The fundamental skills of basketball are foundation of every play, offensive or defensive strategy, and every complicated skill stems from a fundamental skill. Perfecting the basic fundamentals is the first important and necessary step to becoming a GREAT basketball player.
Too often, youth coaches attempt to teach young athletes complicated skills and strategies well before their fundamentals are developed enough to be successful. I’ve seen youth trainers set up complicated two ball dribbling drills, 15 cones on the court for a drill resembling and obstacle course, and youth coaches implementing a full court press before they can even execute a half court defense, ect (et cetera).
In any sport, whether you’re a professional athlete or a youth player who just picked up the ball, strong fundamentals are vital for success.
What are the fundamentals? Fundamentals are the small nuances of the game that set the foundation for every other skill to be built. For example. Syp’s Touch Shooting Philosophy focuses on the fundamental skills of shooting first, such as foot alignment, leg bend, hand position, arm angle, follow through, and so on. From there we go on to build on the more complicated skills such as shooting off the dribble, using screens, ect. (et cetera)
For young athletes, it is important to focus on fundamental skills, such as:
- Footwork, jab steps, pivoting
- Lay ups
- Foul shooting
- Jump stops
- Triple threat position
- Basic screening cutting
- Defense, defensive strategies
- Rebounding, boxing out
- Basic post moves
Once your athletes begin to master some of these skills, it is good for them move on to more complicated skills.
Basketball training is about continuous progress, but at the same time keeping the fundamental skills sharp throughout a career.
Focusing on the fundamentals with young athletes will allow them to have fun, develop their capacity to learn, and ultimately improve their game. In the long-run, these athletes will show a great deal of appreciation for learning the right way to play at such a young age.