View Full Version : coaching your daughter's bball team

jkm, the stolen pifwafwi
11/15/2005, 02:27 PM
just a thread where everyone can talk about what they've done. washington sports suck. they don't have a problem with one freak stacking a team in a league and running roughshod over it with pure talent. i've got several girls who have played for several years and were shocked when i told them to dribble with their off hand and look up at me. their skill level is way below my 2nd graders that i coached in oklahoma.

this is my daughters 3rd year playing (1st, 4th, and 5th) she broke her arm in 2nd grade and her back in 3rd grade so she didn't play.

1st practice ->

gave out the attached stuff to the parents (visio with court diagrams and a sample skill inventory for dribbling that i created).

went through an evaluation with the players which consisted of all the dribbles on the evaluation sheet to see where we were.

went through stationary passing drills then added some complexity (2 dribbles walking and then pass and then 4 dribbles running and then pass).

tried to do a boxing out drill but they had no idea what i was talking about so i dropped it

did 3 person passing drills down the court

moved to 2 person passing drills down the court

did layup drill (actually had to teach them how to do it)

did stationary shooting drills from each low block, each elbow and the free throw line

talked to the parents and that was the hour

next practice

warm up with dribbling (5 minutes)

teach the girls how to dribble (basic dribble, side to side with one hand dribble and the advanced crossover) 15 minutes

teach the girls proper shot form (10 minutes)

free shooting period w/ water break (5 minutes) while i talk to the parents

full court layup drill (10 minute) push intensity and speed of players

explain concept of man to man defense (5 min)

scrimmage (10 minutes)

future items
blocking out, one on one matchups, zone defense, shot fakes, pick and roll, give and go, etc.

11/15/2005, 05:51 PM
The only free advice I can give is to find a mother or older sister to help demonstrate blocking out (put your butt on their hip), pushing the rebounder out of position when they put their butt on your hip.
Also, I did a lot of patting them on the shoulder to show approval. Their parents seem to take a dim view of a middle aged male patting their precious young daughters on the behind!!:)

Remembering Tom Stidham
11/15/2005, 06:04 PM
After coaching men's teams for five years (and learning my stomach could not handle losing) I wound up coaching children for almost two decades. Your first act should be teaching proper shooting form. Fifth grade girls may just push up two-handed granny shots, but if you can teach good one-hand form, do it. Teach them, first, how to get the ball up on the rim and then they will listen to anything/everything you try to teach in the future. Teaching individual responsibility on defense is also important, whether you play man or zone. Children LOVE to cause turnovers. Teach them to execute lay-ups by jumping off of the opposite foot (to the shooting hand). This can be difficult. Teach them the importance of winning, while remembering your primary job is to help each girl build her self-esteem. The Henry Iba 'figure-8' warm-up drill is the best teaching system of them all. Forget those others. Once the season begins, type a letter after each game and hand it out to each child. Lead off with positive philosophy and quotes then summarize the prior game. Mention each girl who played well, trying to include as many as possible, but WITHOUT fluff. They recognize insincerity.

John Wooden produced an excellent coaching tape for teaching children. Get a copy and memorize it.

Do your job well and these girls will remember you fondly for the rest of their lives. I have been there. Good luck.

11/15/2005, 08:10 PM
jkm - so how are you liking washington? i just hit 10 years in portland, i feel like an oregonian.

jkm, the stolen pifwafwi
11/15/2005, 09:56 PM
eh, i like the skiing but that's about it

11/16/2005, 03:05 AM
eh, i like the skiing but that's about it
Where do you ski most, Stevens? If I remember right, you live a bit that direction.

11/16/2005, 11:45 AM
yeah, but don't you live out in some suburb? did you consider living in the city at all?

11/16/2005, 11:56 AM
Where do you ski most, Stevens? If I remember right, you live a bit that direction.

Oh man, Stevens Pass? My dad use to pull us out of school early to go ski nights there. Good times.

jkm, the stolen pifwafwi
11/16/2005, 12:11 PM
stevens is about 45 minutes away. we are buying a condo at mt baker for next year...

