Positionless youth basketball

The game of basketball has undergone a revolution of sorts over the last 10 years. We now see traditional roles and positions on the court going by the wayside in favor of more dynamic players who can slot into multiple different spots on the court. This has been coined “positionless basketball”.

The days of having a traditional “big man” or “point guard” or “small forward” have morphed into a more simple definition of “guards” and “forwards”, many of which are interchangeable. Hence the term “positionless”.

With positionless basketball now being played at the highest level of the game in the NCAA and NBA, why would we, in youth basketball, not want to teach our young players the same concepts?  

Having positionless basketball players creates a more interesting team that is harder to match up with because of the varying abilities of all players on the court.

It also can save the sanity of a youth coach because rather than having to label kids as the “1”, “2”, “3”, etc. a youth coach can simply teach the same overall concept and allow them to work out what they do best on their own.

But let’s dive deeper into this now and discuss 3 direct benefits of positionless youth basketball, and why this will be the main focus for PSB Club Teams in 2019.

More Well-Rounded Players

In teaching all skills to all players, youth basketball coaches will be creating a more dynamic basketball player that can function in many different capacities on the court.

In today’s game, everyone needs to be able to shoot the basketball effectively, put the ball on the ground for at least a couple of dribbles, make solid passes, and guard multiple types of players.

Players also need an understanding of different spots on the court, and how to move/read the game effectively from those spots.

In teaching this way, youth coaches can focus more on the bigger picture of the game, rather than having to break down every spot to just 1 or 2 players.

With youth basketball practices of just 1-2 times per week for 1-2 hours each, it is very hard to get kids to remember a number of set plays.

So teach them overall skills regardless of size and their game will benefit greatly moving forward!

More Playing Time Available

With positionless basketball, the thought is that youth players can learn to understand and play any spot they find themselves in on the court.

Of course this takes some time, but if they can effectively set and read a screen, find a cutter, make a move close to the basket, or hit an outside shot, then players will find themselves with many more opportunities to get on the court.

As a coach, you can create a multitude of interesting lineups with positionless players. Your combos could change on a game to game basis and be successful in multiple ways.

Better Defensive Players

In creating a positionless basketball culture, players are forced to guard multiple kinds of opposing players on the court.

In creating a positionless basketball culture, players are forced to guard multiple kinds of opposing players on the court.

A player might have to guard the fastest, best ball handler on the team in one set of possessions then transition over to a bigger, stronger player who can play around the hoop in the next few possessions.

Furthermore, playing a knock-down shooter would create a different set of defensive instincts.

Ultimately, if young players are understanding multiple types of play on the offensive end then it transitions to them becoming a better overall defender.

One of the main attributes that role players have in the NBA is that they can guard multiple spots on the court. With these types of players, an offense is limited in how much they can accomplish because most offensive sets are designed to create a mismatch in some capacity.  

So there you have it – 3 simple benefits to instituting a positionless youth basketball team, and we look forward to making this our focus for our 2019 PSB Club Teams in Charlotte NC, Denver CO, Chattanooga TN, Greensboro NC, Raleigh NC, and Winston-Salem NC!

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