Youth Basketball – A positive experience for players at the Boys & Girls Club

Published 12:47 pm Friday, February 23, 2024

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Basketball at the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County has progressed over the last few years. At the Boys & Girls Club, players learn the fundamentals of the game, age-appropriate competition, but also to be respectful and kind toward one another, respect the rules of the game, the referees, the opposing team, and most of all, focus on having fun!

At the age of 5-7, children’s sensory-perceptive abilities are unrefined. Fundamental movement patterns such as jumping, changing direction, and running need to be developed by playing games with the body and often with different equipment. Eye-hand coordination is still in the developing stage for this age group. That is why at the club, players use size 3 or size 5 basketballs and a goal height of 6’–8’. This makes the game more accessible, and players have greater success.

Rik Anderson, Athletic Director at the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County, said, “In the past, basketball was dominated by the most developed player. These players always had the ball in their hands, and the less developed players were left to run up and down the court. Our goal is for all players to have equal playtime. A chance to dribble, pass the ball, and shoot the ball in a game. Games are 3 on 3 in the beginning giving each player an opportunity to possess the basketball in a game situation. 3 on 3 offers the players less congestion than a 5 on 5. As the season progresses, the games become 4 on 4 full court and introduce the players to playing in transition. “The correct age-appropriate fundamentals are a high priority for us, but the main priority is for all players to have fun while learning the game,” stated Anderson. “We play on lower goal heights, use smaller size basketballs, every player is guaranteed playtime which gives each player the best chance to develop skills and the desire to continue playing. Alarmingly, 73% of all young players quit by the time they are 11 years old. The main reasons kids quit sports are: It’s not fun anymore. Pressure to perform…and injuries that can result from overtraining due to the pressure to perform and their own perceptions of their own lack of competence at the sport. “Our coaches take their time to teach and pass on their passion for the game,” said Anderson.

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The 2024 basketball season at The Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County was highly successful. As we move into spring, registration for T-ball and Soccer is now open. You can register your player today at: for T-ball, Coach Pitch, and Soccer now through March 11th. Look for Basketball registration in the fall of 2024.