If you want your child to get the right introduction to basketball, learn proper skills and have the kind of positive experience that will keep him or her active, look for a local basketball association or recreation program that follows Canada Basketball’s recommendations for each age. Following the Long-Term Athletic Development (LTAD) model, Canada Basketball has developed specific guidelines for children starting at the elementary school age levels:
Active start (0-6 years old)
Active Start programs focus on the Active Start “to-do list,” which sees your child being exposed to a variety of different games and activities and having fun in a non-competitive environment. Your child will develop running, jumping, twisting, wheeling, kicking, throwing, and catching skills that will help him or her later on in life.
FUNdamentals (females 6-8, males 6-9)
The FUNdamentals stage emphasizes having fun over competing. This stage is still an important part of life for youngsters to be developing fundamental movement skills, but your child will also learn basketball-specific sports skills such as shooting, passing, ball-handling and basic offensive and defensive principles in a fun-oriented atmosphere.
Learn to train (females 8-11, males 9-12)
Kids compete in local leagues at this age, but quality training and skill development remain the primary focus. Games provide the physical and mental challenges for children to apply their skills in a realistic competition setting, but the emphasis is the development of the player. This stage of development also introduces young players to basic principles of warm up, cool down, stretching, and nutrition. Canada Basketball still encourages kids to play other sports to develop physical literacy at this age.
You can learn more about quality basketball programs at Canadian Sport for Life.