Once you have purchased a basketball hoop for your home it is time to put it to good use. Of course you could simply send your little basketball player out there without much direction and hope for the best, but if you want to maximize your child’s odds of becoming a good player and also to maximize their joy playing the game, it is important to go a step further. One of the coolest features that are available on most modern hoops is that their height is adjustable. The majority of adjustable hoops are able to change their height from 7 feet to 10 feet.
While many use the hoop lowering mechanism to pretend being their favorite high flying NBA player, it is not the only or most important use for adjusting height on a hoop. Having this feature on your portable or in ground basketball hoop allows young kids learning the game of basketball to shoot the basketball at a level that works for them given their limited strength and beginning development. Often when children shoot on a regulation ten foot rim they quickly build bad habits in their shooting form because they end up having to “throw” the basketball at the hoop. Because these bad habits take time to develop they become very ingrained and extremely difficult to break later down the road. Unfortunately, most often it is children who have the touch and coordination to develop a great shootings stroke that suffer the most as they lack strength in their early years. You can eliminate one major cause of bad form by following this hoop height recommendation chart:
Children Through 2nd Grade: 6-7 Feet
Use the lowest rim setting available on your hoop. Typically this will be seven feet. The main goal at this age is to get them acclimated to the game and to being building solid fundamentals.
Children Through 4th Grade: 8 Feet
Kids growing up through 4th grade will begin to gain a significant amount of strength and it may be tempting to put the hoop higher. However, resist this temptation and put the hoop at 8 feet and allow a natural shot to continue to develop.
Children Through 5th Grade: 9 Feet
Another foot of hoop height at this point becomes appropriate as children are continuing to become stronger and have now progressed to having a repeatable shooting stroke.
Children Through 6th Grade: 10 Feet
Once your child has passed the 6th grade it is appropriate to have them begin shooting on the regulation 10 foot rim. Early in this stage make sure the focus on shooting is from the free throw line distance and in.
If you follow this chart for your child or youth basketball team you are ensuring that proper shooting mechanics will develop, especially if you are following the five easy steps to shooting a basketball perfectly. While nothing can guarantee the results you want and adjusting the hoop alone will not help a child get a good shot without some specific instruction, hoop adjustment is a critical component. Let us know below any other things you do for your kid or team that you feel allows for them to build great fundamentals and mechanics in their basketball skills.