I was going through some newer notes today and went through some notes from a coaches clinic with Mario De Sisti. It broke down some of the youth programs from different countries around the world. The idea of standardizing how fundamentals are taught I think is important when trying to develop consistency from place to place.

Specifically, this one below from France was quite intriguing to me. I like the idea of focusing only on offense for the first while. The skills involved with shooting, dribbling, and passing require much more time to develop. Defense comes much more naturally and isn't so much a skill but rather attitude and communication.

I also like the idea of introducing transition basketball only after players have a certain mastery of the fundamentals (maybe Gr 7 or higher). Too many times at the lower levels, its the taller athletic kids that go coast to coast over and over who score. Force the kids to play within the 3-point line, then gradually add transition offense afterwards.

Anyways, here is the extract for you to read yourselves:

France – sport school system (CPEQ)

Analyze the fundamentals. You must be “fussy” about corrections. If you do not correct at the student level you will have problems at the cadet etc.

Mini level should be fun. Do teach spacing.
30 minutes – fundamental
Shooting games
Dribble games
Passing games

Mentality – don’t be afraid to make mistakes

Players need to learn to receive the ball inside and outside. Play guards inside posts play outside.

Defensive pick up points
Student – 1st year - inside the 3 point line, 2nd year – ½ court
Cadet – 1st year – ¾ court, 2nd year – full court

Also the intensity changes as you move through the different categories.

Student – 100% offense – do not teach defense – learned through the offensive skills
Cadet – offense / defense no transition
Junior – offense / defense / transition

First three to four months – only offensive skills with GUIDED defense
Second three to four months – 70% defense / 30% offense
Last 2 months – transition / offense / defense

Conditioning is done through the drills

This allows the players to keep concentration on the skills being learned. If you jump around players are not aware of the concepts being learned. Players cannot remember form one day to the next.


  1. Next Generation Baller  

    April 17, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    Excellent comments. No matter how many times we hear the pros say that we should just let our kids have FUN , we have a very bad habit of pushing them too hard and putting in game situations way to early where the dominant players play and others watch.