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PostPosted: 19 Jun 2010, 20:21 
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Before I send any subs in, I draw up our offense and our oppenents offense in my notebook. Before I send the sub in, I show him the notebook and tell him, "You are going to play the 3. On offense you should start on the left wing. On defense, your man is usually on this spot." I also give them a visual description of the player they're supposed to guard. If the other team subs, then at least my player will go to the right spot even if there is somebody else there. They still get lost a lot and they end up playing defense on the offensive end and vice versa, but it's not for a lack of effort on my part. I think it's just age related.

I try to remember being new to basketball when I was young. The game kind of washes over you like being knocked down by a big wave at the beach. You try to get up and you get hit by another wave. Everything happens so fast and it's hard for newbies to keep up a lot of the time. You're constantly reacting to things that happen, but by the time you react, it already happened.

On a side note ... In the league where I coach most teams run the same offensive and defensive zones at both ends. So a team that plays a 2-3 zone defense will also play a 2-3 zone offense. Their players never got lost. They were allowed to camp out in the key the whole game because there was no 3 second rule. Our team did not do this because I refused to teach my kids bad habbits. Life isn't always fair I guess.


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PostPosted: 19 Jun 2010, 20:33 
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Why are they playing zones at that age? They aren't doing those kids any favors. JMO


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PostPosted: 20 Jun 2010, 02:22 
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Coach: First of all I congratulate you on not feeding into bad rules eg. the three second violation. Secondly, I think you have your kids on information overload before they go into the game. How old are these kids and are they able to digest a diagram of the offense you play and the defense the other team plays prior to entering the game. All this stuff you are doing from the bench can be done by scouting the other teams in your league and then practicing your offense against their defenses during your practice times....Coach Mac


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PostPosted: 20 Jun 2010, 05:58 
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Amen to that Coach Mac - The last thing you want to do is to "overload" them before they go into the game. Did you ever notice that there are times after time outs that they would go on the floor and it was like you never said anything to them? That happens because kids are into the game and their mind is going 100 MPH... use the KISS method. I found that IF I told them 2 things... 1 about the offense and 1 about the defense, I would have a much better chance of getting them to make the adjustment I wanted and these were varsity players.

Do your homework in practice - have a well planned practice and your players will be prepared for game situations. Coach Mac gave you some great advice here... This is what one of my players said about our practices -

" To be honest, everything we did in practice had a direct correlation to our games, we had no wasted time."


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PostPosted: 20 Jun 2010, 12:59 
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Maybe I am overloading them. I'll have to think about that. I think maybe there were some things read into my post that I didn't actually say and that's alright. I didn't mean I was drawing up the entire offense and reviewing it before the kid goes in the game. I'm just drawing up the spots on the floor (point, wings, and posts) and reminding them which spot is theirs. Same thing on defense but it's a little tricky with M2M. I might say, "Your job is to guard the kid with the glasses. He usually plays this spot here." We look at the spots on paper, then I point the spots out on the actual floor. Before I send them in, they tell me where they're going to go on offense and defense. I don't want a kid going into a game feeling uncomfortable or unsure about what s/he's supposed to do. It's not really anything that we haven't done in practice.

I don't know if that changes anything or if I would do it differently. Please tell me what I should say to a 9 year old before I send him into the game?

I like the KISS method and using practices to prepare for the game. Most of our practice time is used to build skills, but I'm going to try to create drills that relate directly to the context of the game. There's good advice here and I am here to learn what I can to be a better coach next season. If I had read this forum six months ago, I'm pretty sure a couple of our losses could have been wins. So thank you for your responses. Keep them coming.


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PostPosted: 20 Jun 2010, 15:20 
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At this age its all about teaching skills like you are doing and you are to be commended for doing that .... its not so much about winning at this age as it is teaching them the game and letting them have fun.

I think you said before that some of those coaches are teaching zones... WHY? What does that teach those kids? Your goal should be to get them ready to play at the next levels..... and maybe be a high school player eventually.

I should say this to... God Bless you for working with kids this age... that is a tough group to teach skills to. I always tell other coaches... dont run drills for the sake of running drills.... they should relate to something you are doing within your system... at this age group, its a little different - they are like a blank slate.

Remember what I said before.... not trying to say too much before they go into the game or at time outs.... heck, our high school players could only handle 1 or 2 things without forgetting before they hit the floor.

IF you do a good job in practice they should be able to go into the game and do their jobs providing you keep it simple. Even at our level we tried to keep it simple.... we ran two defenses ... m2m and a match up zone... used man principals so it didn't confuse our players. Good luck and keep up the good work with these kids... if you have any other questions please feel free to ask away.


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PostPosted: 20 Jun 2010, 16:55 
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Coach: Other coaches teaching zones tells me they are all about winning and not development. You have been given great advice by Coach Sars. As well you have given yourself great advice by stating that you will develop drills to enhance your offense as well as your defense. Its called the "part whole method" and I have been using it for years. I take my offense, drill the individual parts then put the Parts together to become the whole. Once again coach Sars mentions having fun and its important for 9 year olds to be enjoying the game. If I coached at that level before i subbed in, I would simply say, you have 23, the skinny kid with the bad hair do. Keep him between you and the basket and don't let him score. Coach Mac


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