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PostPosted: 24 Mar 2021, 11:32 

Posts: 14
I am a little torn on this and wanted the opinions of those on this board. I coach 5th-8th grade basketball at my school. I go from one season right into another. While a lot of what we do at the elementary level is similar, just more advanced at the Junior High level, I have a question on offense.

As the junior high coach, I run a simplified version of our HS offense. The Varsity coach runs the Read and React system, he went over the "Youth Team Blueprint" with me in preseason two years ago, and said "If you can get them through these things or at least close to it by the end of 8th grade, we'll be in good shape." So I have done that and feel very good about our current 8th graders going into that system and being able to know what to do. On to my actual question...

Should I start preparing the elementary players for this offense? I didn't get much of a season this year (Covid shut us down after 2 games) and did do that with my current 7th graders last year, but they're a little more advanced and look to be a good group going forward. Is this something I should do on a yearly basis? It sounds obvious to teach them the concepts of your offense as early as possible, I just worry about burnout after 4 years of Youth Basketball (5th-8th grade) running one offense and in theory, running it for 4 more years in high school. I could still teach "How to play" and not "Set plays" with a motion or flex-style offense, and it would give them different looks and situations.

Any feedback would be appreciated. I've been going back and forth on this for about awhile.

PostPosted: 25 Mar 2021, 09:00 
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Good question...

I think at the elementary level the following should be made a priority....

- skill development
- fostering a love for the game
- athletic development (balance, coordination, foot speed, etc)
- set a good example and have a positive impact on the players
- play lots of small side games so players can't hide in 5v5 and they all develop various decision making, agility, and ball skills

I think you can accomplish all those things with a very simple motion offense or the R & R (as long as coaches keep is very basic). To me, the practice planning is the most important thing and as long as the offense is simple, position-less, and allows you to teach fundamental skills... I don't think you can go wrong.

With all that said, my instincts say spend the first couple years on simple motion offense (which will inevitably include some pass and cut R & R stuff). Then shift to R & R after a couple years, especially if you think you can make enough headway to have them fully prepared for HS.

Jeff Haefner

PostPosted: 25 Mar 2021, 11:52 

Posts: 14
Thanks Jeff,

I think I’ll start with basic motion movements from different setups and see where it goes with each group. The little bit I did have with our guys this year, they did understand the concepts of the offense , but I feel like motion is the perfect offense to start kids on regardless of ability. As you said it covers many of the movements and actions of the R & R, but gives them a different perspective of playing offense.

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