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Training Information

The game of basketball encompasses various skills, divided into eight categories in the Player Development Curriculum by USA Basketball. These categories include Ball Handling & Dribbling, Footwork & Body Control, Passing & Receiving, Rebounding, Screening, Shooting, Team Defensive Concepts, and Team Offensive Concepts. Each player in a group possesses unique strengths and weaknesses, and their skill levels may differ across these categories. Coaches encounter players at different learning levels, ranging from recreational and school teams to travel, college, and professional teams. The coaching approach and training plan are influenced by both the team’s level and individual player skill sets.

Coaching Decision Making

1. Establishing a Baseline:

  • Evaluate each player and the team as a whole to understand their current skill levels.
  • Establish a baseline of skills to measure what players can or cannot do on the court.
  • Set goals for players and the team based on the evaluation.
  • Develop a tailored training plan for the season.

2. Example Scenario:

  • Assessing a group of eight-year-olds in a local recreation league.
  • Evaluate the triple threat stance, finding 80% in the proper position.
  • Adjust drills based on assessment results, addressing the remaining 20% separately.

3. Decision Making:

  • Coaches must make decisions on various aspects of player development.
  • Questions like “How many drills are sufficient?” or “What if a player is too advanced?” require thoughtful consideration.

4. How Many Drills Should the Team Do?

  • Consider the team’s level; high school teams may progress more rapidly than middle school teams.
  • Use sample drills from the Player Development Curriculum to ensure understanding.
  • Decide on the type and quantity of drills before moving to the next skill.

5. Differentiation:

  • Recognize variations in players’ abilities and modify drills to meet their needs.
  • Challenge each player through individualized drills or additional training outside of group sessions.

6. Addressing Skill Discrepancies:

  • In situations where a player’s skill level significantly differs from the team’s, consider recommending alternative programs.
  • Suggest a more basic program for skill-deficient players or a more competitive one for advanced players after exhausting all development options.
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