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Coach Brian Hoffman of Hoffman's Hoops Academy in Nebraska is committed to helping young players through individual instruction and personal attention to improve their skills on the court. He takes a long-term view on player development.
“Every youth basketball program is different, and each one has different goals. As long as you, your players, and your parents know what your goals are, you should be in good shape.
“I set up our team offense and team defense to what these players will need to be able to do in high school, in college, and in the pros. Once our style of play is installed, it is all player development to be able to execute the skills within those offenses to be successful."
Coach Hoffman has a couple of clear goals for the players in his program:
“When new players join the program, I look to identify strengths and weaknesses in their shooting form to make them a quicker, more consistent, and more accurate shooter.
“Those who have been with me already will be looking to increase their shooting range, improve shot speed, and also add shooting from different types of actions to their skill set (pick and rolls, off screens, off the dribble, fade-aways).
“We aim to improve the individual player during practice and use games as a way to measure progress and create new habits. We want to win every game possible, but we do not sacrifice individual development over running plays to win a game.”
Coach Hoffman has seen a great amount of improvement from his teams this summer.
“The best part of summer basketball is that our players have to learn on the fly. They have to adjust very quickly in-game since most of the time they don’t have detailed scouting reports. They are allowed to play free, but they are still held accountable for playing the right way.
“One of the highlights of this summer has been seeing individual growth in our players’ shooting consistency, their individual ability to read the defense, and also improve their 1-on-1 defense on the perimeter and in the post.
Coach Brian Hoffman with one of the Hoffman's Hoops youth teams
“Our teams play very unselfishly and always step up to compete against any challenge. Although it is tough to try new skills and techniques in a competitive setting, they also know they are allowed to make mistakes and continue to learn while playing.”
Hoffman would also like to see some adjustments to the summer basketball circuit.
“Youth basketball tournaments still are run in a variety of ways. I believe 16-minute stopped clocks should be standard. Some tournaments still use a 20-minute running clock, which is not very beneficial for teams with 10 kids.
“I would also do away with 3-4 games in a day, as that makes the intensity and execution of play decrease significantly. Two games a day is the most I would like my kids to play.”