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Coaching 4th graders
January 15, 2008 09:24PM

I'm coaching my son's fourth grade basketball team and would like some advice on the most important skills to teach. I played in high school, but that's been a while ago.
Re: Coaching 4th graders
January 16, 2008 03:05PM
Teach dribbling with both hands, lay-ups with both hands, triple threat position, good defensive stance, and start working on proper shooting form from in close to the basket (several kids will be too weak to shoot anywhere else with the correct form). Also, any type of passing drills are good. They need to develop hand-eye coordination and a feeling of proper footwork.

Most of all... make sure that they are enjoying it! At that age, they can learn so much from just playing. The more they enjoy it, the more they are going to want to play and learn.
Re: Coaching 4th graders
January 16, 2008 04:08PM
Maybe have a lokk on those books:



Not too expensive and will help you develop your team and the correct skills by not going too far.

Coach Mueller
Re: Coaching 4th graders
January 17, 2008 04:42AM
I've coached a lot of teams in this age range. Teaching basic skills is mostly a waste of time. You cannot make them skilled ball handlers in an hour a week. They have to do that on their own and you have to make that clear to the parents.

Plays are mostly a waste of time because at that age at least one kid (usually more) will forget their name, let alone the play. One good inbounds play and maybe one regular set play.

There are 2 basic things that you will get the most return on without a doubt.

1. Setting picks
2. Help defense.

Those 2 things alone will win you games and make you look like a coaching genius. You have to INSIST they do both. During scrimages no shots are allowed unless there is a screen. If there is no help D in scrimages, stop the scrimage. At this age you have to be very, very persistent and a lot of repetitions.

It will take time but if you INSIST they do it your way they will eventually do it.
Re: Coaching 4th graders
January 17, 2008 05:14PM
So you don't think that they should be taught things to do with ball-handling, passing, etc.? I don't really think that winning games is the objective there anyway. Not that teaching help defense and setting screens is wrong, but I certainly wouldn't view the rest as a waste of time.
Re: Coaching 4th graders
January 20, 2008 12:23AM
The best book detailing the skills to teach at different age groups is probably Cross Over. It breaks all the skills down into age groups and different skills and includes 100+ drills.

Coach k
Re: Coaching 4th graders
December 07, 2012 06:15AM
At this age you need to break the kids into two groups: skilled players and underperformers. Break the kids into two groups and have them work on skills applicable to their level. The unskilled could bounce balls against a wall or something. Have the skilled players run the three man weave. Play your skilled players for most of the game and give the unskilled limited minutes. As a coach you didn't can't give the kids natural abilities - the kids that want to develop will and the one's that don't will eventually fall by the wayside. Hope this helps... Good luck!
Re: Coaching 4th graders
December 11, 2012 11:51PM
that is absolutely the rudest advice possible,.

If you want to be a flippin tyrant, then listen to this post, but otherwise the fundamentals and running 3X3 or scrimmages is good.

Attitude of respect and teamwork is critical. Fundamentals, in only an hour a week, will truly be up to them how they develop.

Your attitude of encouragement is important.
Playing those that are weak get them better. Focusing only on the stars just feeds the kid's narcissism that is already there anyways.
TEAMS win, stars fall.
Coach W
Re: Coaching 4th graders
January 04, 2013 07:06PM
I think it also depends on what level you are coaching. Is it a rec program or a competitive league? I've coached both. My best suggestion is to clearly communicate to the kids AND parents what your philosophy will be. (play to only win, to develop individual skills, dev. team skills, everyone plays, etc) That way everyone knows what will happen.

As for skills, here's what I focus on: ball handling, passing, man to man defense with help, basic motion offense & spreading out, rules of the game, why & what certain drills are for and how they relate to BB.

For practice I spend time on an individual skill, offense, defense and do lots of scrimmaging (3 on 3, 4 on 4, 5 on 5) and stopping when they don't do what I asked them to focus on or what we just worked on. Lots of encouragement!

I send emails with ideas that kids can do at home (dribbling with a ball that has some air let out, squeezing tennis balls to strengthen fingers, shooting form without a ball, watching BB on tv or going to high school games and see what they can learn from the game).

Good luck with your season!
basketball teams
January 24, 2013 01:16AM
Do u couch and do u have a basketball
Re: Coaching 4th graders
October 04, 2014 12:56AM
Hope you never coach my children or anyone for that matter
Re: Coaching 4th graders
November 01, 2014 08:22PM
I hate to say this but your all right. I have over 200 kids in my club, all grades and skill levels. You want to win, Coach 62 is right, skills drills in one or two practices a week wont make them great players. But it will teach them what they need to be working on at home.

So two schools of thought, do you want to develop kids or win games. Well, I think you can do both. Here is what we do

Break your practice into 3 segments, 1/2 hour or skill development / 1/2 hour of team drills, offense and defense and finally, 1/2 hour of live play. Now in live play, you can incorporate a lot of things. It isnt just 5 on 5 scrimmaging. Do some full court, some half court, some zone & man work. Play 1 on 1, 2 on 2, 3 on 3. Maybe my favorite 3 on 3 on 3 or 4 on 4 on 4 cut throat and definitely some no or one dribble work.

If you can fit in some transition work, off to def and def to off as well as press attack, that will pay dividends.

Bottom line, we find breaking into 3 or 4 segments lets us serve both master, player development and winning games. Good luck Coach,

Coach LeClaire
Re: Coaching 4th graders
January 27, 2018 04:10PM
ugh, the 3-4th grade league I am coaching in only allows the teams to practice a half hour before each game. Any tips on coaching in this given time? It feels most of the coaching will be done during the game.

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