an example of a Swim Move:

 

 

Youth Football Drills - Defensive Line

Youth Football Drills – Defensive Line

Drill Setup

  • 2 half round dummies.
  • 1 Ball
  • 1 Cone
  • 2 lines facing the coaches with 1 player standing upright 3 yards behind the ball.

 

Drill Execution

  1. Demonstrate Swim Technique:
    • 3 Point Stance
    • First step with inside foot.
    • Outside arm to midsection of the dummy.
    • Inside arm comes over the top and propel past the dummy.
  2. The Defense gets into a 3 point stance and on ball movement, executes their first step, then brings their outside arm to the midsection of the dummy, then bring their inside arm over the top and propel themselves to the offensive player where they execute a form tackle.  Note:  All movements are half speed until the coach is satisfied with the players form.
  3. Once satisfied with Step #2, repeat going full speed.  Note:  Switch out the player in the backfield every 5 to 6 reps.

For additional drill ideas for your team, we encourage you to download the CLYFL Youth Football Drill Book, as well as visit our YouTube library of football drills.  Our library includes drills for Offense, Defense, and Special Teams.  We have even included some Flag Football drills.

Are Youth Sports Dying?

Are Youth Sports Dying?

 

Youth Football CoachAs a Youth Football Coach, I have been fighting dwindling numbers for the past 5 years.  Upon seeing a recent Article from USA Football highlighting a CBS report concerning Doctors speaking out against how concussions are being portrayed in the media, I was motivated to do a little research myself concerning the Athletic Association (Louisville, KY) where I coach both Football and Basketball.  I was curious to see if our local decline in sports participation mirrored the national statistics (2008 – 2012) reported by the Sports and Fitness Injury Association/Physical Activity Council cited in the CBS report.

Sports and Fitness Injury Association/Physical Activity Council

Sport Participation
Football -5.4%
Basketball -8.3%
Soccer -7.1%
Baseball -7.2%

Unfortunately I was only able to gather data for 2011 – 2014, but I believe it tells an interesting story nonetheless:

Athletic Association (Louisville, KY)

Sport Participation
Football -18.43%
Basketball -9.74%
Soccer -1.64%
Baseball +3.73%

Note:  Though the Baseball numbers are up the total number of participants are typically only 1/4 of the other sports listed and many schools in the Association failed to field teams.  Overall participation of the 13 Sports that our Association offers fell 9.04% in the same time frame where the number of potential participants stayed flat.

Though the numbers don’t match they do confirm a downward trend.  As I studied the numbers, I questioned why this is happening and remembered a Youth Sports Study published by Michigan State University in late 2004.  In this report it named the following reasons for Youth athletes discontinuing participation:

  1. No longer interested.
  2. It was no longer fun.
  3. The Coach played favorites or was a poor teacher.
  4. Wanted to participate in other activities.

I suspect that if that study were updated today, fear of concussions would rank high on the list.  As a Youth Coach, I believe I can address the first 3 items with how I manage my practices and game days, as well as continuing to strive to be a better teacher of the sports I coach.  Wanting to participate in other activities on the other hand is a little tougher.  Today children have so many more options than in years past from sports that have gone from being seasonal like Basketball and Baseball to year around to video games.  One of the more disturbing statistics for me personally mentioned in the Sports and Fitness Injury Association/Physical Activity Council research is that youth involved in no physical activities over a 12 month period rose from 16% for 6 – 12 year-olds and 17% for 13 – 17 year-olds in 2007 to 20% and 19% respectively in 2012.  Though I feel confident that the recent concussion scare has had an impact on these figures it can’t be the only reason based on the fact that Sports and Fitness Injury Association/Physical Activity Council study also shows an increase in participation of 158% and 64% for Lacrosse and Hockey respectively.  According to statistics published by Head Case these sports rank near the top for risk of concussion.

So what does all of this tell me?  Though I don’t have all of the answers, I don’t think it is one single factor:

  • Kids are moving away from the more traditional sports of Football, Basketball, and Baseball to others like Lacrosse and Hockey.
  • Kids are specializing.
  • The concussion scare is both a real and sometimes convenient excuse for children choosing not to participate in sports at all.

As mentioned above, not participating in any sports is the most bothersome for me.  I feel the benefits of Youth Sports far outweigh any risks.  That is not to make light of the risks, but as good Youth Coaches we can mitigate the risks with education and improved teaching techniques.  Looking back I can’t imagine trying to navigate my professional career without the lessons of teamwork, accountability, and facing adversity that my involvement in Youth Sports taught me.  I’m worried that today’s youth will not have those same experiences and wonder how well prepared they will be when entering adulthood.

If you have any thoughts and are willing to share, please shoot me an email by using the form below.

Youth Football Drills – Defensive Ends

Youth Football Drills

(Defensive Ends)

 

In our previous Youth Football Drills blog post we turned our attention to the defensive side of the ball with the DB Read and React Drill.  In this post we are going to share a Defensive End Box drill we developed several years back to help teach our Defensive Ends how to properly box.  If you are not a fan of boxing your Defensive Ends and prefer the Spill and Kill technique, we highly recommend you take a look at Coach Wilkins’ X’s and O’s of “Spill and Kill” Contain clinic.

 

 

Youth Football Drills - Defense End Box Drill

Youth Football Drills – Defense End Box Drill Setup

Drill Setup

  • 8 Cones
  • 1 Ball
  • Setup up cones and players to represent a Double Tight, 2 Back Split Formation.
  • Setup up cones to designate the Sweep Alley/Spot on each side of the ball.

Drill Execution

  1. Defensive End turns their back.
    • Coach tells the blocker and runner which hole to run to (Off-Tackle or Sweep) and snap count.  Note:  Run away from the Defensive End from time to time to make sure that they are pursuing through the backfield properly.
  2. On the snap count the blocker and runner run to the designated hole with the Coach handing or pitching the ball to the runner.
    • The runner must stay between the cones (Off-Tackle or Sweep).
  3. The Defensive End gets to the Sweep Spot, meeting the lead blocker, shedding the block, and tackling the runner.
    • They need to fight to force the runner deeper than the “Sweep Alley” or squeeze him inside the Off-Tackle hole.
    • When shedding the block, they position themselves where their outside arm is kept free to make a tackle and their inside foot is splitting the feet of the blocker.
  4. After cycling through several reps, switch to the other side.

For additional drill ideas for your team, we encourage you to download the CLYFL Youth Football Drill Book, as well as visit our YouTube library of football drills.  Our library includes drills for Offense, Defense, and Special Teams.  We have even included some Flag Football drills.

 

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