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PostPosted: 03 Jan 2019, 12:07 

Posts: 1
First, thank you so much for all the information you provide!

I am a first year coach of a fifth grade girls team. We play in a compeative league/tournaments, although we are inclusive, so didn't hold tryouts, just filled our 10 spots with girls who showed interest in basketball. All girls get equal playing time, even if that means we take a loss.

Because of this site, the girls play a man to man (although, I decided a saggy man was better for us, to keep us from running all over the court and getting lost 😜) and play a motion offense when we play teams also playing man, and try an overload offense when we see zones (a lot of teams play zone).

Anyway, I need help from other youth coaches or even someone on your staff if possible. The tourneys and leagues we have played, do not require numbers on the front of jerseys. When the other teams did have numbers on the front of their jerseys, we were like a brick wall defense (well, maybe I am exaggerating because we still had some losses....but I was pretty proud of my girls)!! I could have cried at how well my newbies bb players did!
But.....so frustrating, when the other team doesn't have the number on the front of their jerseys, we are lost and there is at least one girl not defended.
I have tried having the girls call out a defining characteresic, like...I got orange hairband or blue shoes, etc.....it just is not the same and we end up having two people defending the same girl. It just doesn't work with team communication when the numbers aren't visible on the front of jerseys.

So, I really do get why so many coaches go zone, a girl can find a place on the court but can't find their girl when they do no have numbers on their front of their jerseys or communicate to their teammates who they are guarding.


Please, can you point me into the direction of other youth coaches. I can't be the only one who struggles with this. Someone has HAD to come up with a solution or trick that allows the girls to figure out who their man is and how to communicate that to their teammates, when the opposing team does not have a number on the front of their jersey.

Thanks so much!! Once again, your website, blog posts, and free ebooks have been invaluable to me!
Which, hopefully translates into some fundamentally outstanding future high school basketball players!

If you could help me out here, I would forever be greatful!

Janette


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PostPosted: 03 Jan 2019, 12:54 
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I think with a little more experience they'll figure it out. I don't know if you do this but we always tell our players to point to the person they are guarding, call out who has the ball, and if you can call out numbers. As you can see in the picture below the teams didn't have numbers when our teams were younger and they seemed to do ok with finding their player. So maybe having them point will help solve the problem.
http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/haefner/youth-defense-how-to-make-sure-young-players-know-who-they-are-guarding/

Good luck and hope this helps!

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PostPosted: 03 Jan 2019, 16:47 

Posts: 899
janettenelms wrote:
I have tried having the girls call out a defining characteresic, like...I got orange hairband or blue shoes, etc.....it just is not the same, and we end up having two people defending the same girl. It just doesn't work with team communication when the numbers aren't visible on the front of jerseys.
I don't think there's a magic bullet for this one; you'll have to pick some physical characteristic and go with it.

It seems like an excellent opportunity to ask your girls to help solve the problem. It helps them take ownership and feel like they're a working part of the team. When they come up with ideas, you work through how they'll remember to look at the shoes, hair, bands, etc. Won't be perfect, but you'll be surprised if they feel like it was their idea how successful they could be.

It's a great teaching opportunity too. They'll run into more challenges down the road if they keep playing from presses to teams that play rough. You'll run into difficulties as a coach. I'm one of those, "Life is like basketball," coaches so I'd use this as a chance to plant a flag. If you keep coaching them, you can point back to it when you face another challenge and say, "Remember when we worked through the no numbers on the jerseys?"

janettenelms wrote:
So, I really do get why so many coaches go zone, a girl can find a place on the court but can't find their girl when they do no have numbers on their front of their jerseys or communicate to their teammates who they are guarding.
I can assure you that this wouldn't be a reason to play a zone. I know it's frustrating, but I'd stay the course, and your players will thank you down the road. Don't take the easy route, solve the challenge as a team.

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