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Get Rid of the Bad Youth Basketball Players Once & For All

Posted by Coach Chris on May 02, 2018

We have a little elementary basketball team around here.  The boys played together last year for 3 or so tournaments.  We won 1 game and got beat on a buzzer beater for the other.  We finished the tourneys 1-8, some big blowouts, some closer, but we were improving.

So it's time to see who wants to play again this year and most of the boy's parents said yes and that their child had really enjoyed playing.  Had not heard from one family and found out that they wanted to know who was going to be on the team this year.  Well, the short answer is whoever played last year that wants to again this year can play.  I had heard from another parent that this family did not want to get their butt beat every tourney and obviously we needed to get rid of the kids who are not as strong players.  Their child is middle/upper part of the pack on the team by the way.

To me this is an example of parent's ruining something for their child.  Not only the experience of being with kids he enjoyed playing with, but instead he's going to play in a very, very recreational league.  He loses twice in my eyes. 

He may have "more competitive" games in this league but he is going to get left behind by the boys who "aren't good enough" because they will be playing much more competitive basketball and developing their skills.  The boy who isn't playing will not develop his skills as his season is 1 one hour practice a week and one game a week over 6 weeks.  Then were is he going to play?  We plan on playing Nov-March.

The point of our team is to have fun while learning to play basketball.  Winning will come by doing the little things correctly like teaching the kids the game and developing their ability to pass, dribble, & shoot.  We will play tourneys that will challenge us and some easier tourneys where the kids will have the chance to win more games and build confidence.

Youth basketball isn't about 1 game, 1 weekend, or 1 month.  You have to take a big picture approach and see how much individuals and the team can improve over the course of  years.  

I've coached high school basketball for a number of years and not once have I stopped and thought , "How many games did these kids win in 4th, 5th, 6th, or any grade?"  Never!  I want to know how well they can pass, dribble, and shoot because the better players you have the more games you will win - but that doesn't matter when they are 10 years old. 

Winning means more as you move into high school and beyond, but elementary sports should be about having fun and learning the skills of the game.  If you continue to develop skills your kids will win plenty down the road - and probably sooner than you think.