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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2015, 14:43 

Posts: 214
I'm in a situation right now where we have 2-3 players that create a lot of turnovers for our defense. However, the ensuing fast breaks are, more often than not, resulting in turnovers or wasted possessions because these players will try to push the ball 1v3 through traffic and either lose the ball or throw up a bad shot that we have no chance at rebounding. So it's almost like we are answering a turnover with our own turnover.

To me, the steals that these players are getting are almost becoming useless. We aren't doing anything with the extra possession that we have created. Part of me thinks we would be better off giving more playing time to other players that still play very solid defense, force opponents into tough shots, be good on the defensive boards, and play unselfish, team offense that will result in more passing, more motion, more players touching the ball and being involved and ultimately better shot selection.

Am I nuts to think that causing turnovers could actually become counter-productive?

PostPosted: 30 Mar 2015, 15:08 
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I'm not sure who should be getting playing time. But I do know that the steals and ensuing 1v3 is a perfect teaching opportunity.

Players need to recognize when they have a numbers advantage. And need to learn how to play under control.

It all depends on the situation, but I would find opportunities to talk to these players. It might be immediately after the play (pull them out and talk on the sideline), might be at next time out, or might be immediate stoppage of player during practice scrimmage. And could be even the next practice... simulate those situations in practice.

I would tell the player... great job getting a steal. That is awesome effort. Once you stole the ball.... what did you see? (You might be surprised at what they tell you).

Then the next question might be... do you think that was a good shot? What could you do different next time?

These players might not understand.... 2v1 is an advantage. You should get to the rim. For my players, I teach them 1v1 in the open court is an advantage too. Get to the rim! Trailers crash the boards. 1 v 3 is a clear disadvantage. Change your speed, slow down and look for a good opportunity. You might need to set up the offense and work it for a bit.

You don't want to discourage attacking. But you do need to teach decision making.

When you're all done, finish up by telling them again the did a great job getting the steal and the effort on defense.

Now if a kid doesn't listen and repeatedly makes the same mistake, it may be time to take them out and let them sit for a while. Let them know the exact reason they sat out for a while.

Coaching is teaching and teaching is coaching. I would encourage you to find a way to teach the players better decision making.

Jeff Haefner

PostPosted: 30 Mar 2015, 15:15 

Posts: 214
I should have prefaced by saying that we have worked on these situations in practice. Identifying what is a good scenario to attack vs a scenario where we might need to tap the brakes and pull the ball out and get some good ball movement.

I like the point about making sure to praise them for the effort. I always try to mix in a positive comment about what happened when I attempt to correct things. But it seems like a couple of these players have a bit of a selfish streak and feel they need to be scoring every basket. I'll even make it a point to make a big deal out of praising players when they do make the correct decision so these other players can here that they'll get cheered and supported even it someone else puts the ball in the basket.

Unfortunately I'm not the head coach of this current team. I'm an assistant. Some of the players are from my travel team I coached. We did go the route of reducing playing time during the travel season and our we didn't miss a beat with our reserves and the ball movement was noticeable.

PostPosted: 30 Mar 2015, 16:07 

Posts: 899
Agree with Jeff on this one, it is a good coaching/teaching opportunity and definitely a necessary skill as they get older, especially when teams begin to press them. I'm more in the camp of breaking down the fast break during practice with no defense. Working on the components of a good pass to the outlet and going from there. Having a full court drill that has players at both ends working on the passes and finishing layups at full speed.

Most times at the younger levels, there's too much dribbling on a fast break and not enough passing. If someone is further down the court than you, our rule is you'd better be passing it to them in a 1v2 or 1v3 situation. One challenge is the arm strength and coordination of the younger kids to execute good passes on a fast break.

It sounds like you have a group of kids learning how to fast break which is never pretty in the beginning. It seems to be one of those skills that once it's start clicking, the kids get it. That trial and error stage isn't a lot of fun though.


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