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Home - How To Keep Your Youth Basketball Players’ Attention


  How To Keep Your Youth Basketball Players’ Attention


If you’ve coached kids before then you know they have the attention span of a goldfish. Between talking to each other, daydreaming, and fidgeting, it’s really hard to grab and keep their attention.
But keeping their attention on a consistent basis is important because when they do pay attention, they learn. Not having their attention not only hurts them, but it frustrates you.
To get some ideas for keeping your players’ attention we got advice from a school psychologist.  They use specific techniques to keep kids’ attention, and many of these techniques can be used in your basketball coaching sessions.

1. Talk Less, Show More
It’s hard for kids to listen for more than two minutes. So, keep your talks short and sweet. Instead, show them. Think of the last time you tried to assemble a piece of furniture. Chances are, you didn’t read the instructions, you looked at the pictures to figure it out! Kids are the same way. Show them pictures.

2. Engage All Their Senses
Many coaches just give verbal instructions. But you can keep a kid’s attention by using several of their senses when giving directions.
You can use cue cards, show them by example, use a chalkboard…you’ve got tons of options.
You can also engage your players by putting a hand on their shoulder when you’re talking to them.


3. Utilize Point Sheets
Kids love getting rewards. So, why not reward them for paying attention?
Set up a system that rewards kids for paying attention. Keep track of the points they earn on point sheets. You can reward them with play money, which they can use to “buy” things like Gatorade or other items you have on hand.

4. Choose Interesting Topics
Kids will stay interested in things they can relate to. So if you’ve got some boring stuff to talk about, then sandwich it between two “interesting” topics.
One way you can do this is to learn your kids’ favorite players, and talk about them often. These players are often heroes in the eyes of your kids, so bringing them up will keep them excited and enthused about what you’re discussing.

5. Explain the Reason Why
Kids haven’t been around a long time, so there’s a lot they don’t know. The reason why you want them to do something might be obvious to you, but it’s probably not obvious to them. People like to know “why”, even kids, so if you explain why something is important they’re much more likely to do it.
Coaching kids can be a real joy, but you’ve got to remember one important fact: they’re kids. Tailor your practice for them to include basketball drills for kids and you’ll all have a great time!





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