Post Rules For Youth Motion Offense?

By Don Kelbick

QUESTION:

Your site is great and I’ve learned a lot from the motion ebook. Thanks.

I coach 5th grade boys and we’re 0-5. We started using the motion after the first game. The offense is still a mess, but we occasionally get a give and go for a layup that looks kinda like basketball. So while I’m extremely frustrated, I have to admit that we’re improving and the boys haven’t quit.

My only rule now is to basket cut after a pass if the point can’t pass to the wing. However, he just starts dribbling and turns it over. If the point does make the pass and the wing can’t pass it back to the point, he just starts dribbling and he turns it over. The result is usually a fast break for the other guys.

I’m looking for another rule and would specifically like to get the post guys involved in the offense. The rules I’ve seen all seem to be geared to the guards. Any rules for the post guys?

Also, do you have any thoughts on a set? We start in a 1-2-2 now, but that leaves a lot of real estate for the guards to cover against pressure and also seems to clog the lane if the give and go does work. I’m thinking of moving to a 1-3-1 and having the low post move to the weak side after a pass.

ANSWER:

The answers to your problems are child development issues not basketball issues. I would recommend that you find a couple more rules, such as what do you do if you can’t pass to the cutter and what do you do if you are the next receiver and can’t get the ball, but I think you may be missing the big picture.

You say to yourself, “some plays look like basketball,” and “the team is improving,” and the “kids are still playing hard,” and that is a result of coaching. You getting frustrated is the result of the score. I wonder how much of what the other teams do “Look like basketball,” or is it just kids on the other teams being able to do a couple of things individually. To stop that, work on defense and the game will even out. Also, in 5th grade, they shouldn’t post players, all the players should just be learning how to play.

The reason that the kids dribble and get it stolen is more a development issue than anything else. How good of a ballhandler can a 5th grader be? It has more to do with the way they perceive the world. Spacing, timing, speed, etc. are all things in life they need more experience at. There is a reason why young kids shouldn’t cross the street by themselves, because they don’t have enough life experience to determine how far away a car is, what speed it is traveling and how long it will take to get there. It is worse on a basketball court because it is all new experience and there is nothing in real life they can draw on.

If the kid is going to dribble, at least tell him where to go and forget about the offense. If you are going to put the ball on the floor, take a lay-up.

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