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PostPosted: 08 Jul 2020, 16:31 

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I am going into my 4th year now coaching middle school basketball and I need an opinion. Is it good to teach press to a middle school team or should that be saved for the higher levels? My teams have had good success when pressing and causing turnovers but my worry is that they aren't going to develop the instincts and rotations in half-court defense. Should I abandon press altogether or is it ok to keep implementing the full-court press.


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PostPosted: 09 Jul 2020, 10:20 
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Good question. I don't think coaches should press at the middle school level unless it's done a certain way. I have coached several high school teams that relied on the press at younger levels and those were some of the most underachieving teams at the high school level. They struggled making the transition to high school because they picked up a lot of bad habits at younger levels that just don't work at higher levels against better teams. Getting those kinds of teams to play solid man to man defense was very difficult.

I think it's better teach establish a good foundation of half court man... then eventually add a press when they are ready. I have found that at the high school level it's easy to teach a team with solid half court man to man principles how to press really well later on. But it doesn't work the other way around!!! It's extremely difficult to teach a team that is good at pressing but lacks half court principles how to play good half court man to man defense.

Start with basic foundational principles. And build form there. If you press, use half court man principles... just extending it full court and then drop back into really good half court man.

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Jeff Haefner
http://www.BreakthroughBasketball.com


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PostPosted: 09 Jul 2020, 13:56 

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Thank you for the feedback coach! I appreciate it


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