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PostPosted: 15 May 2016, 05:46 

Posts: 2
Hi Guys,

Recently I have had a team which some of the lesser talented players struggle. Few issues I have are when teaching M2M defence using Shell principles sometimes a few players sit in the key and get lost on rotation and when defence breaks down. Also players who don't get in stance get beaten to easily.

Other issue I have is lesser talented players get stuck on moving the ball up the court on full court M2M or zone press.

Questions I have for this team are

What strategies best to teach players on M2M rotation, broken plays? Keep enforcing ball, deny, help, Talk, communicate and stance. Is it just something over time will click? Sometimes feel hopeless if its getting through?

For beating pressure any suggestions for inbounding the balls and helping players make correct decisions under pressure? They can get the ball but make bad passing decisions or loose the dribble to easy.

I've been coaching for 11 years now and sometimes feel frustrated if players are not taking it in properly? or just have to be patient and hopefully one day it sinks in?

Any advice on these topics or suggestions for inbounds against pressure, M2M techniques for weaker players and any offensive suggestions for small team with 80% weaker players and take a while to take things in?


PostPosted: 16 May 2016, 09:44 

Posts: 62
Interesting situation you have there. I'll have to think this over before offering my advice.

PostPosted: 16 May 2016, 10:57 

Posts: 157

First off, don't get frustrated. Every person who has ever coached at the youth level (and many at higher levels for that fact) have experienced what you are experiencing.

Let's take this in stages.

Problem: Players sitting in the lane and not getting off the help line to their man when one pass away.

It could be that shell drill is too much too soon, if they are not familiar with the concepts of closing out.


Two on Two: Stationary offensive player on each wing. Coach in the middle. Each player has a defender.
Pass should go from the coach to a wing. Ball side wing mans up. Weakside wing drops to help line.
Pass back to coach for quick reversal to the other side.
Now the wings have to move. Former ball side wing has to drop to the help line. Former help line wing needs to spring and closeout to his man.

Make sure to use good terms and repeateable terms as you teach this.
"Spring to Help": Sprint from your man to the help line when the ball goes opposite.
"Move on Air Time": Move when the ball is in the air, not on the catch.
"High Hands, Chop Steps", when you close out, go with your hands high, then chop steps to guard against the drive.

Make them master this drill before you go 4 man shell. It breaks it down into a simpler piece.

Offense vs Full Court Pressure: Having trouble inbounding the ball vs man to man press.

There are a host of drills that you should run that teach proper passing and movement fundamentals. Players need to execute V-Cuts. They need to learn how to change directions and change speeds. They also need to practice squaring up on the catch. Needless to say, ball handling is essential.

Here are some drills I would utilize:
4 on 3 passing: This is not against the press. But it teaches kids how to square up with a man in their face and use pass fakes and pivots to work their way free.
4 offensive players: one on each elbow, one on each block. 3 defenders. Defensive rule is someone must cover the ball. Offensive rule is must have a pivot foot on the elbow or block and can't leave it. Offensive goal is complete 7 straight passes with no tips, no interceptions. On a defensive tip or interception, player that threw the pass gets replaced by the defender who got the tip or pick.

Dribble Zig-Zag: This drill is as old as time. Defensive player tries to turn the offensive players as man times as he can while the offensive player has to make his way down full court. This should improve ball handling and against man to man, should be very helpful.

Man-Maker: I got this one from Ken Sartini and it is MADE for the situation you are describing. The only change I made to it was to put an extra defender over the top to act as a free safety so the offense couldn't throw the over the top pass. It is a difficult drill that makes kids WORK!

The only other thing to control is mentality. Don't let them panic.

Teach them.
1) Don't turn your back.
2) When they are in your face, dribble by them.
3) I don't care if we get a 10 second call.

The last one is toughest as a coach and a player, but the purpose is two-fold.
1) Kids on the court have no idea how long 10 seconds actually is and they panic early.
2) You want kids to patiently make plays.

If you get a 10 second call, you get to come back and set your defense against them. If you live ball turnover it, then you're probably giving up a lay-up. So as a coach, you have to sell the kids that you don't mind the 10 second call, and that you won't yell at them if they get one.

Last thing would be practice what your players do after giving up a make. Get the ball inbounds FAST. Have a designated inbounder and spot your guard goes to in order to receive it. The quicker you get that done, the less time a press has to set up.

Just some thoughts. Hope they help.


Brian Sass

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