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Help Your Kids Improve Their Game

Over Christmas Break.

By Coach Jo Milling

As we approach the festive season, I’m sure all parents are ready to relax and recharge! Kids will be lapping up their spare time and keen to unwind during school holidays. This extended Christmas break is also a wonderful opportunity to keep the kids active and perhaps prepare for the upcoming representative, school basketball or local comp seasons or even just  develop their fundamental skills of the game. More importantly, it’s the best time of year to have some fun with your family, doing things you all love…. Basketball of course! Check out the below tips and tricks to have some fun hooping in the holidays;

1) Allocate Time

We all lead hectic lives, be sure to plan a chunk of time to ‘play ball’ with the kids. Depending on the skill level and age of your child, a parents’ involvement can vary from being a fellow competitor or support person. Either way have some fun and stay positive!

2) Skills, Skills, Skills!

It is SO important for young basketballers to continuously develop the basic skills of the game. This repetitive skill development allows players to become confident in their ability, leading to the successful transferal of skills into a game situation. Try focusing on the ‘Fantastic Four’ – Pass, Shoot, Dribble and Pivot (appropriate for all age and skill groups).

3) Challenge and Compete  

Kids love a challenge, competing and gauging improvements. This extended break is an awesome opportunity to create some goals or ‘challenges’ with your children. Check out some ideas below;

  • Weak hand dribbling challenge (set a time limit and count)

  • Can you dribble longer than mum/dad with your weak hand?

  • Count and record any ball handling activities. Set records to break!

  • Try a new skill and track improvements

  • Shooting knock out / dribble knock out

  • Shooting spots (record makes/misses out of 10)

  • Choose 1 style of layup to master over the break (weak hand finger roll, step through, floater).

  • 1 on 1 / 2 on 2 competitions with siblings or friends

  • You- tube challenge, choose 2 new ball handling skills from You-Tube and attempt each day for 2 weeks.

4) Be a Scholar of the Game

All great basketballers are smart players. I would encourage our young basketballers to watch professional leagues like the NBL, WNBL, Euro League and College Basketball. There is a great deal of knowledge to soak up by watching the pros go at it! In addition, this is one of the simplest and most effective ways to develop decision making in young players. This observation assists with young people identifying threats and good decision making.

 5) Get Fit, Be Fit!

Great players are fit athletes! The start of the new year often aligns with basketball season and this extended break is the best time to work on conditioning your body. This can include enhancing strength, mobility, power, speed and agility. These elements of athleticism can translate to less fatigue enforced errors and have a positive effect on performing on the court!

Jo Milling