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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2017, 23:50 

Posts: 3
Coaching 3rd grade boys and we had problems with a great on ball defender that met the pg at half court line. Defense cannot press or guard the defender before half court. I have been working on the pg getting his shoulder and foot across the defender and just drive past, but again this defender is a year older (4th grader) and actually very good.

We play the same team again the following week and I have prepped us by:
1) having the other off guards prepared to try to beat his man instead of the pg
2) have pg throw a long touchdown pass from behind halfcourt to a teammate near the free throw line/post
3) Introduced how to give a screens, but not too confident it will work... (Another reason we had trouble is that all our players converged at the halfcourt line and allowing the defense to build a wall... We have a young, and under developed team. They know how to spread out and get to their spots for a 5-0 offense but just fell apart against this opposing team.)

I do like the idea of having the pg hand off the ball to a teammate at halfcourt. I feel so bad last game as the coach because I was not prepared to handle this and I was embarrassed. I really under estimated how difficult it might be to bring the ball up court for kids this age. I really doubt it would be a problem because there is not a press and our pg is decent ball handler. Our team did not have an alternative PG that day so we were just exploited by this weakness.

I have learned my lesson and am putting together a list of scenarios to prepare for in a game for this age group. I learned that different scenarios can happen that you would not expect for different age groups and developmental levels...

PostPosted: 18 Apr 2017, 05:35 
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In my opinion, whoever you designate as point guard should advance the ball. That's how you do things in that situation (guarded man to man) at higher levels and that is how you develop fundamental skills that are necessary for basketball.

A drill we run every single practice for all levels is 1v1. We might play 1v1 full court advancement, 1v1 half court, or even go against two defenders (1v1 with double teams). But we play some type of 1v1. We also teach players basic dribble skills... dribbling with eyes up with either hand under pressure, changing speeds, changing directions, retreating out of trouble, control dribble, and protecting the ball.

For those reasons all the players on our 3rd/4th/5th grade teams can be PG and advance the ball against 1v1 full court pressure and often times against 1v2 full court pressure.

To me this is one of the most basic skills and the first place to start with young kids. Not to mention the 1v1 drills develop defensive skills, agility, and quickness.

You might not have enough time to solve the problem by game time. But you can at least start. To me that's the right way to do things.

Good luck!!

Jeff Haefner

PostPosted: 18 Apr 2017, 20:07 

Posts: 3
All my players spend time doing 1vs 1 full court with pressure defense every practice. PG usually does well except for the one game with an exceptionally good defender. Which was why I was caught off guard and shocked. We did not have a back up plan or players skilled enough to take over.

I disagree with your article. If you need to use a high screen then use it. No point in letting your player get beat by himself especially in a live game. Basketballs a team game and coaches should use all parts of the game to help them succeed including high screens.

I do agree that you should not use high screens EVERY TIME and see how that can be bad for development. But for a one off game I don't see the harm. I have made a mental note to have other players bring the ball up court in the future, and try to give them that opportunity. Though, in our league that would be an exception. Usually teams stick to the same point guards throughout. Even in blowouts...


PostPosted: 11 Dec 2017, 13:47 

Posts: 1
Location: Oklahoma
These are great suggestions. I think bringing your PF up to help is a great idea. It would help draw some pressure off the PG and possibly open them up for a cut to the basket. It would also set your PF up for a one on one in the middle if the defenders don't come help, assuming he/she can handle the ball.

I like the idea of perfecting or at least improving on the footwork. I think some coaches, myself included, have asked kids to beat a defender that is playing them close but have never clarified for the player how to go about doing that. This technique would be essential to work on for that purpose.

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