Youth Basketball + The 3-Point Shot
Too often you walk into a gym and players are scattered throughout the gym tossing up jump shots beyond their effective range. The sense of being told to start close to the basket and work your way out generally goes through a kids one ear and out the other. It is very rare at the youth level that you tend to see a player or team go through a warm up that prepares them for the game. Young players want to imitate what they see on tv and on social media, meaning they want to throw up three-pointers and variations of the shot. Honestly, you can’t fault the kid for wanting to do it either because usually it’s their role models or their favorite player they see performing those types of shots. It’s incumbent upon us coaches that we help players at the youth level understand the importance of shooting within their range that doesn’t hinder good shooting habits.
In this day and age, parents and most youth coaches pre-determine if a kid is a good basketball player by their ability to shoot the ball. If a kid is in 5th grade and is shooting three-point shots, occasionally making them from time to time, he or she is considered a good player. The idea of a player being able to pass, catch dribble, or even play defense are essentially non-factors. Even if that player throwing up long range shots has bad form and is forming bad habits, we continue to let them shoot. Parents jump to the conclusion that if their son or daughter cannot make three-pointers, that they need help with their shooting. All of these thoughts and determinations are absolutely false.