Challenges in Youth Basketball

There was a time when youth basketball was considered the best way to train the upcoming generation of basketball players. However, today things are a bit different. Unfortunately, problems and complications have hijacked the associations as well as the players leading to much larger-scale issues that will take years to fix. Therefore, to fix basketball, it is important that we first identify the problems and then work towards fixing them. 

Too Many Basketball Games

Basketball games are meant to motivate and develop both the physical and mental skills of the players. Contrarily, too many games are bad for the sport. The reason is that kids nowadays focus less on their skillsets and more on playing. As a result, the development process in kids is hindered.

Not only does it hinder the development process but also burns the kids out at a much younger age. If you have a 10-year old kid that is playing 100 games each, they are going to lose interest by the time they turn 11. Therefore, what the kids needs is balance. They should focus on developing their skills while playing a limited number of games. 

Too Many Plays

Too many plays is another important factor when it comes to the challenges of youth basketball game. Today, coaches tend to make the players run set-after-set, which is turning them into robots. As a result, they are being programmed to learn plays rather than learning how to play. 

If you are a coach, instead of focusing on new sets and plays, you should teach the players vital aspects of a good offense. For instance, they should be efficient and effective shooters and dribblers. Instead of utilizing one or two techniques taught by the coach, they should be able to dribble their way through the defenders themselves and the same goes for shooting.

A player should work on his/her shooting ability to determine the style and maximum potential. This way, they will be able to see their shortcomings clearly and hit them directly to become better players overall.

Parents Competing With Parents

Believe it or not, but parents competing with parents rather than kids competing with each other has become one of the challenges of youth basketball player. There was a time when parents used to get together to watch their sons compete against each other just for the love of the game and spending some quality time. 

However, the egos of the parents have come in the way and everyone wants their kid to be the best. This means that they are mostly found yelling at them, forcing their kids to switch teams, and even belittling kids that are not as talented. 

This is where the coach comes in. As a coach, it is your responsibility to prove to the parents that the interest of their kid is in the best hands. The priorities of the parents follow and should not be valued more than the interests of the kid. 

Ultimately, it comes down to the parents motivating and inspiring their kids to give their best. If ego overcomes you everytime as a parent, then your kid is better off with someone who understands what basketball is really about. 

Ulterior Motive Coaches

A coach who is coaching youth basketball has a huge responsibility over his shoulders. The reason is that grown-ups are able to make their own decisions and deal with the consequences as well. However, the kids are not aware of what they are getting into. And this is where the ulterior motives of the coaches come in. 

It is often that we come across coaches who are not willing to coach a valuable player but only their child. They do this to make themselves feel better, ignoring the fact that a value player is always going to end up better than their kid. Your ill intentions will not lead to the success of your child. 

The point is that at this stage, the coaches should set aside their favoritism and treat each player as an asset. Instead of worrying about themselves, they should focus on developing the kids and ensuring their interests match. 

To help fix this issue, we need people who are willing to stand up and remind the fact that sometimes it’s all about the players and not the coaches. Hopefully, with better coaches in line, we shall see this problem going away soon. 

Too Competitive

Nothing is more shameful and demotivating for a kid who is asked to leave the team. We have seen several examples of coaches making players feel defeated and of no use. However, after some time, they proved them wrong and came out to be the best the world had ever seen.

You cannot expect an eight-year-old to break all barriers. This is an age where they explore, question, and seek answers. And if you are forcing them to quit the team at this age, you never truly understood them. It is understandable that basketball has become very competitive but that does not mean that you get to decide their future.

In order to bring back or revive the best youth basketball, the kids should be given time to blossom. Too much competitiveness is bad for these kids. At such a young age, coaches and parents need to understand that winning is not the focus rather skill development. 


Finally, entitlement is another rising problem in youth basketball. Kids think or assume that they are better than others since they belong to a famous family of basketball players or coaches etc. This makes them feel as if they are above authority. Unfortunately, both parents and coaches have encouraged this entitlement. 

The reason entitlement is a big problem is that it promotes arrogance and disrespect for others. Once a kid holds onto the fact that he/she is not answerable to anyone, then you are in for a big problem. Therefore, before this virus spreads to the next generations, both parents and coaches need to stop it in its steps.

Final Word

Challenges in youth basketball have mostly been created by coaches and partly by parents. Unless we have certified coaches and parents who understand the essence of basketball, these problems are going to turn bigger. it is high time that the same people come together to revive what was once the best way to teach good basketball to the kids.