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    I am an avid follower of the PGC teachers, and always love the heat @Tyler Costonbrings wherever he goes. 
    I saw his tweets on youth basketball, listened to a great conversation via the Hoop Heads podcast, and thought it would be beneficial to make an easy-to-read/printable document of these things. 

    It will guide how I try to influence and restructure our youth program in our area. If I come up missing…it didn’t go so well. ? 

    Use this/make copies as you wish!




    Thank you @Nate Wade! Much appreciated. I’m really pleased that PGC is venturing into younger age groups – I truly think it can be a real game changer. Tyler makes compelling points that I hope will provoke discussion and change. 

    I must confess that I really don’t have or understand the full picture of youth basketball in the USA but have read numerous articles about high burn out rates and high overuse injury rates in youth athletes in the USA because of the sporting environment (not just basketball). I’m a big believer in multi-sports for youth players – every sport benefits from it and we have healthier minds and bodies as a result. 

    When reading posts to different basketball groups, I’m always amazed at the competitiveness (‘should I cut a 9 year old?’!) and the tactics used to win (zone defense, only playing the best athletes, full ct press for primary aged players!). I’m also stunned to read about primary aged players using screens and wonder how on earth you build Basketball IQ so young! I’m struggling to get u14s to understand & use screens properly! ? 

    Basketball Scotland usually gets more wrong than right but I must applaud them on their decisions for the youth league (by the way, that’s the only league anyone can play in, no choice as not enough players!). 

    Players aged 8-11 play with a size 5 ball, 8′ baskets and cross court. There is also protected playing time to ensure quality minutes for every player. For the first time, this coming season they will play 3v3s Cross Court (Fiba rules). Tbc, but there will be 6 ‘quarters’ and teams are encouraged to have their team of 6 divided into a stronger squad and a weaker squad so like will play like in games. The score will be wiped at the end of each quarter or once one team reaches a certain score. I’ve campaigned too many years for 3v3s and am excited for the future. 

    I agree that the most inexperienced coaches shouldn’t be automatically assigned the youngest players, almost a ‘we all have to pay our dues’ before coaching ‘real’ basketball! I expect all my coaches, most experienced to newbies, to all work with the younger players. My club is the only one in our region that does this and it was an important point for me when starting out. And I love the points Tyler makes about how they should learn, train and play. 

    These young players are the future of our club – that’s a lot of trust in their coaches! Just think how much your older teams would benefit if you invested heavily in the youngest players? If clubs had a clear development plan, identifying what skills/habits to develop at each age/stage? Think of the cultural impact & mindset, inculcated from the youngest age! 

    In our rush to ‘make it’ as a coach and coach ‘Real basketball’, we’re overlooking just how much more successful (however you measure success) these older players would be if you had sustained development and investment in them from the youngest of ages? 

    Sorry to blether on so! You’ve touched on something I’m passionate about! Thank you very much once again. 



    Thanks @Ruth Grant for the feedback.

    You’re correct — Tyler calls it the ‘bamboo mindset’ in his posts… but that is just one of those timeless sayings that nobody can escape. You reap what you sow. I’m down to do the work for this and make it better. I honestly believe that if we did this even on a small scale, the impact and ripple effect will be huge…. which will encourage others to follow along. 

    I’m getting some talking points around and plan to continue to add/edit them throughout the summer months in preparation for our youth association meeting to prepare for our next season. I’m basing it off of our rules here in Michigan and applying a lot of the concepts and talking points Tyler brings up. I’ll post a link to that one once I get further in and more comfortable. ?


    @Nate WadeI look forward to your future share!

    Another beneficial point that I think we have here is zone defense is prohibited for u14s and younger.  And full court press was not permitted if your team was ahead by 10 – personally, i would prohibit full ct press and trapping for our primary aged players as very few have the ball handling or passing skills to successfully navigate it.  Most of our players don’t start until age 9 or 10 (another point we need to address here because kids are already committed to football or netball for girls; I’m lucky to have a good number of u8s but not many clubs are interested in coaching that age group).

    I’m working on a fundamental skills development guide for our club that identifies what skills (tangible & intangible) we ideally would like to develop by certain ages/stages.  It certainly sounded easier to do than I am finding! I would love to see what other folk have done in that area.

    Keep up the fantastic work! 

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