Basketball can help gangly pre-teens adjust to a growing body

Most parents can smile to themselves and immediately recall the year their child’s ears and front teeth outgrew his sweet little freckled face. That was also the year the boy’s hands got too big- in fact, those hands were oven mitts. And his legs were suddenly long and gangly like a colt’s. That little boy who was showing such love for sports, such natural ability and a strong competitive spirit is suddenly bonking into the door frames and tripping over the coffee table. Every move he makes is always awkward and clumsy. He is a baby giraffe with a ball cap and a bookbag.

As a parent, it’s time to note that your baby is no longer a baby. He’s definitely not a toddler. He’s not exactly a little boy. But he‘s not old enough to identify himself as a teen, either. So what should you do with the clumsy kid who suddenly has the grace of a cow? Here at the Basketball Goal Store, we know one thing that can help.

Grab a basketball, step outside to your home basketball court and adjust the height of your son’s Goarilla Goal Basketball backboard. Part of the secret to transitioning more gracefully through this awkward developmental stage is all about getting familiar with the physical changes and using a basketball makes it fun!

Encourage your child to focus on handling the basketball. By this age, most kids have become familiar with initial ball-handling techniques, so play a few rounds of a basketball drill called High and Low:

  • Each child gets a basketball
  • Each child is instructed to dribble the ball waist-high.
  • Once you observe that the kids all seem to be mastering waist-high control of dribbling, ask them to bounce the basketball higher and higher.
  • They should eventually bounce the ball so high that they actually have to jump up in the air to retrieve and dribble it.
  • Teach them to better control the ball by changing back to only a waist-high bounce.
  • Instruct kids to continue dribbling all the while, even when you request that they challenge themselves by sitting on their knees and dribbling the ball around their entire body.
  • There’s more fun to standing slowly and dribbling the basketball under and around one leg and then the other.

Through these physically challenging skill builders, your child not only learns more about how to control the basketball. He might also be learning how to deal better with those wiry legs with knobby knees!

-Pat of the Basketball Goal Store Blog Team

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