Equal Playing Time in Youth Sports

Have you ever been part of a basketball team comprised of twelve players; however, the coach only plays eight of them? The only time the coach will play the other four players will be through a couple minutes in the fourth quarter against weaker opponents when the team has secured the win. Now imagine how those four athletes feel in comparison to the other players on the team. Do you think it is fair to those other four players that spent the season on the bench?

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Coaching Styles in Sport

As I was deciding what to write about this week, I reflected on previous coaches I have had in the past and compared that to the way I currently coach my team today. I looked at and evaluated each coaching style of my previous coaches and if they had an impact on the way that I coach. As we all know, there are a number of different coaching styles and/or techniques; however, after some research, I think that there are two main coaching styles we use today in everyday life at any age group. The first one being transactional coaching and secondly transformational coaching styles.

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Youth Player Positions – Do they really matter?

As a coach or a parent are you concerned about what position your son, daughter or young athlete occupies while playing basketball. Many coaches today start teaching young athletes about specific positions in basketball and informing those players that they must play that position for the whole season. Children at this age do not know the difference between a shooting guard and a power forward; rather, they just want to play the sport and have fun.

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Drill: Practicing V-Cuts


While watching and/or playing basketball, have you ever had the opportunity to guard the man who stands around at the 3-point line or the bottom of the key, and just waits for the ball? It feels amazing to play defense against a player like that because they don’t have to be watched as closely and the player is putting minimal pressure, if any, on the defense. On the other hand, the player who is constantly moving off of screens and creating space to get the ball through various movements, now that’s a tiring task!

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The Coach-Athlete Relationship

Think about it. When you were playing sports or in the classroom, did you ever have a coach or teacher that made learning so fun you did not want to leave? Or when you were not having the best day, was that person able to cheer you up and get you back on your feet, performing your best? Or did you have that one coach or teacher that pushed you to be the best you could be, while still being supportive and understanding? I know I did.

The coach-athlete relationship is said to be one of the most important bonds when playing sports and could significantly boost an athlete’s performance levels and self-confidence. On the other hand, a negative coaching experience can significantly turn athlete’s away from playing a sport they may love.

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Questions for Coaches

Mike Klinzing

Mike Klinzing (Small).jpgMike Klinzing is Founder and Executive Director of Head Start Basketball (Cleveland, OH). Offering youth basketball camps and skills training for over 20 years, Head Start Basketball uses the game to improve character, develop leadership, and promote sportsmanship.

Parents often face difficult decisions regarding their child’s youth basketball experience. What coach or program is the best one for my young player? These decisions are often complicated by misinformation that is shared by parents of other players. How can you make a good decision about where to play and what coach is best for your young player? Start by asking these nine questions of the coach or program administrator.

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