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PostPosted: 11 Dec 2009, 08:35 

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I coach a boys jr. high team and we are having trouble with breaking the full court press. We have devoted much of our practice time the past two weeks to breaking the press and do fine in practice (even when scrimmaging against the varsity boys team) but in a game we panic, throwing the ball to the first teammate we see.

Last nite was our 3rd game against a pressing team and we made 28 turnovers, most of which were forcing the ball. Any ideas?


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PostPosted: 12 Dec 2009, 15:43 
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Location: Miami, Fl.
I think that Jr High might be just a touch to young to allow pressure. What grades is your Jr. High? 8th grade might be ok for pressure (but just barely). 6th and 7th grade is too young. They kids are not mentally or physically developed enough to handle the situation. Odds are their skills would be developed enough as well. Some might be, but on the whole, they are not. If they can handle it skill-wise, the performance of their skills will be hampered by their physical limitations. Their lack of experience affects the way they perceive the game and they are not able to react with the needed conviction to really take control of the press. The lack of success will affect them as they get older.

That being as it may, you are in a position where you have to play against pressure. I would not worry about any patterns. They won't remember them anyway. Teach them about space, the enemy of pressure. Them give them rules.

I am used to coaching high level players, but when I coach kids I give them the same 3 rules and it seems to work well.

Spread out
Go on the dribble and think layup.
Go immediately

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PostPosted: 13 Dec 2009, 17:57 
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Coach Kelbick has said it well, spacing is your best bet. Think of the press as a great big zone, the bigger the zone the larger the gaps, seems and holes there are. My best advice and it seems easy but try not to panic. See where the traps are coming from exploit the areas that the trapping players are leaving and coming to trap. If its man pressure you are having difficulty beating, get the ball to your best ball handler and clear out. You can throw a series of back screens on the player defending the ball. Make sure every player that catches the ball squares up to basket, dont lose your dribble unless absolutly necessary, try to keep the ball off the floor as much as possible. good luck Coach Mac


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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 09:52 

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Thanks for the advice. In my part of the country, jr high is 7th, 8th and 9th grade. I am afraid that we will see quite a bit of pressing as the year progresses because of our size. Our center is 6'4" (rather tall for a jr high player in our area) and most teams don't match up with him in the half court. We try to inbound the ball to him on the press break because he can see over just about any trap, where we get into trouble is getting open for the critical 2nd pass.


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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 10:50 
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Location: Miami, Fl.
How is your point guard?

Here is something else you can try. Have your PG take the ball out. After passing in, have him step inbounds and up the floor. Pass it back to him and let him go.

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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 11:29 
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Location: New Britain, CT.
All the above coaches have some great advice.


I definitely agree that spacing is key. Spread them out.

Vs. zone press:
- reverse the ball, player catches and always looks opposite.
As zone shifts with respect to the ball, the side opposite is usally open.
-Players should always pass before the trap gets to them.
-Use ball fakes (ballfake to wing-pass to middle, ballfake to middle-dribble sideline)
-Have your big in the middle of your pressbreaker, if he gets it he turns and looks opposite for an open teammate.

Tell your players not to panic, that 10 seconds is actually a long time.
Gather them up during a practice and slowly count 10 seconds so they have an idea that it's adaquate time to move the ball past half court.

Try to arrange a scrimmage against a team one grade older and ask the coach to fullcourt press you.

or

During your practice add a 6th player to the team that is pressing, just to get the pressbreaking players conditioned to chaos and traps.

Good Luck!!


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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 11:39 
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Location: New Britain, CT.
One last thing I forgot......about breaking zone press...

PUNISH and ATTACK


Once you get confident and proficient in breaking the press.

PUNISH the team for pressing you and ATTACK the hoop....

this is what I tell my girls (8th grade travel and AAU)....if a team presses us..we will punish them for pressing by attacking the hoop after we break the press...by taking advantage of the other team being all spread out
and us getting an easy layup out of it. If you move the ball quick enuff you should be able to break the press with a 2 on 1 or 3 on 2 advantage.
Once we break the press and cross half court we don't wipe our forehead and say, "whoa....we did it!!" No...we push the ball....most
times you'll get a layup or a shooting foul. You do it enuff and the other coach calls off his press.

Good Luck!!!


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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 18:32 
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enough said by the previous posts all great advice. Let me interject one other thing. As I have always said, I insure my practices and drills always have a pressure component to them. When you are practicing to break the press, use 6 or even 7 players on defense. If they eventually learn to break the press with 7 defensive players, think of how easy it will be when you face only 5. Good luck Coach Mac


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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2009, 19:45 
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There is a lot of good advice here so I wont repeat any of it.... you might try this ... enter the ball to one of your stronger players and have him pass the ball to your big center in the middle of the floor...

Have him back pivot and look DOWN the floor, you should have a player near each sideline.... usually once the ball is in the middle the press is broken.

We used 6-7 players on D a lot too... if forces the players to work harder to get open.... and like coach said... 10 seconds is an eternity.... take the 10 second call before you turn it over... you can play D when they take the ball out of bounds.. pretty hard to defend steals for a lay up.

Ken


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PostPosted: 16 Dec 2009, 23:49 

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Thanks to everyone for your responses. Though I didn't initiate the topic, I'm very glad I found it. My 7th grade team was pressed for our entire last game. It was the only defense the other team offered. We were unprepared for a press but the boys have really made a lot of gains this year in ball movement so we weathered an extremely rough storm.

I don't press so we hadn't practiced against one as much as we probably should have. I appreciate all of your ideas and comments. The next several practices will include a portion of time dedicated to learning from the other night using the information from this forum.


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