I currently coach kids ages 11-14 for multiple AAU & super league teams. My focus is strongly on building the fundamentals for the kids so they are ready for Prep. From some of my players I hear of previous coaches who repeatedly and adamantly berate their young players for finishing with a finger roll. While I have played/taught/coached for long enough to know that a finger roll is a lower percentage shot, and while I recognize that it has disadvantages. I am curious if I am doing my players a disservice by allowing them to continue to work on their finger roll shot's along with their reverse layups, power layup's, LH layups, RH layups, etc. Some of my more skilled decision makers are able quite successfully to create offense and finish in the lane using the finger roll in certain situations.
I have no strong feelings either way, but I am always open to learning, so I am interested in learning if I am doing a disservice to my 12-13 yr players by allowing them to create and finish in the appropriate situation with a finger roll? Should I be discouraging this? If so, at what age should they develop these skills? I guess to this point I have allowed this because I believe that if they have the aptitude, that the earlier they begin developing offensive & defensive techniques the better. I guess I look at it like teaching good 3/4 pass denial defense. While I would discourage over playing the passing lane 95% of the time, there is also a time and place to allow them to make the steal.
Thanks for your help.
You are not doing your players a disservice by having them practice lay ups. The lay up is the most important shot in the game. the finger roll is risky because the palm is up and the ball is exposed. but it is important that you teach your players when to use the finger roll (fast break situations are the best time to use this kind of lay up). but have them practice every kind of lay up so that they can make every kind of lay up.
The responisbility for teaching does not have to fall squarly on your shoulders. Delegate some of the responsibility to your more experienced players. This will build trust and undestanding from top to bottom and make the team more coachable and comfortable with each other on and off the floor.
I have also coached that age group, and my feeling is you're always going to be fighting an uphill battle. With YouTube, Xbox and the internet at their disposal, young players get little information about the importance of the fundamentals, and more about " showtime ". Parents even seem to misunderstand that all the great players built their games on fundamentals. Parents want it NOW.
That being said, I guess you could say that focusing on the fundamentals is a dirty job ( players and parents don't see the forest for the trees ) but someone's gotta do it. So don't stop stressing the fundamentals. It's too important.
Regarding their finger roll layups, I would allow it only if they are in a situation where they have their defender on their back and no one in front of them. Otherwise, I would be teaching them how to finish strong and up high. When they can dunk on people, then no worries! ; )
Whatever you do, don't allow these players to persuade you into changing your philosophy: tough defense, team play, fundamentals, the ability to pass, and all the things they DON'T see on the internet.
Yo, what up fools?: It's me, " THE MAN " , Zac Ryan. Even though I'm a cartoon character, I can still ball chump! So if you like basketball, then come check me out and read all my comic strips at: