If you are embarking on the upcoming basketball season with a fresh crop of youngsters who are new to the game, there are some key skills that you should focus on in order to develop your players athletically and teach them about the sport.

Some are much more obvious than others, like shooting, which is a go-to for every coach. Whatever the drill or the height of the hoop, there isn't a practice that goes by without going over tactics to get the ball into the net. Some more crucial techniques to teach your beginners include:

  • Defense: Teaching a good defensive stance, as well as instilling the principle of staying on the player with the ball and trying to block, will set your players up for success when this side of the game becomes more complex at later stages.
     
  • Dribbling: Start out slow with dribbling, allowing your players to get comfortable with the technique while standing still before pushing them to jog slowly up and down the court with the ball.
     
  • Footwork: Even if your basketball players are young, learning the fundamentals of footwork can help them immensely at higher levels of the game, when the pace quickens dramatically. Agility training, like ladder and tire runs, which are common among football players, can be a great resource.
     
  • Passing: Run basketball drills that mimic a variety of situations, whether with a defender attempting to block a shot, direct front to front or side to side passing so your youngsters become comfortable with using this skill no matter the circumstance.

    By keeping these basics as the backbone of all of your practices and using age- and skill-appropriate basketball coaching equipment, you can set your future hoop stars up for success.