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Home - 3 on 3 Benefits for Youth Basketball

  3 on 3 Benefits for Youth Basketball

There are a lot of benefits young basketball players can derive from playing basketball outside of the standard five-on-five game format. The question is: “Would playing three-on-three basketball provide any value to younger basketball players who are still learning the game of basketball? The answer would seem to be yes. This is important because so many young players aspire to play at higher levels where fans show up and even sports gamblers have interest in the games.

Players Get to Handle the Ball More
With five players on the court, one or two players can go an entire game rarely touching the ball. This especially happens in young teams where you have a player or two that are by far the best ball handlers on the team. The team tends to get the ball into those players’ hands and those players tend to take the ball to the hole. The problem with this is that other players aren’t developing their skills when they don’t get to touch the ball, and the team isn’t developing as a whole.

In 3 on 3, it’s really difficult for two players to monopolize the ball and still play well. The third player gets involved almost by necessity. All players get to handle the ball and handle it a lot. This allows all players to develop their skills in live game play.

Keeps Young Players from Getting Crowded
Even with the smaller bodies of young players, five on five games can be crowded affairs. Youth basketball isn’t the best time or place for a kid to learn to fight through double teams or pass into multiple coverage.

Three on three games loosens everything up and gives young players more room to operate. This allows them to practice their basketball skills without the overcrowding. Once the basic basketball skills of dribbling, passing, rebounding, shot selection, etc. are learned and mastered, then they can advance to learning to beat double teams and threading passes into tight areas.

Players Learn the Fundamentals of the Game
In a 3 on 3 game, players are forced to practice their fundamentals more. They quickly discover that they have to pick and roll to get open because, unlike 5 on 5 games, defenders aren’t as likely to lose track of the player they’re supposed to be covering. Thus, the only way teammates get open is to help them get open.
The neat thing about this benefit of a 3 on 3 game is that it will generally happen naturally. Kids will start to implement your pick and roll training on their own just because that’s the only way for them to get open.

Removes Presses and Zone Defenses
Most youth leagues ban presses and zones for a good reason. Young kids have enough on their hands learning the basics of the game. They don’t need the added hassle of learning to beat lots of different defenses.

Three on three games remove this issue. They are strictly man-to-man. This again allows your players to learn and master the basics before moving on to more complex game play.

Three on three basketball has a lot of benefits. Even if you’re coaching basketball in a five on five league, you would do your team well to scrimmage 3 on 3. They’ll be more apt to master the basics, and that’s what you’re trying to teach in youth basketball anyway.

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