Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Youth Basketball: Learn From Jimmer Fredette

I watched my son's 8th grade team scrimmage last night. Everyone on his team was throwing up threes. Everyone, whether they were good at it or not. The other team worked the ball around, inside and out and beat them easily. The winning team opted for easy inside shots and only used open threes strategically to keep the defense honest.

The three point shot is a strategic shot. Jimmer Fredette is a three point sharpshooter, but there's so much more to his game.

Koran Godwin, author of Everyone Hates A Ball Hog But They All Love A Scorer and editor of Jumpstarthoops/Blog breaks down Jimmer Fredette's multi-faceted game. This is a must watch for any youth basketball player and coach.



As soon as I saw this video I sent the link to my son and daughter to study. My daughter, CC, especially loved it because she is known for her outside shooting.

CC shot a very respectable 7 for 19 (37%) from three point range during her 5th grade CYO season. What's remarkable about that is very few other players in the entire league even attempted a 3 pointer during the year. (Except for end of half or end of game desperation shots.) I saw at most 3 or 4 shots from other players the entire season. And what's even more remarkable is that my daughter is tiny. She weighs a mere 70 pounds. But when it comes to shooting, technique is more important than strength.

At the end of the season, CC was given the "Sharpshooter" award printed on a certificate. When she received the award, she smiled and commented, "Wow - that is the same award my AAU coach gave me after the 4th grade AAU season." She can shoot but there is much more to her game.

At what age should the three point shot come into play?

It all depends on the percentages. There's a reason 7 foot tall Shaq doesn't

shoot many threes, while 7 foot tall, Dirk does. That reason is in the percentages. Shaq shot 58% from close in and 4.5% from 3 point range. Dirk shot 38% from long range.

The three point play is a very low percentage shot for most youth basketball players, but there are a few players who can get it done. If your team has a three point threat, it can open up defenses. Smart coaches play the percentages and use three pointers strategically.

Several people have commented to me that they would never let their young kid shoot threes because the kid does not use the proper form while trying to shoot from that distance. They think that their little shooter will develop bad habits. There's some truth to that, but I don't really worry about that. CC has pretty good form from long range and a good athlete can adapt over time as their body changes.

The Main Point

The best basketball players work hard to develop multiple skills on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. One dimensional players are easy to defend or beat. Encourage your kid to be a multi-faceted player like Jimmer. Ultimately, basketball is a team game, so players should do what helps the team.

Huge three gave team 4 point lead with 30 seconds left.
Creating Space
Driving to the Hoop


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