Coaching basketball at any level can be an exciting experience. When people interested in coaching think about getting involved, they often see themselves under the bright lights, coaching great players in front of thousands of people or on television. Realistically, though, most coaches get their start at a much lower level -- often coaching young kids, such as kindergartners. Coaching youngsters can sometimes be frustrating if your expectations are too high, but with a few simple tips, it can be rewarding and fun.
The most important thing to remember when coaching kindergartners is to keep it fun. Although your expectations might be high, remember that the kids are just figuring out what interests them. Keeping it fun and interesting by playing games and maintaining a fast pace that keeps their attention just might spark a love affair that will last a lifetime. Most important, don't get frustrated -- it might discourage your players from wanting to try again.
Teach the Fundamentals
Some of the kindergartners you are coaching now will likely continue playing throughout school. While it's important to keep it fun and interesting, it's never too early to start teaching the fundamentals. Teaching a child to do something the right way on the basketball court will increase his confidence and desire to try more advanced drills. Any successful coach will tell you that dumbing-down drills does not work when you're trying to instruct.
Lower the Baskets
Basketball is no fun if you can't make a basket. Often young kids aren't capable of shooting the basketball into a regular 10-foot basketball hoop. If you lower the basket to six or eight feet, the game becomes more fun because the kindergartners are more likely to make shots. If you're teaching them the right way to shoot and they are successful at doing it, they'll be more likely to listen as you try to teach other skills.
Have a Ball
The name of the game is basketball. Kids get bored easily when they aren't involved. If every kindergartner on the team has a ball to participate with, the practice is more interactive, and the children are more likely to listen. Giving everybody a ball allows you to teach fundamentals to everyone on your team at the same time.
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