Designing Children Basketball Training Program

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The severity of training, frequency and effort planted in a sport during childhood stage remains controversial. Additionally, highly focused physical training and subsequent levels of competition will affect the physical and psychological pressure towards a child that is often severe. In the short term, a child can tolerate and even benefit from a routine over peers. However, the long-term consequences may be catastrophic for the fitness and enjoyment of sport especially for children aged 5 to 10 years old.

Becoming a professional athlete is requires hard work placed in practice and competition over a long period of time. Thus, placing more physical stress on the body relating to experiencing overuse injuries doing repetitive movements such as throwing a ball with an injured foot could lead to imbalances or accidents. Prepubescent’s and adolescence bones are more prone bone fractures. This is due to weaken bone adjustment and cartilage deficiency. Adversely, bones experiencing speedy increase during maturation are invulnerable against tensile, shear, and compressive forces. In the long run, it could lead to early-onset osteoporosis.

According to the Canadian Long-Term Development Model (Basketball), the human development cannot be hurried as humans mature at different paces. Research has shown that chronological age is feeble for athlete development models, because athlete musculoskeletal and emotional development between the ages of 8 and 16 can vary greatly in any age category (Canadian LTAD, 2017).

Basketball is an entertaining and skilful sport which could teach children important sports ethics that can be applied to other aspects of life. It is best to introduce basic motor and coordination skills, such as dribbling and shooting a ball at the prepubescent age. When children master the basic at a young age, they will grow a lifelong passion for the game. At FUNdamental stage, children are learning coordination skills through play settings. This emphasis on delivering an enjoyable and comprehensive sport. Through such concept, it allows the child to progress, be more participative and receptive to new skills.

There are three main domains of learning are cognitive (thinking), affective (emotion/feeling), and psychomotor (physical/kinesthetic) [Benjamin Bloom, 1956]. The field of cognition focuses on intelligence and the development of new knowledge and mental skills, which increases throughout children, like the others, the individual can learn new information. Activities can help children to build trust and abilities when engaged in physical activity. Also, it takes repetitions to allow children to check their own limits comfortably and develop their ability by means of practice.

The psychomotor field encompasses of physical dimension of learning and includes elements of motion, coordination and motor or physical skills. Psychomotor domain examines the role of synergy and engagement in the sports environment, as athletes create a sense of confidence, control of their movements and environments which enhances personal psychological and social growth. The affective field focuses on the development and emotional learning like introducing to unfamiliar environment and educating children with a sport concept will exhibit values of integrity, fair play and sportsmanship. In addition, working with children of different backgrounds, ethnicities and religions helps to promote harmony and respects amongst them.

In consonance with the Canadian Sports for Life (CS4L), its training methodology improves the role of sport in Canadian society which acknowledges sport as an important part of life by encouraging the balanced and coherent sports development of each child in a sport or physical activity. LTAD provides a steady framework from which coaches can work. The goal of sport participation must be to achieve the physiological and psychological needs of adolescence, to help them develop technical-tactical skills and to prevent injuries in the context of Basketball, through their physical growth and biological maturation.

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During the prepubescent age of 5 to 10 years old, it is essential for the student to grasp the concept of athleticism, basketball skill and mental techniques. These three concepts need to be tackled in order to achieve children ability, optimize quality trainings and improve better. Children should also receive proper guidance to optimize their skills development in a friendly learning environment such as training for one or two hours inclusive of skill training and fun games. Training basketball for children should consist of ball skills, dribbling, passing and shooting.

Children adapt to new movement very easily when they learn movement through play. It will be tedious for them to comprehend skills as they get older, therefore, it is important to start training at a ripe age. Using multiple forms of coaching and having diverse methods of instructions are effective to achieve successful approaches to children as a form of learning independently and asking more questions when they need more assistance. To determine that the child understands, we could take a step higher to assess that they have acquired the skills by having peer teachings. By having such ways, children will tend to remember and master the skills better, thus gaining more confidence to apply skills into games.

In contrast to the training, children who follow a sport-specific lifestyle rarely develop a skill and the agility required to perform advanced skills in a sport, it will increase mental burnout and overuse injuries. Consistently execute skills processes, maintain at specific timeline and keep changes fast and efficient. With all the goal setting, it enhances the sense of emotional equilibrium emplaced in a sport context. Timeline and quality trainings helps a child to develop skills and exercises by applying newly taught skills during games. It also enables players to improve their basketball understanding and make better court decisions.

How coaches should develop and train children (5-10 years) to promote lifelong participation?

Coaches should consider designing a fun and safe learning environment for children to enjoy themselves and feel safe. Through the elements of fun, it could create positive relationships amongst communities. Coaches should prioritize the passion of sport over winning during fundamental phase. The objective of skilful teachings allows children to learn becoming healthy active adults despite only limited number of children are going to become elite athletes. At the foundation phase (5 to 11 years old), children should avoid specialisation of winning, thus, focusing more on building the basic skills and comprehend game play using modified game strategy to apply during a game.

As coaches, in order to promote a lifelong participation, exposing children to multiple sports will maximise their sports knowledge and gives them the freedom to choose a sport which they know they would excel in future. Sports education develop patterns that promote lifetime sports participation. It broadens the reach of sports beyond the school and notes the importance of health and safety of a child. Sport development must focus on fostering individuals and not just the sports skills in order to achieve wider goals in sports.

In addition, parents too play a vital role in the upbringing of the child. They are the role model to every child as children grows up following the footsteps of their parents. Through family support, sports training, coach’s motivation and personal achievement, it provides the child an acceptance towards sports and a way for them to vent stress, interact with fellow peers and understand the meaning of fair play in sports participation.

In conclusion, the aim of a children’s basketball training is to teach children, the basics of game and to encourage passion to the sport. When training is enjoyable, children will bond with friends through play and they look forward in meeting each other the next training session. Coaches might want to design the training framework where the children will have less waiting time. A session where they receive more play time with less guidance and self-discovery of own style and technique of skills. Also, full class participation, where every child contributes and be a winner.

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