Youth Basketball Fundamentals and Offensive Plays (5-7 yr olds)

by Cindi
(Texas, USA)

Picture Of Youth Basketball Players

Picture Of Youth Basketball Players

Coaching Youth Basketball beginners level (5-7 year olds), the fundamentals and simple offensive plays that they can understand is challenging. I'm coaching for the second year a youth basketball YMCA team (last year kindergarten this year 1st graders).


They play on an 8 ft. goal and must play man to man defense and wear colored wristbands to match up defense oppositions equally (skill and/or size). Each player must play a minimum of 2 quarters and sit for at least 1 quarter. The score is cleared after each quarter.

I'm interested in discussing and learning how to better develop the children's fundamental skills, terminology, teamwork concept and incorporate a few effective offensive plays (screening and picks are not allowed).

I created a few simple plays that we attempted to execute depending on the opposing team's level of play and found that we were eventually successful executing some plays towards the end of the season as the players developed.

One way I found to be effective in having the team remember plays was to name them after a favorite cartoon that was applicable to the play. For example, "Sponge Bob" meant that 2 players would drop down to the post where they would feel comfortable shooting from and that the ball handler would lob a pass over to them (this worked since Sponge Bob lives under the sea; the players remembered to drop below their defender).

I'm interested in sharing ideas or receiving coaching tips that have worked for others with this level of basketball play.

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Feb 17, 2011
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Getting them to dribble forward
by: Coach Jenny

Great ideas from both of you!

I've only been coaching for 3 weeks and so far we've focused on the basics: shooting, dribbling, layups, defense, and passing.

We had our first "game" last week, and I think we need to work on moving the ball forward. Any tips or drills that you have found help the kids dribble around defenders and go toward the basket?

Dec 06, 2007
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Coaching Youth Basketball Tips
by: Joe Waters - webmaster

Thanks for the great comments on coaching youth basketball.

I think you're league is on the right track with how they have the basketball games set up. 8 ft. goal, man defense, colored wristbands, playing time for all players, no screening allowed, and little emphasis on the scoreboard...these are all great ideas.

This is how youth basketball leagues, especially 5-7 year olds, need to operate.

The focus has to be on the fundamentals of the game and making the child's experience as positive and enjoyable as possible.

I think you're on the right track with your basketball plays. Keep them simple so the kids can execute them, and give them a short, catchy name so they can remember them.

At this level of play, I would focus the majority of your time on the basics of offensive basketball play - rather than spend too much time on drawing up new plays.

For instance, teach the players how to catch the ball and face the basket in a triple threat position. Teach them how to pass and cut. How to shield the basketball from their defender by dribbling with the outside hand.

These are just quick ideas; however, the idea is that by teaching the basic fundamentals of offensive play, the players will be more effective on the offensive end of the court - regardless of your play, formation, etc...

Again, I compliment you and your league for setting up an effective and positive environment for your young basketball players.

I look forward to hearing what the other coaches and parents out there have to say on these topics.

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