In the video above I am teaching at the annual Mini Basket Forum held in Strasbourg, France 2018.

I was asked to work with a small group of kids to show some of the methods and ideas I use to support physical development in young basketball players.

As you will see in our database of videos, my main emphasis in athletic development is the development of coordination and rhythm.

In the video you will see how through the use of very simple tools like the Practice Ball, children learn to coordinate their whole body and react rhythmically to the challenges I present to them.

Kids learn to orientate themselves on the court in relation to obstacles or other players. The aim of using such playful games is that basketball moves develop out of necessity – through the kids’ creative interpretation of the learning environment.

The situation created by the partner who in this case is moving a Practice Ball will serve as a question that the player tries to solve in the way that he feels at that moment works best, in this way the player develops moves out of his own pool of decision-making actions.

What I love most about this way of working with kids is that the kids often astonish themselves of what they come up with. As I heard from the local coaches there in Strasbourg, is that they did not know some of the kids could already dribble the ball that well.

As we discussed in the Q&A after the workshop with the coaches is that one sign of ageing that’s known to us all is when we start solving the same questions always with the same answers. If we are not challenged by new situations, we become monotonous in our reactions.

As a coach therefore I feel I should not fill in too many gaps for the kids, I do not want to rob them of their potentially innovative answers. I cannot know what they might see that I do not see.

By creating games with an abstract training tool such as the Practice Ball, I feel we open an opportunity that allows our players to stimulate their own creative problem solving ability instead of solely teaching them moves through repetitive drills.

Olivier

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