Junior Basketball | Want to keep kids in sport? Then make it fun - ABC News

Junior Basketball.  What's important?

A very interesting speech by John O'Sullivan on what's important in junior sports.  A recommended viewing below.

Junior basketball.  What's important and who is it for?  The kids or the parents?  Everyone knows the answer, not all actions reflect what is right.  Basketball training, camps and clinics and junior club basketball is for the kids, not the parents and it needs to be fun.

Below is an article by Paul Kennedy from the ABC News.  The focus is on soccer and sports in general but equally applies to basketball. 

There's a real problem in Australia of kids dropping out of sport. To fix it we should look at why children like to play games in the first place. My son's soccer team seems to have worked it out, writes Paul Kennedy.

The dropout rates in junior sport in Australia are a big worry.

These days, more and more adolescents are saying to their parents and coaches, "I don't wanna play anymore!"

It's a trend that mirrors what's happening in other countries with similarly over-the-top attitudes to youth competitions.

For example, an initiative called the "Changing The Game Project" reckons 70 per cent of sporty kids in the US quit by the time they are teenagers.

In order to better understand the issue, the Australian Sports Commission is this year measuring our own national participation decline. According to ASC research boss Paul Fairweather:

There is quite a drop off in those teenage years into organised sport.  We've actually just started our own survey of adults and kids. We certainly know there's much more pressure on people's time and their wallet and there's a lot more options available to kids and adults now than (there was) 20 years ago.

Concerned leaders of major codes are being tempted to take over management at all levels and tweak rules.

Some of the modifications, like not officially scoring in the youngest competitions, are sensible.

But the AFL's recent enforcement of strict age guidelines for beginners to prevent injuries and burn out misses the mark.

Instead, it would be better to examine inconsistencies in the way we coach our youngsters.

For an example of the best type of leader, let me introduce you to my son's under-8 soccer manager - call him Fun Coach - whose quality would embarrass many professionals.

Fun Coach is a father of three who never played the sport he teaches. But he is resourceful enough to seek help and, as a result, runs thoughtful practices once a week, during which no child is left queuing for a kick.  Read the whole article at ABC News here.

It's easy to get started if you are interested in playing junior basketball in Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba through one of the many clubs in your local basketball association.  Try here first.