11/16/2005, 12:24 PM
dang dude, you're quite organized for a little league coach...player eval spreadsheet, visio diagrams, skill inventory...very impressive

11/16/2005, 12:31 PM
I've been coaching my fifth grader's team for three years. In that time, we're 29-1, with two division titles and two tournament championships.

The two things I stress the most are defense and rebounding. I repeat that at every single practice. We run a 1-3-1 half court trap defense, and when properly executed, it is suffocating.

The advice on shooting technique can't be emphasized enough. Even in the fifth grade, our opponents are still shooting two-handed, just like their female P.E. instructors taught them.

Once you've settled on your starting and backup ball handlers, focus on advancing their dribbling skills, while letting the rest of the team just develop basic dribbling skills. Not everyone on the team needs to handle the ball like John Stockton, and to be honest most kids this age aren't coordinated well enough yet.

I don't get too fancy on offense, either. I just run different variations of the pick and roll, which is one of the oldest plays in the game of basketball, and the triangle. It's very, very basic. I've found that letting kids perfect a few plays is much better than trying to teach them a whole playbook. I only get the kids twice a week for an hour at a time. I don't have time to get fancy. As they perfect the basic play, I install a variation of it.

Prior to this team, I coached my oldest's team for three years. That was the first time I'd ever coached basketball. We went 16-11 and I learned a lot over those three years. I turned the team over to my assistant coach--a mother of one of the kids on the team. This assistant was constantly unteaching everything I taught and disagreeing with almost every decision I made. That was three years ago.

My daughter left the team two years ago--after a winless season under their new head coach. They are eighth graders now--playing at a fifth grade skill level and getting soundly beaten by everyone in the league.

I'd put my championship fifth grade squad against them, and probably win. If you do "hire" an assistant coach, make sure it's someone who understands their role as an assistant coach.

If you're married, that assistant should NOT be your wife. Wives don't cotton well to taking orders, regardless of the setting. It should also not be the mother of someone on your team, because then you're giving orders to a mother and her daughter. Both of these pieces of advice come from experience. I realize my experience is anecdotal and very unscientific, but I will never have a female assistant coach again. Evar.

jkm, the stolen pifwafwi
11/16/2005, 12:49 PM
unfortunately, this rec league is geared to where talent wins games, not strategy (more enforcing the stacking of teams stuff).


you are allowed to play a half court zone but you can't trap. you are allowed to play full court man to man but you can't double team.

the stacked teams have 7 players i have 10 (5 of which have never played before) and everyone has to play an equal amount of time (having 10 makes that math pretty easy ;) ).

the last girls squad i had (first and second graders) we went 18-0 and won a tulsa area tournament with our 2-1-2 yo yo trap. i had a first grader who mastered the between the legs dribble and she was something else to watch. she could break anyone down off the dribble and then dish to one of the bigger girls.

anyway, since i got another newby we are going to start the next practice with a basketball history lesson (who invented basketball, etc.) and then i'm going to teach them how to dribble. they are slapping the ball instead of making "the claw" and using the catch, slow, push, flip your wrist method. we are then going to do that with single dribbles with me giving the guards extra work by making them dribble 2 balls at the same time. i have 10 so i can have 2 teams of players and can teach offense and defense fairly quickly (if not repetitiously)

11/16/2005, 01:36 PM
For you that have been around the girl's game for a while. My sister is in 7th grade in Broken Arrow. She just started playing basketball about 3 years ago. She has only played on Boy's Club teams, she tried out and made a club team at this place on 101st and Memorial. But she was new and the rest of the team had been playing together for like 5 years so she didnt really fit in.

She is amazing on defense. She is already taller then my wife. She is about 5'7. She can dribble. She can pass. But shooting not so much. She cant shoot foul shots, but in the speed of the game not so much.

