This article by Shawnee Harle makes the case that we as parents and coaches should help our kids spend more time developing their athleticism and less time playing games and doing sport specific training. In the article Dr. Istvan Balyi states “One of the most important periods of motor development for children is between the ages of 9 and 12 (Balyi and Hamilton 1995; Rushall 1998; Viru et al. 1998). During this time, children are developmentally ready to acquire the fundamental movement skills that are the cornerstones of all athletic development. These fundamental skills include running, throwing, jumping, hopping, and bounding.
I believe this is an issue that is clearly worth investigating and learning more about if you are a parent or coach of young basketball players, especially the way the youth basketball system is set up today. Kids play too many games at a young age with little emphasis on skill development and even less on athletic development. If we can take advantage of the athletic development window described above we will create athletes for life. Not every kid goes on to play basketball at a high level, but all kids can benefit from improved athleticism so they can remain active in sports and fitness for their entire lifetime.
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