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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2014, 16:45 

Posts: 28
Hi, I am currently coaching a grade4-6 boys team and they are freezing in games. They forget how to guard their person, don't take shots and basically look like deer in headlights. Need some suggestions for transferring things learned in practice to real games. have tried scrimmaging our older team and they did okay but can't seem to play when playing teams in their division. Any suggestions would be really helpful.

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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2014, 17:46 
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I would just keep working on the fundamentals and make sure they have FUN. They are youg kids just learning the game.

Break things down and make them very simple... thus the term KISS - The more they have to think the slower their feet get. Its a tough age group.


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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2014, 22:45 

Posts: 899
Sounds like they just need more experience in games. Basketball is a very dynamic game. Add in yelling parents, yelling coaches, kids yelling for the ball, and refs blowing whistles and you have the recipe for a confusing time for developmental players. I found that focusing on one or two skills each game helps the kids feel more confident. Solid defense and good passes or blocking out and good shots. In other words, expecting developmental players to execute multiple skills each game isn't realistic.

Pick a few items to work on in your next practice, then work on that in your next game. Reward it with a few packs of gum. If you choose A and B to work on, you'll have to let C and D slide for that game.

Keeping it FUN like Coach Sar mentioned can be achieved by reducing their stress in games. Lower the expectations, focus on a few things, reward those and look to add a new skill to work on the next game.

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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2014, 08:55 

Posts: 214
I'm all about building the fundamentals of each player, so you definitely don't want to lose sight of that.

How long do you get for practice each week? What worked for my 5th/6th grade rec team this year was using the first 15-20 minutes of practice to work on ballhandling and shooting with some fast paced drills that ensured everybody was getting plenty of reps. Then we'd get into more game like drills. We did a lot of 3-man weave into 2 on 1. 4 on 4 shell which progressed from stationary offense to pass and cut with no dribbling, to pass and cut with dribbling. We also ran a full court progression drill where we split into two teams, we started with a 1 on 0 fast break, then a 2 on 1 the other way, then a 3 on 2 back, then 4 on 3, then 4 on 4 for a few posessions. We didn't do all of these each practice and we only got 8 freaking practices, but I think these drills really enhanced the level of play of our bottom tier players.

We had a great season, only lost 1 game and won the league championship. Each kid knew how to play TEAM and 1 on 1 defense and was a threat to score when they had the ball. It helped that we had a couple of really good players that really enjoyed sharing the ball and getting everybody involved on game day.

To sum it up, my suggestion is to make your practices more like your games. You can still fit in the individual skill work, but it might help to work on small sided games (2 on 2, 3 on 3) with specific rules (no dribbling, pass and cut) designed to get kids more comfortable through a progression.

One more thought I just had: what type of "offense" is your team running? Is part of the freezing due to them trying to remember where they are supposed to go for the "play"?


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