Teaching Them Early
I have been my son’s basketball coach since he was three years old. I played ball serving in different capacities on and off the court throughout my playing years. I got injured multiple times in my teens and early 20s and that was the end of my competitive years. I’ve been a fan since the 1970s and I teach personal tips on how to make kids into better ball players.
Dos and Don’ts
The first things I instilled in my son were confidence and charisma. As a parent or mentor, this is where we need to start. I understand we want the best for our children but there are also a couple of things we shouldn’t do.
1. Do not expose them to unnecessary risks or preventable injuries, and
2. Do not break their spirit.
Charisma, I admit a few kids are endowed with the natural athleticism and mental sharpness to play the game. And most are Average Joes and Plain Janes. Regardless, charisma is something we can nurture in our children especially if they are lacking in sports acumen. With this, they can become natural leaders and become inspirations for others.
Confidence, most great players are cocky or overly confident and that’s not what we want for our child. Instead we should aim for that inner feeling making them self-confident in their capabilities and having the quickness to respond at the spur of the moment.
These include the ability to carry themselves on and off the court. And please as much as practicable allow them to “look” the part. Give them the proper nutrition and gear.
1. Demonstrate the fundamentals and rules of the game such as handling the ball, passing, reacting and basic plays.
2. Regardless of the position your child is trying out for, the ability to shoot the ball is a must. Remember if your kid even appears like he cannot shoot the ball, his team is already at a disadvantage. Opposing teams will leave him open making it harder for the rest of his teammates.
How To Shoot the Basketball
1. I have my own teaching guide on shooting. It all starts with ST — Stance, Straight Down, Straight Up, Stay At It.
Stance, shooting starts with the position, feet slightly apart with the foot of the shooting hand slightly forward, pointing to the basket, aligned with the shooting elbow. Keep the ball under the shooting hand and supported by the other. Bend Straight Down on the knees and spring Straight Up, releasing the ball on the way up to gain momentum especially for younger kids. Come straight down and Stay At It, meaning both arms are held high until the ball hits the target.
What To Do Right Before the Tryout
1. Sleep right the night before and come early.
2. Eat the right meal composed of carbs, fruit and protein. Bring a towel and something to drink.
3. Warm up, keep cool and pray or sing if you want to.
During the Tryout
1. Be polite.
2. Stay in view of the coaches.
3. Play hard particularly in defense, grabbing and diving for loose balls.
4. Stay open in offense and choose to shoot, fake or pass at a suitable time.
5. Defense, run fast and hard to stop easy baskets.