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PostPosted: 12 Feb 2010, 12:54 

Posts: 15
I've been coaching the same group of girls for the last 3 years grade 4-6. the first year we got destroyed. Last year our games were closer and we went about .500
This year we are undefeated and blowing people out by 30 points. The girls have become bored at practice. and during games I have called them off during several games. Like no steals, no fast breaks and at least 3 passes when we get up by 20.

We had one close game that we won 18-8. It looks like we will coast until we meet that team again in the championship game. It isn't for 7 week though.

I don't want us to be flat and lazy by the time we play them again.

what should I do for the next 7 weeks to keep them sharp and motivated? Do I let them go full tilt or continue to hold them back. I have even moved my guards to the post to keep scoring down

Watching game results the other team isn't letting up at all on their opponents?

It's a great problem to have, but I don't want them to go undefeated and lose the championship game because we have lost our edge.

We play a tenacious defense and I hate to tone that down. But I also want to teach them sportsmanship.

It's a nice problem I have but I need some guidance.

PostPosted: 12 Feb 2010, 21:40 
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Posts: 3139
Ok Tarzan,

Keep working on their fundamentals... they are young and have a lot to learn at this age. I hope you are teaching them m2m defense.. that always needs work at every level.
We talk all the time here about not pressing at this age group so I hope you aren't doing that.....
What are your rules regarding the playing time of each player? You can sub a little earlier, getting your 6-8th players in the game end of 1st and early 2nd qtr. Put your starters in at the beginning of the 2nd half and then sub the rest of your other players.
I like your philosophy regarding NOT running up the score... no need to humiliate anyone, especially at this age.
As for your offense, you can say 3 ball reversals... that's a lot more than 3 passes but it is a good way to get everyone on the team involved and you will break down the defense. You can always say, the post has to touch it before a shot... or you can say we want X to shoot this time... let everyone work to set X up for a shot.
You have been doing a lot of things right to get them to play at this level. Keep your practices intense BUT FUN. This age group is more about learning fundamentals and having FUN than it is about winning. IF you are preparing them to play at the next level then you are doing your job.

PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 11:24 
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Posts: 191
Location: New Britain, CT.
Coach Sar is so right. Always a good time to work on proper fundamentals of the game, whether a team is undefeated or winless, coaches of youth basketball should spent 50% of every practice working on ballhandling, shooting form, defense, boxing out, etc.

Don't feel you have a perfect team. There are always areas to improve and fundamentals to reinforce. It may seem that you clearly have an superior team but maybe your competition is inferior.

You have 7 weeks left of the season so why not schedule some non-league games against better competition. Call around surrounding towns and cities and try to find a team to challenge your girls. Maybe schedule a game against an older team in town or in another town. You will find out what kind of players you have when they are challenged in a close game. You will also find out more about your weaknesses.......though you are undefeated...every team has weaknesses that they need to work on.
These scrimmage games will benefit your team, keep them sharp going into your playoffs. I have even scheduled a "fun" scrimmage
with a 5th grade girls team years ago against a 5th grade boys team. It was fun and the girls learned how much faster and aggressive other competition can be.....and they will respond to that challenge!!

Your are a good coach displaying good sportmanship to your players by not running up the score. If you are up by 20 or more...back off M2M and go zone, no fast breaks and lots of passing as you and Coach Sar addressed earlier.


Coach A

PostPosted: 16 Feb 2010, 03:58 
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Posts: 315
tarzan: why are you apologizing for doing a great job, they got waxed in the first year, last year they were 500, and this year undefeated, that's coaching. So why back off, what i would do and Ive been there I had a team that reeled off 119 straight wins and boredom was prevalent. what i did was focus on the things they did not do right or did not do very well, I kept them always off balance, at times I showed them that even though they were winning consistently and at a high rate, there was always something they could work on. In fact, i won a game by 30 once and chided them on the fact that they had more turnovers than the losing team.

You've gone through the trials and tribulations of teaching them the game and enduring the losses with them. Now, my friend, its time to reap the harvest of your hard work.

