March 7th, 2016 | Uncategorized
Out of all the skills to learn in basketball, ALL kids want to do in a coaching session is shoot. You can teach them all the cool dribbling drills, engaging defensive drills, or intriguing passing drills you want, but if they leave a session without shooting the ball AT LEAST once, you can bet that you are in the dog house until the next coaching session. Earlier in the year, some of the Victory Scholars and I attended a coaching lesson in Dublin to earn our certificate to legally coach young children in Ireland. I found it to be quite fun and interesting; leaving with more coaching drills and tools I would’ve never thought of before. One of them is the “1-2-3-4” shooting drill.
I loved the drill but wasn’t sure if it would actually work, so I gave it a try on my five and six year-old girls, known as the “Wildkittens”, that come to the first session of the Wildcats’ Saturday morning basketball camp. If you were to come to these sessions, you would understand how difficult it is dealing with the most sassy but sweetest girls at 9:30 a.m., so it’s imperative to find drills that keep them distracted and entertained.
The drill goes like this – the girls put a basketball between their legs, which are shoulder-width apart. They are supposed to scream the number that corresponds with the shooting action in the drill. “1” is where they put their writing hand in the middle of the ball, perpendicular to the basketball’s seams. “2” is them putting their off/guide hand on the side of the ball. “3” is bringing the ball up forcing the arm to have an L-shape, wrist bent so the ball can sit in the palm of their hand while bending their knees at the same time. “4” is them pushing the ball up, extending their arm into a follow-thru jumping into their shot. After running through the drill a few times together, practicing our form, they absolutely LOVED it….then again I started thinking what’s easier than giving young children a drill that consists of a simple 1-2-3-4 count, right?
A week goes by and I am thinking that the 1-2-3-4 shooting drill went over their heads. I’ve learned that in my time as a coach, feeding a lot of information about the game of basketball to really young kids can be a lot, where most of the information tends to go through one ear and out of the other. If I can teach them at least three things that they will remember before I leave Ireland, I feel accomplished as a coach and the 1-2-3-4 concept seems to be that drill. Since then, every single Saturday camp when we play a quick game of hot-seat, two particular Wildkittens always do the 1-2-3-4 drill before shooting the ball. And quite honestly, those two girls are at the top of the ladder in the hot seat game every time. I’m really glad they enjoyed the drill as much as I did…
Victory Scholar: Jazmen Boone
Present University: Waterford IT
US League: CAA
Club/Community Partner: Waterford Wildcats
Alma Mater: The College of William and Mary
Sponsored by: Teamwear Ireland