Tackle Kids' Basketball Without Needing Therapy: Veteran Youth Coaches Share Teaching Tools in New Survival Guide

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Parents, former players and basketball enthusiasts often feel "roped into" coaching youth basketball and find the challenge of organizing a group of youngsters daunting. Goals like teaching fundamentals and winning a few games get lost in the disarray of corralling the would-be hoops stars. Two long-time youth coaches take a light-hearted yet comprehensive approach to the topic in Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Basketball (Human Kinetics, 2009).

Parents, former players and basketball enthusiasts often feel "roped into" coaching youth basketball and find the challenge of organizing a group of youngsters daunting. Goals like teaching fundamentals and winning a few games get lost in the disarray of corralling the would-be hoops stars. Two long-time youth coaches take a light-hearted yet comprehensive approach to the topic in Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Basketball (Human Kinetics, 2009).

"It's one thing to know how to play the game, quite another to know how to teach it," says lead author Keith Miniscalco. "Beginner athletes need to learn basic aspects of the game--dribbling, shooting, passing, even catching the ball--but also how to work together with other beginners toward a common goal. And beginner athletes may not appreciate any of this."

With almost 30 years of basketball coaching experience, Miniscalco certainly knows the rewards of leading teams of beginners. "Catch kids at an early enough age, and they're like little sponges--ready to absorb just about anything, so a new coach can have an immediate impact," he explains. In addition to teaching the young player basketball's fundamentals, he also highlights the ability to impart the values of hard work, working together and working with respect toward coaches, teammates, opponents, referees and the game itself.

Miniscalco knows his advice can lead to a positive experience for everyone on the roster. " Bad habits start at an early age," he warns, "but the younger and more inexperienced the player, the quicker those bad habits can be undone and replaced by sound techniques that can endure through a lifetime of basketball." Miniscalco underscores that a proper introduction to basketball's fundamentals helps future junior high and high school competitors avoid the disappointment that often greets players who get benched or cut because they cannot dribble with their off hand or pivot without traveling.

Miniscalco and coauthor Greg Kot address virtually every aspect of coaching in the Survival Guide to Coaching Youth Basketball, from evaluating players' skills and establishing realistic goals to actual game scenarios. They outline effective methods to organize practice and provide basic drills, plays and tips for special situations. The authors hope to ultimately remove coaches' stress and demonstrate just how enjoyable leading youth basketball can be.

For more information on Survival Guide to Coaching Youth Basketball or other coaching books, visit http://www.HumanKinetics.com or call 800-747-4457.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

With 19 years of youth basketball coaching experience and 8 years of coaching high school, Coach Keith Miniscalco knows how to develop youth players to excel at all levels. He has coached both boys and girls in several acclaimed Chicago park district and youth school leagues, including Our Lady of Lourdes and Queen of All Saints grade schools, Loyola Academy High School, and his own highly respected Over the Edge youth basketball travel program. He cofounded and currently runs Over the Edge in Chicago. The program's goal is to prepare youth-level players for high school competition. It has seen great success and has proven to be extremely effective for young athletes who wish to continue with competitive basketball. Coach Miniscalco lives in Chicago.

A full-time music critic for the Chicago Tribune, Greg Kot fills much of his spare time coaching with Miniscalco in their Over the Edge program for youth basketball players. An accomplished writer, Kot has been the Chicago Tribune's pop critic since 1990. He is a regular contributor to numerous national publications, including Rolling Stone, and cohosts the nationally syndicated radio show Sound Opinions on public radio. He authored the acclaimed rock biography Wilco: Learning How to Die in 2004 for Broadway Books, and his next book, Ripped: Indie Rock and the Wired Generation, will be published by Scribner in 2008. Kot lives in Chicago.

CONTENTS

Chapter 1. Help! Where to Start?
Chapter 2. Organize Your Team Practices
Chapter 3. Offensive Skills and 10 Simple Drills
Chapter 4. Defensive Skills and 10 Top Drills
Chapter 5. Your Can't-Miss Offensive Playbook
Chapter 6. Sure-Fire Defensive Sets
Chapter 7. Special Situations and Plays
Chapter 8. Game Time! What's My Role Again?

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Patty Lehn
Human Kinetics
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