How to Fix Youth Basketball (and probably your team too)

Jun 09, 2022

ALERT!! The United States has over 4 million youth basketball players! That’s AWESOME!!

On average, those players quit the game at 11 years old. That’s TRAGIC!!

We’re doing youth basketball all wrong, here’s how to fix it.


1. Be Your Best

Youth basketball deserves our best. The best coaching, the most resources & the highest standards. Yet, we don’t do that. We give it the exact opposite. The least experienced coaches, little-to-no funding & low standards. Let’s stop half-assing this thing & give it the care it deserves! Put the kids first!

2. Question Everything

Youth basketball is broken. Players leave the sport, parents fight in the stands & kids lose self-esteem instead of gaining confidence. Why has youth basketball become this?

3. Establish 1st Principles

Prioritize development over everything. North America has it all backwards. Don’t let winning a game, making a team, or getting more playing time dictate your decisions. Play the long game. Practices would be better (and more fun) if we didn’t care about a 4th-grade victory.

4. Parents, It’s Not About You

Parents should choose programs for development. Not clout, tournament wins, or exposure. Remember, play the long game. Players should embrace failure and improvement instead of shying away from areas of weakness. Don’t sacrifice your long term love of the game for a W. It’s like choosing $100 USD instead of 1 Bitcoin. It’s short term thinking.

5. Have a Bamboo Mindset 

Bamboo will grow for three years underground before it shoots up to be one of the fastest-growing plants. This MUST be the approach to youth basketball. Parents, players, and coaches must align & commit to the years-long process.

6. Let Them Learn Visually

Studies show over 85% of our youth are visual learners. Yet youth practices are auditory & tactile in nature. WE MUST CHANGE! Every youth practice & development program MUST include visual learning. It’s more fun, more effective, and provides access to experts.

7. Educate Parents

At the youth level, no person has a greater impact on a player’s love of the game & improvement than players parents. We must educate basketball parents, so they quit being the obstacle, getting in the way. Any youth program should have mandatory parent involvement.

8. Let Them Discover 

Youth structure should be about discovery & constraint. With varied games & unique problems, youth players can be creative. The secret sauce of great basketball players is cleverness and creativity.

9. Develop Range

Putting players in positions, requiring performance, and punishing experimentation kills cleverness and creativity. Set goals, establish guardrails, and let them create. This is the basis for elite performance, not passing and catching with two hands.

10. Implement Immediately

Any teaching to youth players must provide space & time for them to implement right away. This should be a practice and play structure.

Principle: When your practice looks like play and your play looks like development, you’re doing youth basketball right.

Let’s revolutionize the way youth basketball is taught and played together!

I’m here to help,


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