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Full Length

Full length anything for kids under 10


Let’s use 10 year olds. People keep telling me that we need to have the kids play on full courts, full size nets, and baskets. As usual, they say it’s the way it is, that’s the way they are going to have learn to play in high school and college. But do we  bring in a PHD from Harvard to teach Quantum Physics to 10 year olds? Remember, a 10 year old is not half a 20 year old in terms of development.


 I say let’s try something different and here’s why.


Let’s say you have a 10 year old running up and down a court, field, or skating the full length of a rink. After talking with gym teachers I found out that even in shape, this age kid, and let’s be clear, most of them will get tired pretty quickly.


Since touches are the fun part of playing a sport, not only are they getting tired, but they are also less likely to touch the ball. They are less likely to complete passes, the very heart of team sport production. If you want competition and positive stress, which I am all for, keep track of TEAM pass completion %.


Furthermore when you are tired you keep making mistakes. And when pressure is ramped up to win, the mistakes keep happening because of the outside negative stress being yelled at them by adults. They do not get the memory reinforcement needed to build confidence. This confidence helps them relax, and relaxed players play better.


Then, just like a child with allergies, we put them back in the same environment that caused them to make problems in the first place. Now we sit back, shake our heads, and cant for the life of us figure out why they keep making the same mistakes over and over again. They become sensitized to the stimulus and regress.

Now as a treat, or a reward, you want to have a little fun, with little or no structure,  no keeping score, you can let them play full court, ice, and field, but only like any other drill. Keep it short, include all, and make it FUN.

Written by : VJS