These 3 Unique Offense Rules Will Help You Score More Points

By Joe Haefner

These 3 Unique Offense Rules Will Help You Score More Points

Rule 1: The purpose of the dribble is to…

Youth Coaches: Destroy Your Playbook and Do This Instead

By Joe Haefner

Youth Coaches: Destroy Your Playbook and Do This Instead

This could be one of the biggest mistakes in youth basketball.

In fact, if you’re making this same mistake…

New Article – This Simple Tip Will Improve Your Offensive Rebounding… Even Small Teams

By Joe Haefner

New Article – This Simple Tip Will Improve Your Offensive Rebounding… Even Small Teams

Which situation is more difficult block out for a defensive rebound…

Improve Your Transition Defense With The “Tear Butt” Drill

By Joe Haefner

Improve Your Transition Defense With The “Tear Butt” Drill

In this video from our Breakthrough Basketball Camps, Matt Keeley & Jim Huber demonstrates a great transition defense drill. It is a great…

The Flex Offense – A Good Youth Offense?

By Joe Haefner

The Flex Offense – A Good Youth Offense?

When working with young players ranging from 5 to 16 years old, we think it’s important for you to….

How the San Antonio Spurs Run Their Two-Man Game

By Joe Haefner

How the San Antonio Spurs Run Their Two-Man Game

The San Antonio Spurs are known for their exceptional…

Minnesota Timberwolves SLOB From Box Set

By Joe Haefner

Minnesota Timberwolves SLOB From Box Set

The Minnesota Timberwolves often run this side inbounds play. This is an extension of head coach Rick Adelman’s…

New Transition Offense and Fast Break Articles – Philosophy, Offenses, and Drills

By Joe Haefner

We have added some new pages to the website on the transition offense and fast break.

Go ahead and take a look:

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/offense/transition-fast-break-offense.html

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/drills/transition-fast-break-drills.html

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/drills/5-on-3-fast-break-drill.html

http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/offense/paul-westhead-fast-break-offense.html

5 Bucks To a Better Team

By JimBado

If you’ve only got five bucks, your best investment is a roll of blue painter’s tape. Like duct tape for a homeowner, blue tape is invaluable for a coach and much easier to use than masking tape. Carry it to practices and games to help your team:

1) Build a better understanding of offensive positions/spacing

You can explain positions and tell your squad to spread out until you’re “blue” in the face, but many kids still won’t understand. We showed our players where to line up on offense untold times, but they always seemed to forget their positions. Part of this came from us always rotating positions, but it also stemmed from a lack of markings on the court (we pointed out the block and elbow, but they forgot what those were too).

The solution: mark guards’ and forwards’ spots with blue tape Xs. That worked so well in practice that we started doing it in games. Our players would run down the hardwood during games, look for the blue X and jump stop on it with a smile. After a couple weeks, we didn’t need the Xs anymore.

2) End endless trips into the corners

Inexperienced players tend to dribble into the corner and stop. The defense swarms them and steals the ball or causes a turnover or jump ball. Repeated instructions to avoid the corners, labeling them the “no” zone (i.e., don’t go in there) and stopping scrimmages when someone dribbled into one all failed to end the bad habit for our squad. Once a player started dribbling, the corner seemed to attract her with almost irresistible magnetic power.

We solved the problem by making large squares/boxes in each corner with two pieces of blue tape and the out of bounds lines. When a player dribbled into the “box” during a scrimmage, we blew the whistle. Now, instead of wondering what they did, they looked down, saw where they stood (i.e., inside the no zone) and immediately understood. After a couple whistles, we didn’t even need to say anything.

The boxes virtually eliminated the corners’ magnetic power and, after two practices, we didn’t need to tape them anymore. Thanks to the “power of blue”, our players now remind each other to avoid the “no” zone.

3) Develop a clearer understanding of weak side defensive positioning

Knowing where to position yourself in a man-to-man defense is a tough concept to grasp. Young players tend to “chase” the person they’re guarding all over the court, rather than play defense with their brains. Even those who understand the concept of weak-side defense often stand too close to the player they’re guarding to be effective help defenders.

We discussed “on-the-line/up-the-line” without success until finally realizing (duh), we ought to just put the dern line in the middle of the key from the foul line to the baseline. With blue tape on the floor, our players could see where they should be when they’re weak side defenders. Do they still get out of position? Of course, but the tape has improved their understanding of how to man-to-man defense tremendously. You can also mark the “danger zone” near your basket with tape. Tell your players to keep the ball out of the taped area or, if the ball gets into it, to swarm the offensive player. When kids can see what they should do, they do it.

Just when it seems we’ve advanced beyond it, blue tape continues proving its value. Since our summer league plays two simultaneous games crosscourt on a large varsity court, the crosscourt marks for the foul , three point and out-of-bounds lines are all very light. Unable to see the yellow foul line, our kids repeatedly stepped over it; the referees waved off the shots we made due to lane violations.

Once we put down a blue tape line, violations disappeared. After marking both foul lines, the referee called our squad for three seconds. During a time out, I asked him how our players were supposed to know they were inside the key (the key is the exact same color as the rest of the floor). He had no response, but we did: marking it with more of our trusty blue tape.

You can find more articles from Jim Bado that are usually non-basketball related at the LOSER Report.

For more youth coaching tips, drills, plays, offense tips, defense tips, and much more, visit our Youth Basketball Coaching Home Page.

Should Youth Coaches AVOID Plays and Patterned Offenses?

By Joe Haefner

One year I coached two teams, a 7th & 8th grade team (12 to 14 year olds) and a Fresh/Soph team (14 to 16 year olds). Besides, being a VERY busy year, it was also an extremely educational year from a coaching standpoint.

I was frustrated from the year before when I coached 6th graders, because the offense wasn’t where I wanted it to be, and I wanted a little more control over the offense (Bad Idea). For both teams, I decided I was going to run Bo Ryan’s Swing Offense (Bad Idea). It seemed to work well for him, and I thought I might as well give it a shot. I created breakdown drills and I decided I would spend at least 15 minutes every practice drilling the patterns into these players. Little did I know…

Here are some conclusions I came to:

1.  Youth players (14 & under) forget patterned offenses or plays, so why spend time on them during practice. Even with 15 & 16 year olds, the offense would consistently break down after 3 to 4 passes.

2.  Most of the points we scored were off of fast breaks, loose balls, turnovers, and offensive rebounds. Shouldn’t we practice some more situational & disadvantage drills if that’s where we get most of our points?

3.  I could have spent a lot MORE time teaching the players the fundamentals of the game. How to read screens, how to pass, how to cut, how to shoot, how to handle the ball, and so on. Instead, I WASTED a lot of time on a patterned offense.

4.  Teaching the fundamentals of the motion offense would have benefited both teams more in the long run. Rather than teaching them a pattern, I should have taught them offensive principles. It would increase their basketball IQ. Also, when they got older, it wouldn’t matter what offense the coach runs, they would know how to play the game.

5.  Kids tend to become ROBOTIC and FREEZE up when running the plays and patterned offenses during games. They don’t react to the defense, because they are trying to please you (the coach) by running the pattern. When they forget the pattern (which is 90% of the time), they panic and freeze up. Why not run an offense that teaches the players how to react to the defense?

I decided that simplicity is better and I will always run the motion, especially at the youth levels. I’m not saying that you can’t use a few simple plays during the year. I just wouldn’t advise any more than that.

If you would like to learn more about how to coach and teach the Motion Offense, take a look at our Motion Offense eBooks and Audio.

What do you think? What have your experiences been?