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PostPosted: 05 Nov 2019, 09:58 

Posts: 2
Love the daily emails and have learned a lot of great drills and directions to help me coach. However I have a question that is plaguing me and my assistant coaches with my 8th grade team. The team has been together for a couple of year, but no matter how much we work on fundamentals, offense (we run a 5 out), press break, etc in practices. Games start and half the team seems to forget everything that they have learned. Do you have any tips/suggestions on how we can get what is learned in practices to carry over to games.

Thank you,

PostPosted: 05 Nov 2019, 10:11 
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Posts: 1272
A few ideas that might help...

- minimize 5v0 drills with no defenders. at first, that's a good tool teach teach basic concepts. then after a few practices we rarely, if ever, practice without defenders.

- use games, whether it's small sided or 5v5, and the word "freeze" to teach. Just to give you an example of how to teach motion offense concepts...

When I put in the motion with my 6th-8th grade teams, I spend about 5 minutes explaining rules:
* Keep spacing (show a couple examples)
* When you are 1-pass from ball and not open, cut or screen immediately.
* When you pass the ball, cut or screen for someone.
* Move the ball (inside, outside, reversals, etc)... show a couple examples.

Then we just play... usually half court to teach motion. So we scrimmage, then I yell "freeze" when needed. Maybe spacing is all messed up. I ask what is first thing we talked about? Then show what I mean for better spacing. If kids forget to screen or cut, I sometimes yell freeze. What are you supposed to do after you pass the ball?

Another good word is "recreate". So we tell freeze, tell them to "recreate" what just happened. Then I show them a better way or how to read it better next time. Now you don't want to stop every 2 seconds. But "freeze" and "recreate" are two good teaching tools.

In some cases, that's all we do. But usually I'll identify areas we really stink at and then do some breakdown drills. As an example, players often stand when one pass away or dance around when a defender is close. They also usually stink at reading the defense when 1-pass away. So we set up this drill and have the defense either deny (back door cut) or play even (face cut).

But most of our offensive drills and learning comes with defenders there... even that drill above has a reference defender to help with our decision making 1 pass away. Then after working on the breakdown drill, we play and continue teaching.

Jeff Haefner

PostPosted: 05 Nov 2019, 11:30 

Posts: 2
Really good thoughts and I will give them a shot. Thanks for your help.

PostPosted: 05 Nov 2019, 16:34 

Posts: 899
Good input from Jeff there. How your players handle the real pressure of a game can be a huge factor in being able to execute what you've practiced and learned. I've said it multiple times, but make it harder in practice than it would be in a game. It doesn't mean the entire practice is based around adding pressure, however, you need some drills/games that apply more pressure than they'd experience in a game situation.

For example, 3 v 5 on breaking a full-court press. The 5 can be aggressive, double team, etc. Take some of your drills/games and add some pressure whether it's unfair in terms of the # of players, no dribbles or a short time limit to execute. Make your drills and games competitive with consequences for the losers.

Definitely teach and slow it down a bit, but don't forget to kick it up a notch in those practices with some pressure situations.


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