Insider tip: Think positionless basketball.
Can your tallest player come out and bounce well? Great! Put them in the center.
A player who is a great leader and has ball handling skills? Try the playmaker.
Positions on the basketball court have traditionally been determined by both a player’s skill and height. Easy, right? Coaches can simply use a skills and sizing checklist, and boom, you have determined the positions of your player.
Well, not so fast. Over the past five years, positions have become more blurred and less defined at all levels of the sport. In the NBA, there is a (growing) appreciation for players who can play anywhere on the court. See: James Lebron.
It is called basketball without position. And coaches at all levels should understand this and use it as a measure of their player’s development. Like Jeremiah Boswell, youth development consultant for the NBA Said, positionless basketball means that players “need to be more skilled, more balanced,” and suggests that positionless basketball is excellent for youth development.
More on that in a moment.
The 5 basic positions of basketball
It is always important to know and teach the positions of young basketball players – their locations and jobs on the court.
There are five players on the field at a time, and they can occupy one of the following positions: playmaker, goalkeeper, small attacker, powerful attacker and center.
No guards are players who are more comfortable with the ball and who demonstrate leadership skills. Traditionally, playmakers are the team’s best offensive dribblers and passer, able to defend their opponents with quick footwork and agility.
A shooting guard is similar to a point guard comfortable with the ball and leadership skills, but they have the added dimension of a powerful perimeter shot.
Small forwards can go all over the field, scoring inside and outside the paint and perimeter. They also help power forward and center with rebound, and have quick feet and speed for quick breaks.
A power forward stays closer to the basket to help rebound and defend taller players, while looking for opportunities to cut for a longer shot. They need to be able to drive to the basket, trying to score on their own or shoot the defense for the quick pass.
Centers are traditionally the taller players and are positioned closest to the basket. They score on close shots and focus on rebounds, both offensive and defensive. They should have great agility, strong upper body strength and confident hands.
Why is positionless basketball a thing?
Teaching young basketball players without the emphasis on positions helps them develop a basketball IQ or a sense of the game. It also provides opportunities to develop all of the fundamental skills of the sport – dribbling, passing, shooting, cutting, boxing, rebounding – to each player, whatever their size or morphology.
As Boswell says, positionless basketball is great for young people, “because you learn to do everything in every space on the floor.” It’s about teaching concepts, he says, rather than specific roles or jobs.
For example, helping each player learn to pass the ball and cut is much better, in the long run, than just telling them to call a play, cutting from point A to point B. Boswell suggests that basketball without position is more improvised, more like jazz (not Utah Jazz, to be clear), which is more difficult to defend and allows players more creative freedom.
What’s the best way to deliver this kind of positionless experience to your players? Through games where, for example, each player can practice shooting from anywhere on the field. Or, in an activity where each player is practicing handling the ball.
After all, in the words of John Wooden, “It’s not your size, it’s the size you’re playing with.” “
Read the original article on mojo.com
MOJO’s mission is to make youth sport more fun for everyone – one child, one coach, one family at a time. Launched in February 2021, MOJO is a robust digital platform that enables parents who coach youth sports to deliver world-class education to the world’s largest pool of players – children 13 and under. MOJO believes that youth sport has the power to transform lives, not only for children on the court, but also for coaches and parents on the sidelines. MOJO is committed to equity, inclusion and equal opportunities for children around the world. For more information visit www.mojo.sport. MOJO is also available on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.