PostPosted: 16 Feb 2010, 08:37 

Posts: 7
I agree with not running up the score, but as far as the players getting "stale" I liked the points mentioned in the post above.

There is a story from the Olympics when Bobby Knight was coaching Jordan. At halftime team USA was up huge and Jordan had like 18points, 9assists and 8rebounds. Coach Knight knowing he couldn't let them slack in the second half he went right after Jordan attacking him for not setting screens!

I was apart of a football team that went 34-0 in high school and everyday it took our coaches and captains striving to be better. The mental thought of, "someone, somewhere is practicing this hard, we need to practice harder." I was a captain for the lat 24 wins and this attitude was brought daily from our coaches. We went out and performed the first half and murked the other team. The second half was devoted to bench players. We stayed sharp because our practices were harder than games and we still performed in the games, because we liked showing off what we had worked hard on in practice the last week.

PostPosted: 17 Feb 2010, 00:40 

Posts: 33
Location: Courtenay, BC, Canada
Like some previous comments, when in similar situations I have done everything from earlier subs of #6-#10 players. I have also instituted specific rules:
NO dribble until past half court. makes them work to get open
Dribble only with weak hand. develops weak hand dribble under pressure.
At least three players must touch the ball before a shot goes up. Creates work ethic without the ball.
Target game situations you may encounter when you play other teams, such as Spread offence to waste time and kill the clock. Be specific and run only 1 or 2 plays that your players have some difficulty with.

PostPosted: 05 Mar 2010, 10:58 

Posts: 15
Thanks for all the advice guys...we are still undefeated 10-0 after this weekend(the first round playoff team has already forfeited)

We aren't allowed to go to a zone defense. We already beat our 7th grade school team.

Coachmac...I like your philosophies. I implemented some. Kids don't really like it. Some parents think a win is a win and I should be congratulating them instead of pointing out faults.

I took the parents of the three best girls on the team(my daughter included) that they were going to be held to higher standards than the rest of the team. I explained why and the parents are OK about that.

3 more games to go...we will see what happens

Thanks for the great advice guys

PostPosted: 05 Mar 2010, 18:50 
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Posts: 315
Of course let them enjoy the wins, immediatly following the games, congratulate them on the wonderful things they did, immedialtly following the game. Allow them to revel and bask in the joy of winning, immedialtly following the game let them have those warm fuzzy feeling right up until your first practice following the game. However, the first practice following the game is crucial to insure they keep the edge. This is where I remind them with drills drilling the fundamentals that they did not do well at. Winning is certainly much better than losing. from time to time, sit them down and have them think back two years ago to the times they never won a game. Ask them to compare those feeling with the feelings of exhileration they are now experiencing. Physically ask them "which feelings are more enjoyable?" of course they are much happier now. Then strongly remind them that those feelings of unhappiness, inadequacy and sadness can quickly return if they let down for one second. Coach ....within three years, you have come from defeated to undefeated you need to apologize for NOTHING. Finally remind your girls that every team they play from now on will be gunning for them and if they are not on top of their games, if they get to a point that they feel they are invincible, they will end up in defeat.

Good luck coach and well done. Coach Mac

PostPosted: 05 Mar 2010, 19:30 
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Posts: 3139
Good advice Mac,

Our post game talks were usually very short after a loss.... I allowed them to talk most of the time... my assistant and I would go out for a "pop" and sandwich.. we talked Bball until the food game and then we enjoyed the night. We talked about the things we didn't do well and I wrote them into the next days practice plan. The kids knew what they had done wrong just from the things we worked on... doing it this way didn't beat them up emotionally. After wins... well.... it was celebration time for them..... We told them to savor the W until we got back to work on the practice floor.... then we started all over again.

This is what one of my players told me this year about his time with us -
"To be honest, everything we did in practice had a direct correlation to our games, we had no wasted time."

Keep up the good work and keep them (and yourself) focused.

PostPosted: 06 Mar 2010, 13:44 

Posts: 899
A thought for future games with your girls, have you considered playing up? If you play tourneys over the spring and summer, kick it up a notch and compete in a higher age division.


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