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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2018, 06:54 

Posts: 7
I am going to install the 4 out 1 in offense with my 5th grade girls next year. I've taught this offense in the past, but to high schoolers - which went really well.

After coaching these youth girls last year, I am not sure how they will do. Their problem is they:
1. Turn their back
2. Pickup their dribble
3. Have a hard time driving and kicking

The other big issue is teams play zone. So it makes it even more difficult for them to drive.

Any tips on:
1. Using this offense against zone
2. Practice tips for driving (a lot of 1 on 1 drills, ex: "Z drill")?

PostPosted: 27 Apr 2018, 07:00 
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Posts: 1273
Coach -

That is pretty typical for 5th graders... especially if they are inexperienced. You'll have to spend a lot of time teaching them ballhandling skills and footwork:

- jump stops
- front pivot, reverse pivot, step through
- rip ball below knees and above nose to protext in triple threat
- use pivot to protect and create passing angles
- dribbles with both hands with eyes up
- retreat dribble when it bad spots.
- change speeds and basic 1v1 dribble moves
- basic passing and passing off the dribble

It is a process! Takes time.

For teaching the basic stuff you don't need fancy drills. Just get a ball in all their hands and have them practice those skills lined up on sideline or whatever.

Then play small sided games to further refine those skills:
- 1v1. We play some variation of 1v1 every day to teach defense skills, improve agility, and get good at dribbling skills. Usually full court advancement or finish with a shot.
- No dribble passing games. Can be keep away (first team to 20 passes wins), half court regular game, or full court regular game. By not allowing dribble they learn how to catch in triple threat, protect the ball, pivot, improve passing, and make better decisions. At this age you might have to give offense the advantage (ex: 4 v 3).
- Use imagination to create other games (1v2, 2v2, 3v2, 3v3, etc) to develop other skills you want.

It will take a while for the players to develop drive and kick skills. Start with dribbling and passing isolated. Eventually you can move to passing off the dribble... some might be ready now others might just need more time.

At this age I would try to avoid games where teams play zone. Find other tournaments or leagues. Zone defense isn't helping either team.

If running 4 out 1 in, be sure to rotate post players and put your post on perimeter so they don't get pigeonholed into one position. Who knows how tall the will be in high school.

Let us know if you have other questions.

Jeff Haefner

PostPosted: 27 Apr 2018, 12:13 

Posts: 7
Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, we play in a small school league and most teams do play zone. There is not much around it because if we played against the larger teams in the area, we would get destroyed. I'm okay with losing, but I don't think getting embarrassed at this age would help their confidence or enjoyment level of wanting to play in the future.

We play man, matchup zone and some different presses (diamond, 2-2-1, half trap).
My plan was to teach 4 out regardless because they will need to know those basics down as they enter MS and HS.

At this age, our defense usually wins the games for us (because we are always the more aggressive) so I am hoping that we can get enough points running a 4 out against a zone. Just worried how they can play that way against the zone.

Thanks again

PostPosted: 27 Apr 2018, 14:53 

Posts: 900
1) Any chance you could bend the ear of the folks who run the league and explain why playing M2M is a better choice and see if they'll discontinue allowing zone D's? For the life of me, I can't understand why leagues at the younger levels allow zone d's, but I digress.

2) If not and you're stuck playing in this league, I wouldn't play a 4 out 1 in against zones. You and your girls will be more frustrated trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

I'd look for simple zone offensive schemes against both a 2-3 and a 3-2 zone. I know you want to teach them how to play that offense( 4 out 1 in), but it really won't do much good against a zone D at that age. IF you can move the zone and exploit the weakness (there always is one) by making them pay for playing a zone, you might have a chance at forcing the other team out of a zone D.

I know this is counterproductive to the bigger picture, but having your girls play a 2-3 zone in practice to understand the point of the zone will help. If they can understand what the zone is trying to do, they'll have a better chance at beating it.


PostPosted: 29 Apr 2018, 18:39 
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Posts: 1273
We have had decent success running both 4 out 1 in and 5 out motion against zone. We also occasionally run the standard 3 perimeter players with middle high post and low post or short corner. 1-3-1 alignments some call it. I tell my kids 3 out 2 in.

With 41, perimeter players fill to the ball, and cut. When they cut I want them to stop in the middle, finding a gap. They stay for 3-5 seconds or until next pass is made. So you end up with player in low post or short corner.... and a player in the middle. The simple pass and cut gives you movement. It also constantly sucks in the perimeter players making it easier to reverse the ball.

If you run this it's really important for the perimeter players to FILL to the ball and create good passing angles. Sometimes they have to pop out a ways to keep the ball moving.

With that said there is nothing wrong with running a continuity or an offense designed specifically for zone. We generally just run a 4 out or 5 motion against everything. But lots of different methods that work.

On a side note, I would also play almost all man to mane defense with kids this age:

Jeff Haefner

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