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Youth Hoops Newsletter! Youth Basketball Tips & Adivice.
September 08, 2006
Youth Hoops, September 2006 -Back To School!

September 8, 2006


Here is the latest issue for youth basketball coaches, players and parents.

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Table of Contents

    1. Coach's Corner
    2. Rules Of The Game - Intentional Fouls
    3. Basketball Game - Pick & Roll
    4. Inspirational Quotes
    5. Pass It On

1. Coach's Corner

Ready, set...back to school we go! Whether you're a parent, student/athlete or coach this is an exciting time of the year for all of us.

Yes, I know that the students aren't usually overly thrilled with having to get back into the school routine (well come to think of it - neither are the parents). But after a week or two everyone is back into the swing of things.

I wanted to take this time to talk about the importance of education for our children and student/athletes. I can't stress enough how much of a role education plays in the lives of our children and student/athletes. One of the things I always stress to my own children is that education comes before their sports. I want them to understand that their education is a priority - while their participation in sports is a privilege.

It's sad to think that many parents, coaches and students have this backwards. They place more importance on their athletic involvement and performance than they do on their classroom performance. This is a tragic situation that usually puts the student in a losing scenario later on in life.

I'd like to share a story with you about my oldest son, Nick. He will be entering middle school this year, which doesn't seem possible! Anyways, Nick has always been a straight A student, until the end of his fifth grade year. He started getting into trouble, disrespecting his teachers, and getting much lower grades than he's ever had.

After a talk with Nick and his teachers, my wife and I decided to put him on a temporary suspension from his Little League baseball season. He would not participate in any games or practices until further notice. We expected him to straighten up his behavior and improve his grades before he would be able to play baseball again.

Well, to make a long story short, Nick ended up missing eight games of the season. He attended every game and sat on the bleachers to watch and support his teammates. His team suffered many close losses without him and he had to endure the question "When are you going to play Nick?" about 100 times. He learned his lesson, his grades and behavior improved for the last month of school, and he was able to play the last four games of the season.

We all learned a valuable lesson that will stick with us for a long time to come. That lesson being: Education comes before athletics!

I'd love to hear your comments on this topic. Maybe you have a similar story or experience to share in regard to education and athletics. Let me know!

There have been many updates made to the Ultimate Youth Basketball Guide, be sure to check them out!

If you'd like an easy way to stay current with all the updates simply subscribe to my Youth Basketball Blog.

2. Rules of the Game - Intentional Fouls

This month I want to talk about intentional fouls and how they are often used to stop the clock at the end of a game. Let's face it; fouling has become an acceptable coaching strategy late in the game. If you're a coach or player, I'm sure you've been involved in several games where either you or your opponents have used this tactic. It's a strategy that is used by everyone these days.

The National Federation of State High School Associations defines an intentional foul as a personal or technical foul that neutralizes an opponent's obvious advantageous position. Contact away from the ball or when not making a legitimate attempt to play the ball or player, specifically designed to stop or keep the clock from starting, shall be intentional. They further state that intentional fouls may or may not be premeditated and are not based solely on the severity of the act. A foul also shall be ruled intentional if while playing the ball a player causes excessive contact with an opponent.

Knowing that fouling has become an acceptable strategy late in the game and knowing how the NFHS defines an intentional foul I think it is critically important for coaches to properly teach their players how to foul correctly. Now I know that sounds a little strange, "fouling correctly" - so let me restate that. Coaches must properly teach their players how to use strategic fouling at the end of a game. There, that sounds better.

This should be taught in the same manner that any other basketball skill is taught - through practice and repetition. Now, you don't have to spend a great deal of time on it, but just make sure that players understand how to foul properly so they are not called for an intentional foul.

Players should be taught to go for the ball and commit the foul at the same time. If they simply grab their opponent without going for the ball, they are likely to be called for an intentional foul. Also, during an inbound situation, players that simply grab an opponent who is not involved in the play are likely to be called for an intentional foul. I stated above, if strategic fouling is going to be used by a team, the coach must make sure that they have properly taught their players how to do this.

This information should help answer any questions or concerns you might have on late-game strategic fouling and intentional fouls. For a more complete discussion on the rules of basketball, visit the Youth Basketball Rules Page.

3. Basketball Game - Pick & Roll

Last month I talked about the most basic play in basketball - the give-and-go. It's simple, effective and has been around forever!

This month I wanted to talk about another basic play that has always been a part of the game - the pick-and-roll. As you've probably noticed, I love basic fundamental basketball. There's nothing more beautiful than watching a team execute these simple plays to perfection. The great thing about the pick-and-roll or the give-and-go is that they can be used at any level of competition.

If you want a great teaching tool or a terrific way to reinforce to your players or your own child the importance of these simple plays, just watch a basketball game (I prefer college hoops) on TV with them. Point out each time the players on TV utilize these simple plays. Make sure your child or players understand how proper execution of these plays leads to success by the teams they are watching. After seeing this in action (and on TV!) they might not think the old pick-and-roll is so boring after all!

The pick-and-roll is named after the action of the play. One player sets a pick (or screen) for another player who has the basketball. The ball handler uses the screen to dribble by their defender for an outside shot or drive to the basket. The screener then rolls toward the basket looking for a pass from the ball handler for a lay-up. An important note for the dribbler: They must take at least two dribbles after using the screen to create space for their pass to the screener - who is rolling to the basket.

ERROR - The ball handler does not wait for the pick to be set. They dribble off the pick while the screener is still moving to set the pick. This will cause the screener to be called for a foul - setting a moving screen.

CORRECTION - The ball handler must wait until a legal screen has been set. They should then read their defender's position and make their move accordingly.

ERROR - After setting the pick and then rolling to the basket, the player does not give the ball handler a target with their lead hand.

CORRECTION - Once the player sets the screen and begins to roll toward the basket, they should immediately put their lead hand up to give the ball handler a target to pass to.

Again, this is a simple yet highly effective play that works well at every level of competition. Players that properly execute the fundamentals of this play, will have great success with it.

For more excellent basketball plays, check out our Youth Basketball Plays Page.

You can also check out these FREE Drills that will help players build a solid foundation of basketball fundamentals.

4. Inspirational Quotes

As I stated last month, and several times on my site, I love reading inspirational and motivational quotes - especially by famous athletes and coaches.

I think it's fascinating to be able to get inside the mind of these highly successful individuals. They're human just like everyone else...but they seem to have that "something special" that makes them succeed.

I hope you enjoy these inspirational quotes from some of the world's most famous and successful athletes and coaches.

You can find more inspirational quotes here!

People only do their best at things they truly enjoy. ~ Jack Nicklaus, golf legend

Whatever your job is, consistency is...more important than doing something spectacular just once. ~ Joe Torre, MLB manager

A man can make mistakes, but he isn't a failure until he starts blaming someone else. ~ Sam Rutigliano, NFL and college coach

By the way, if you have a favorite inspirational quote that you'd like to share with us, send it to me. I'll include it in the next issue!

5. Pass It On

Feel free to pass this newsletter down court to any friends, parents, or coaches who could benefit from this information.

Also, if you know anyone who would like to subscribe to the Youth Hoops newsletter, simply send them this Youth Hoops link. This will take them to our newsletter sign-up page. Thanks!

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