4 Things Youth Basketball Players Should Work on Every Single Day

These four principles can help you become a force on the offensive side of the ball.

There are four offensive traits every good basketball player should have.

They are:

  • A move that can create an opportunity in 2 seconds or less
  • A counter to that move
  • The ability to finish with contact
  • The ability to finish over a taller player

No matter your age, if you can do these four things on a consistent basis, you'll have the tools to be a very effective player.

When I work on individual development with players, these are the four main things we focus on during workouts. Let's take a closer look at each of these four traits and why they're so important.

1. A Move That Can Create an Opportunity in 2 Seconds or Less

This move should consist of two or three dribbles that you can execute in no more than 3 seconds. Most opportunities are created with no more than three dribbles, so why should you train to create opportunities off double-digit dribbles? Being able to quickly execute a move that can create separation in a variety of situations, and then being able to pass or score with the separation you create, is key to becoming a productive player.

2. A Counter to That Move

If I guard you and know that your go-to move is a right foot step-back, I will be expecting it more than anything else. Good teams scout players and make mid-game adjustments, so you can't expect your go-to move to work every time. Developing a counter to that move will give you an extra option to deceive your defender and prevent opponents from zeroing in on your go-to move.

3. Finishing With Contact

The rule is simple: If you don't create the contact in the paint, somebody will create it for you. In other words, if you can initiate the contact before jumping for a finish, you will have advantage over the defender. They simply will not be able to jump as effectively if you bring the contact to them. If you wait for them to create the contact, they'll have the upper hand.

4. Finishing Over Size

Unless you're the rare player who's always the biggest one on the court, you need to learn how to score against bigger defenders. When working on finishes, you should keep all options in mind: regular layup, power layup, off the first step, same foot-same hand, floater, extended arm finish, finger roll or high ball release, etc. There are plenty of finishes you can utilize to score on bigger defenders.

Below are examples of workouts which incorporate these important principles.

The Move That Creates an Opportunity in Under 2 Seconds

The Move Plus the Counter

Finishing With Contact

Finishing Over Size

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