If you want your child to reach their true potential in basketball, the answer is most likely yes. For most children, after-school basketball coaching is likely necessary to enable them to come anywhere near a competitive level by the time they become teens.
School basketball programs, when they’re offered, are a good start and are necessary for children to understand the fundamentals of the sport. However, it’s unlikely a child will ever reach their potential in the sport with these programs alone.
School basketball programs suffer from many limitations
Unfortunately, most parents don’t always understand the limitations most school basketball programs have to deal with. In many cases, not only does a school usually only have a limited amount of resources allotted for their basketball program, there is often enormous pressure on school coaches to provide an unrealistic amount of information in that short window they have available to teach the students.
A coach is expected to instil the right fundamentals, break bad defensive and offensive habits, teach inbound plays, teach a wide variety of defensive plays, teach proper form, learn the proper use of statistics, set expectations with students and parents, as well instill camaraderie and teamwork – all in just a matter of weeks, if not days.
This job is made even tougher as almost all new players will doubtless have individual issues on top of any poor playing habits. It’s not that school coaches are not useful, on the contrary, they are absolutely vital. It’s just that there is normally no way a child will be able to get all the help they need to become skilled, let alone proficient in basketball within the context of most school programs. Unless your child has some access to an after-school basketball program, the odds are stacked against them for reaching their true potential in the sport.
Key Benefits of After School Basketball Coaching
The key benefits of a well-structured basketball coaching program all revolve allowing children the necessary time to develop the skills, athleticism, and mentality required to be truly competitive at basketball. Those areas typically require months, if not years, of structured practice and training, which most schools simply cannot provide unless they have a very specific focus on basketball.
Another less discussed key benefit is that these programs will often have basketball training for kids specifically. Many school programs have small children practising on full-sized courts, sometimes with full-sized basketballs. This isn’t exactly ideal, as they may develop playing habits that will not be beneficial when they get older.
Many school programs don’t have enough of a focus on basketball as a fun game. If a child is told to focus on training and winning, as can be the case in some competitive schools, they will find it hard to develop a love for the sport and will likely not have the mentality to succeed at it.
Lastly, after-school basketball programs will also often have a very specific focus on new trends and developments in basketball including strategies and tactics as well as sports medicine, statistics, and theory. These alone can be of enormous benefit to students, as they will be able to continue benefiting from this knowledge in their teen years, should they continue to play the sport.