Is this something that is picked up on more quickly when you start playing for your school team and you get to practice in an organized enviornemnt everyday.

jkm, the stolen pifwafwi
11/16/2005, 02:08 PM
you either shoot or you don't. its a fear of failure thing. you work on form and start shooting. you then have to make a conscious choice to start shooting the shots you are comfortable with.

its difficult to describe in words but we can give you tips for proper shot form

11/16/2005, 03:28 PM
jthomas -
i would suggest getting her to a shooting camp. they'll teach her proper mechanics.

11/16/2005, 03:29 PM
good lord, i played D-1 hoops and don't think we got that technical!!!

11/17/2005, 12:22 AM
Its not so much shooting itself. If she spots up from anywhere shes good. Its just playing in the speed of the game layups, etc. Mostly confidence I guess

11/17/2005, 12:45 AM
It's still all about the fundamentals. Great defense. Great rebounding. Make your free throws. You'll always win.

It doesn't matter if your league outlaws zone defenses or not--because a good zone defense is a good man-to-man defense. The same fundamental skills are involved.

There are only a few things y'all need to work on in practice. Defense. Rebounding. Free throws. At ANY age, these are the things that win basketball games.

Something else I forgot to mention in my first post: One of the hardest things to teach a kid is to always know where the ball is. It's always "keep your eyes on that ball." Especially on defense.


Play defense. Teach rebounding. Have them make their free throws. You will win.

Oh, and in case you missed it:


jkm, the stolen pifwafwi
11/17/2005, 02:20 AM
one of the first things that i teach girls is that when we are offense its "our" ball. when we are on defense, they have "my" ball. you do anything you can within the rules to get your ball back. that rebound is yours because its "your" ball. it always cracks me up because there is one wisenheimer every year that the first time they make a steal they yell out "that's my ball".

another thing that i make my guards do to help them become leaders is any time they want the ball they have to yell "outlet". i use it as the first step to getting them to understand that they control this game and the absolute last thing they want to see is a center dribbling up the court. about midseason, they are semi-temper tantrum on the court when a forward doesn't throw them the ball when they call for it on the break.

11/19/2005, 07:32 AM
Proper form shooting (as everyone has mentioned) is the best thing you can do for these girls. They will be that much ahead of others as they get older. I would suggest starting and ending each practice with a form shooting drill. Have the girls stand 5 ft and in and shoot the ball properly with their shooting hand only for about 10 shots then put the guide hand on for the next 10.

You can also implement a team shooting drill with the shooter on the baseline (however far back), a rebounder (they could get their own rebounds--probably better), and a girl on each elbow to pass to. Form a line behind the shooter and have the girls rotate after shooting to the passing spots then back to the shooting line. Give them a goal like 20 to make in 2 minutes and they can count along and all that good stuff. If they don't make it you could go all General on 'em ;)

Hope you have a successful year--see if you can get a couple technicals ;)

Oh and jthomas--the only way to really improve shooting is repetition. At her age I'd say 15 ft out shoot from the baselines, wings, and the line (kind of where the balls are set up in the 3-point contests). Shoot 100 shots from each spot. Same form, same step in over and over and over where it becomes automatic. As she gets tired it will make her use her legs more in the shot--good luck to her!

jkm, the stolen pifwafwi
11/19/2005, 11:33 AM
okay, i changed the agenda a little.

had them pick a team name while i talked to the parents.

then went over some of the court objects and the rules for traveling, double dribble, and 3 in the key.

taught them the proper way to do a simple one handed dribble and then moved from side to side. stepped over the ball to show that going through the legs is the same motion. some of them were pretty consistent about going through the legs so they may learn to dribble yet ;)

then went to proper shot form. some of the goals were at 7feet so i had them practice getting it over the rim on the lower goal before we went to the 10 foot goal. i have 2 players that get it including my daughter. of course, she has a very bad habit of trying to **** the ball on her hip and heave :mad:

we then did a full court dribble guard drill. mixed results but the ones that are getting it did well. at this point a full court press would be a full court layup drill.

scrimmaged a little to see what kind of natural skills some of them had. one girl was very adept at floating to the open area. definite plus.

next week, continue fundamentals and then work hard on defensive position. my thinking is the normal layup drill with a person guarding them.