THE ROLE OF A CENTER IN YOUTH BASKETBALL

by FRANCISCO VINCENTY
(PUERTO RICO)

I HAVE AN EIGHT YEAR OLD WHO FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS HAS PLAYED AS A CENTER BECAUSE HE IS THE TALLEST.


BUT HE HAS THE SPEED ,PASSING, DRIBBLING AND SHOOTING ABILITIES OF A TWO OR THREE. THE BASKETBALL COACH ALWAYS USES HIM IN THE FIVE POSITION IN THE FULL COURT PRESS AND HE HAS TO RUN ALL THE WAY TO THE OTHER BASKET TO IN BOUND THE BASKETBALL IF THE FRONT PLAYERS IN THE PRESS TAKE THE BALL.

IF WE MAKE A BASKET HE HAS TO GO ALL THE WAY TO THE FIVE POSITION AND BE READY TO RUN TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BASKET IF THE OTHER TEAM COMMITS A TURNOVER. SO HE IS RUNNING DOUBLE THE DISTANCE THAN THE REST OF THE PLAYERS.

IF HE IS SO IMPORTANT TO INBOUND THE BASKETBALL SHOULD HE BE IN A BETTER POSITION IN THE PRESS PLAYING IN FRONT IN THE TWO OR THREE POSITION.

OR IF HE IS SO IMPORTANT IN THE FIVE POSITION IN THE FULL COURT PRESS BECAUSE OF HIS STRENGTH AND DEFENSIVE SKILLS SHOULD ANOTHER PLAYER BE THE ONE TO IN BOUND THE BASKETBALL SO HE CAN HAVE MORE TIME TO RUN TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COURT?

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Dec 08, 2011
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Big men in youth basketball
by: Anonymous

First of all, there is a million different right and wrong ways to coach and utilize youth players. Coaches come in many different types from new rec teams all the way up to ultra competitive. Some coaches spend a lot of their own free time to make team decisions, practice and game plans. Some spend very little and wing it on the fly.

All of these decisions are molded by that coaches beliefs on what is best for their players and teams to the immediate future vs their long term development. Coaches that are in it for the long hall will ignore the desire to "do whatever it takes" to just win games now. They will spend time teaching the players to master the fundamentals more than just a running and gunning format. Trying to win now at all costs, would be setting up a system to primarily benefit their current best players.

You either have a coach that is trying to win now and just wants to keep the ball primarily in the hands of his most reliable ball handlers with a strong big kid for defense backup. OR - he may realize that his big kid is working very hard with little amount of ball touches now but is actually getting the best training for future seasons where all his hard work and court positioning will give him the #1 chance to score the most baskets as the kids grow bigger, stronger and smarter, becoming better passers.

Ultimately, the best way to soothe your curiosity would be to talk to the coach and find out what is in his mind. If you can't talk with the coach about this, it would be time to think about a new team in the future.

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