Teaching the Fundamentals So Young Basketball Students Can Learn Improve and Become Elite.
Author: William Jenkins
JENKINS ELITEHOOPS Academy is the labor of love of its Founder, local professional basketball standout and three-sport athlete, William Jenkins. A Glendale, WI native, William began garnering athletic accolades early in his life, culminating in being named to the Nicolet High School Hall of Fame for his academic and athletic achievements in basketball, volleyball, and baseball. Following high school, William was awarded a four-year full scholarship to play at Men’s basketball powerhouse Valparaiso University where he was an integral starting member of the Cinderella team that prevailed in one of the most famous NCAA Men's Basketball tournament games of all time resulting in the ESPY award-nominated ’The Shot' Valpo vs Ole Miss.’ Continuing his basketball prowess after graduating college with a degree in Business & Psychology, William played professional basketball in Europe. Today, you can find William coaching his children and helping young athletes to learn, develop and master basketball fundamentals. Jenkins now resides in Prosper, TX with his wife and two children.
Someone sent me this pic of me coaching my son this weekend and It prompted me to share a thought about criticism and feedback- clearly my 8-year old has got it down …
Taking constructive criticism can (most often will) help you succeed. Sometimes we may not want to ‘hear’ it or we don’t ‘ask’ for it … yet it can give us a new perspective and open our eyes to things we may have overlooked or never considered.
Whether it’s a peer review of our work or a coach sharing how to avoid a defensive double-team on the court ☺️- constructive criticism and feedback can help us grow.
Five Spot Shooting is one of the best all around shooting workouts developing players can utilize. In fact, if there’s ONE workout you ever use to become a good shooter- this would be it!
Five Spot Shooting is a progressive workout that covers every aspect of shooting from every spot on the court. It’s extremely thorough and ensures that you are getting in the right repetitions.
Additionally, it helps you develop distance control because you methodically move your way out from the basket.
Why Five Spot Shooting? :
Most players like to start outside and shoot shots they are not ready for (should not be shooting). That is very counterproductive and one of the biggest mistakes that players make.
Five Spot Shooting workout forces the player to focus on fundamentals, shoot from the proper distance and progressively build their shots the right way.
The Set up :
As shown in the diagram and shot chart below, you will be shooting from five different angles on the court (left baseline, right baseline, left wing, right wing, and middle). taking 50 total shots from each of the five angles.
You will begin on the left wing, setting up four feet from the basket (spot one in the diagram below). Take 10 shots from spot one, keeping track of how many you make out of 10. If you make at least six out of 10, you are able to progress back to spot two which is four feet back from spot one (eight feet from the basket).
However, if you fail to make at least six shots from spot one in round one, you are not able to move back to spot two. You must stay in spot one for round two. In round two you will again take 10 shots and keep track of how many you make.
Again, if you make at least six shots, you can move back to the next spot. Each new spot is four feet farther back from the previous spot.
The same continues for rounds three through five. Once you have completed round five you will have taken 50 total shots and you will then move to the next angle (ex: middle). After finishing all five angles you will have attempted 250 total shots from all court angles.
This drill is great because it requires players to master shooting from a certain distance before they can move back. Do not be disappointed if you do not make it back to the three-point line.
Most players will remain in spots 1-4 for the entire workout.
Five Spot Shooting keeps players within their appropriate range and provides them goals to achieve.
Feel free to use the following Shot Chart to record your progress!
Yesterday I read an interesting article by a man who says young players shouldn‘t watch the NBA.
And he backs this up with many solid points:
The NBA is chock-full of:
Yelling at referees
Technical fouls and ejections
And it’s not great for our young, impressionable youth to see these things on a nightly basis.
Especially when we’re doing our best to teach them the opposite…
Respect for others
Repeating myself for emphasis:
It’s incredibly difficult to convince our youth players of the importance of these traits when the world’s best players — who are the idols and role models of the current generation — are doing the exact opposite of what we preach.
Watching them is undoubtedly going to have a negative influence.
He even points out how the commentators encourage these *dirty* acts during the game by saying things like:
“A good elbow to the midsection just sends a good message to your opponent.”
And while this may be accepted in the NBA where millions of dollars and world championships are on the line, it becomes a big problem when young players start to believe that it’s acceptable for their level.
Now, to be clear…
I’m not telling you to forbid your team from watching the best basketball players on the planet (NBA, of course). I watch a lot of it myself.
It’s just an interesting topic that I thought would interest you.
I’ll leave you to decide what to make of it.
*Originally shared via Coach Mac of the Championship Coaching Course May 2019
“Coachabilty describes someone who wants to be coached. This manifests itself as someone who likes being challenged, loves learning, strives for more and more and then works tirelessly at what they’re taught.” – Coach Geno Auriemma
Yeah, I get it. When it comes to basketball we all want our child to be the highest jumper, the quickest and best athlete on the floor. After all, if our kids are going to make their middle-school team, that AAU select team, or start on Varsity at the local high school- they gotta be the best…right?
Here’s a little secret- While all those physical attributes (quickness, agility, strength) are advantages to excelling in basketball- there’s one aspect of the game that young basketball players must embrace to become elite.
Being coachable and being teachable go hand in hand. Go ahead and let that sink in. Coaches are teachers and players are students- basketball is the subject. As a coach/teacher we want to feel that our player/students care about what we say.
Coach Jenkins Tip: Parents. Please let the coach ….’coach.’
How do You Know if Your Athlete is Coachable?
There are three main traits that a player needs to possess to be considered coachable:
HUMILITY A player that has humility accepts and admits that there are things they do not know, and cannot do, within the sport of basketball. Further, the player is willing to concede when they cannot accomplish a certain task alone and are willing to allow the coach to help
SENSE OF PURPOSE A player who is willing to state their goals and demonstrate their motivation will typically be easier to reach through coaching.
FAITH Improvement or non-improvement as a player can only be determined after the player has been through the experience with you as the coach. A player that puts faith in you is forgoing the benefit of hindsight, understanding that sometimes things need to get worse before they get better. At the same time that you are seeking or imparting these characteristics to your players, you should also encourage players and their parents to seek the same in a prospective coach.
What Can You Do to Make Sure You are Coachable?
Teaching your young basketball athlete/s to be coachable is not easy- it’s not impossible either. There are many things that we can do, say and teach as parents to help in this effort. But would be shocked to know that it starts with YOU?!
Set an Example and Stop Speaking Poorly of Coaches…
Way too often I hear parents speaking poorly of coaches in front of their children. The next time your young athlete comes to you with a complaint about his or her coach, think twice before you undermine that coach. It may be hard, but trust me- it will be worth it.
How about you? What are you doing to help your athlete be more coachable? Please share in the comments below.