North Carolina Spartans: Age Based Basketball Skills

Monday, December 13
Basketball Skills Based Teaching Progression

Suggestions for Skills Based Teaching Progression

Here are some areas of suggestion for developing a basketball skills teaching progression. How quickly your players can advance through these phases will depend upon how quickly they grasp and automate the basics. Be cautious about introducing more complex skills when they are having problems executing the basics without thinking about them.

Ages 8-10 (Introductory Phase of Basketball Skills)

Working on Footwork Fundamentals

? Teach the basketball triple threat stance -- Catch, & Square -- Shot Ready

? Teach the quick explosive start

? Teach the quick stop including a jump stop and stride stop

? Front and reverse pivoting

? Defensive step & slide footwork

Dribbling and Ball Handling Skills

? Stationary dribbling including the dominant, non-dominant and alternating hands

? Controlled dribble in the open court

? Speed dribble in the open court

? Crossover dribble -- Change of speed and rhythm with the dribble

? Basic Ball Handling Drills

Shooting Skills

? A stationary lay-up with the dominant and non-dominant hands

? Moving lay-up with the dominant hand

? Set shot from no more than 15 feet with good form

? Free throws from 8-9 feet

Receiving the Ball

? Catching ball stationary

? Catching the ball while moving

Passing

? Chest pass to a stationary and non-stationary target

? Bounce pass to a stationary and non-stationary target

? Overhead pass to a stationary and non-stationary target

Rebounding

? Jumping for and pursuit of the ball

Individual Offensive Moves -- From Catch - Square and Shot Ready Position

? Drive step to the basket --

? No foot fakes!

? Shot fake and shoot

? Shot Fake and drive

Offensive Movement Without the Ball

? Direct cuts to the ball

? V-Cuts

? L-Cuts

? Setting screens & Using screens

Defense

? Basic defensive stance

? Slide steps

? Advance and retreat steps on defense

? Drop step

? Dribble defense -- on ball defense

? Denial defense in the passing lane -- defense one pass away from ball

Ages 11-13 (Transition Phase to more advanced Basketball Skills)

You should continue to work on all the above fundamentals and add these listed below.

Working on Footwork Fundamentals

? more of the same

Dribbling and Ball Handling Skills

? Add the reverse and spin dribble moves

Shooting Skills

? Continue to work on stationary non-dominant hand lay-ups

? Add non-stationary non-dominant hand lay-ups

? Add the jump shot

? Increase free throw practice distance to 12 to15 feet.

Receiving the Ball

? Increase complexity of catching drills with more dynamic movement and speed.

Passing

? Increased complexity to Chest pass to non-stationary target

? Increased complexity to Bounce pass to non-stationary target

? Two hand overhead pass from a rebound outlet

? Add hook pass and hook bounce pass to drills

? Baseball pass

Rebounding

? Introduce box out position and front and reverse box out pivots

? Introduce defensive rebound positioning

? Introduce offensive rebound positioning

Individual Offensive Moves

? Increase repetitions to automate basic individual moves

? Add Shot Fake and crossover step move

? Introduce post up position

? Teach post square up and shoot -- front and reverse pivot

? Introduce post drop step move

Offensive Movement Without the Ball

? Continue to practice all phases of movement without the ball including cuts to get

open

? setting and using screens.

Defense

? Increase repetitions for defensive slide footwork, advance and retreat footwork an

drop step increasing both time and duration of drills.

? Introduce dead ball defense

? Teach the shot challenge

? Help side defense -- defense two or more passes away from ball

? Defending screens -- down screen, back screen & cross screen

Court Geography

Ages 14 & older (Transition to Automated Advanced Basketball Skills)

You should continue to work on all the above fundamentals and add these listed below.

Working on Footwork Fundamentals

? more of the same

? You might also introduce how a stride start or stop may be advantageous in a few

situations. While I am not a big fan of the stride stop (because you lose the ability

to go either direction) I have seen some players able to use variable strides as an

effective way to change speeds and keep defensive pressure off of them or create

shot space.

Dribbling and Ball Handling Skills

? Add the reverse and spin dribble moves

? Introduce behind the back dribble

? Introduce between the legs dribble -- front of and behind thigh

? Emphasize acceleration immediately upon making a move so as not to lose

advantage gained by the move against the defense.

Shooting Skills

? Add more variability to the jump shot including off the dribble, pass and various

catching positions

? Introduce and work on three point shot.

? All free throw practice should be from the regular 10 feet line.

Receiving the Ball

? Increase complexity of catching drills with more dynamic movement and speed.

Passing

? Increased complexity to Chest pass to non-stationary target

? Increased complexity to Bounce pass to non-stationary target

? Add hook pass and hook bounce pass to drills

? Introduce variable speed passes for passing to the post -- bounce and lob pass

Rebounding

? Continue on more creative defensive and offensive rebound techniques including

swimming or pinning action to get inside position

? Teach players to make physical contact against more athletic jumper to reduce

their effectiveness

Individual Offensive Moves

? Work on creating consistency, speed, and explosiveness with all perimeter and

low post moves -- Drop step & power, turn & shoot J, up & under, baby hook

Offensive Movement Without the Ball

? Continue to practice all phases of movement without the ball including cuts to get

open

? setting and using screens.

? Introduce curl, flare, pop-out, fade, and back cuts relative to position of defense

Defense

? Players at this stage should be well into advanced levels of individual and team

defense.

I realize that I haven't given a huge amount of skill specific details for these three phases

of learning basketball skills but this will help you begin to build a program based on what

might be expected of learners at these various age levels. I have seen players at 10 or 11

with some advanced skills, but I caution you again.
Do your young players a huge favor

and make sure they can execute the basics in their sleep so that as they age and mature

their skill limitations do not severely hinder them when their bodies maturity allows them

to physical do much more.
It breaks my heart to see talented athletes who cannot pass

with their left hand, or pivot off either foot. They will never become the player they are

capable of becoming if they do not pass ALL THE SKILLS TESTS each step of the way.