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Learning and Development

The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy playing the game of basketball. The next most important thing is developing as a player as a person. The skills you learn on the court will provide you with invaluable life skills. There are various youth basketball development pathways to explore and we outline some of these below.

Basketball Skill Programs

Basketball skills camps or programs typically cover a range of skills, including:

  1. Dribbling: The ability to control the ball while moving is an essential skill for any basketball player. Skills learnt include how to dribble with both hands, change directions, and protect the ball from defenders.

  2. Passing: Learn different types of passes, such as chest passes, bounce passes, and overhead passes, and how to use them in game situations.

  3. Shooting: Learn how to shoot the ball accurately and consistently from different distances and angles. Also importantly, learn how to shoot free throws.

  4. Defence: Learn how to play defence effectively, including how to position, how to steal the ball, and how to contest shots.

  5. Teamwork: Learn how to work effectively with their teammates on both offense and defence.

There are several places where you can find basketball skills programs for children:

  1. Basketball Associations: Nearly all local basketball associations offer basketball skills programs for children. Training is offered generally by experienced coaches affiliated with the association. 

  2. Privately operated Camps and Programs: If you can’t find a suitable program at your local basketball association, there are many privately run programs available also. Many of these are founded by people who are passionate about the game such as coaches who have affiliation with current/former NBL/NBA players. These camps can be found through online directories or by word-of-mouth referrals.

When selecting a basketball skills program, consider the following factors:

  1. Age and Skill Level: Look for a program that is appropriate for the player’s age and skill level. If the player is a beginner, they will need a program that focuses on basic skills. If they are more advanced, they will need a program that challenges them and helps them improve their skills.

  2. Coaches and Facilities: Look for a program with experienced and knowledgeable coaches who can teach new skills and techniques. Also, consider the facilities where the program takes place. Are they well-maintained and safe?

  3. Schedule and Location: Consider the schedule and location of the program. Is it convenient? Is it close to home or work?

  4. Cost: Compare the costs of different programs to find one that fits your budget. Keep in mind that more expensive programs are not necessarily better; sometimes, lower-cost programs can offer just as much value. Typically basketball camps or skills programs cost around $80 – $100 AUD per day.

Home of Hoops have compiled a list of Basketball Associations and camps for Australia. Click here to find out more.

Individual or Team Coaching

Due to the diverse skill levels of the large number of players typically participating in skills camps or programs, it can be challenging to meet the needs of all attendees. If you are looking for more personalised training, it could be better to hire a coach specifically to train the player or the team. The cost to hire a personal coach could be anywhere from $50 – $100 AUD per hour.

To find a good basketball coach:

  1. Ask for recommendations from friends, teammates, or other basketball players in your community. They may be able to recommend coaches who have helped them improve their skills.

  2. Look for coaches with a proven track record of success. This might include coaches who have led teams to championships, or who have a history of developing talented players.

  3. Consider the coach’s experience and qualifications. Look for coaches who have played or coached at a high level, and who have completed relevant training or education.

  4. Look for coaches who are willing to work with players at all levels, and especially for younger players, who are patient and encouraging.

  5. Schedule a trial lesson with the coach in person to get a sense of their personality and coaching style. This can help you determine if they are a good fit.

Playing Basketball Games

Playing games is one of the best ways to improve skills in basketball. Playing games provides the opportunity to practice the various techniques and strategies that were learnt, such as shooting, passing, dribbling, and rebounding. 

Playing games will also help improve endurance, agility, and overall physical conditioning. Additionally, playing games provides exposure and experience to different game situations and allows players to learn how to react and adapt to them, which can help them become a better player overall.

Basketball Drills and Practice

Practicing drills is also a great way to improve skills in basketball. Drills are structured practices that focus on specific skills or aspects of the game. By practicing drills, skills can be honed, muscle memory built, and good habits formed. Some examples of basketball drills include shooting drills, ball handling drills, passing drills, and defensive drills.

Drills can be especially helpful for players who are just starting out, as they provide a structured and systematic way to learn the fundamentals of the game. They can also be helpful for more experienced players who want to focus on specific areas of their game that need improvement.

It’s important to note that while drills can be very helpful, they should not be the only way to practice. It’s also important to incorporate game-like situations into a practice routine, as this will help learn how to apply skills in a real game setting.

Lookout for Home of Hoops Articles on Basketball Drills players can train with.

Self Improvement and Learning

Watching videos and reading books or articles can be a useful way to learn about basketball and pick up new skills, techniques and game strategies. The are also many documentaries, books, articles, and other written resources available that share the stories of successful basketball players, coaches, and teams. Learning about the struggles and triumphs of past players can help develop a deeper appreciation for the game as well as provide motivation and inspiration. 

Here are 3 of the most popular and inspirational basketball books to read according to New York Times:

  • “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play” by Kobe Bryant
  • “Michael Jordan: The Life” by Roland Lazenby
  • “Stephen Curry: The Inspiring Story of One of Basketball’s Sharpest Shooters” by Clayton Geoffreys