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PostPosted: 24 Feb 2012, 10:52 

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I just finished my first year of coaching in a competitive youth league for 4th graders. In the half court a team could play any defense they choose. We saw M2M, 2-3, 1-2-2, and 1-3-1. It was really difficult to be prepared for everything and work on basic skills that were needed. Can you outline a set of products for me to purchase to begin formulating a plan for next year. I need defense, man offense, and zone offense. Hopefully man and zone can be similar. The zones killed us because we didn't have the strength to make the passes that are needed.


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PostPosted: 24 Feb 2012, 12:50 
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For offense I recommend motion and you can learn about that here:
http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/pr/motionoffense.html

For defense you can learn how to teach that here:
http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/pr/mandefense.html

Then for skill development I suggest the Bob Bigelow DVDs:
http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/pr/bigelow-youth-right-way.html

Your motion offense can work against both man and zone. You just make minor adjustments when you face zone. This saves a lot of time and simplifies things (not to mention it's surprisingly effective). After you read the ebook send me an email and I'll tell you what we do for adjustments when we face zone. It's real simple stuff but first I think you need to read about the motion concepts. With all that said, if you don't have players with skills (passing, dribbling, decision making, driving, shooting, etc), it does not matter what offense you run because it won't work. I have found the best way to improve your offense is keep is simple and spend TONS of time on fundamental skills. Our offense always improves when we do that.

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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2012, 14:46 

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Thank you for the response. I will start with the motion offense and contact you regarding the zone adjustments. You are right on regarding the skills. Our kids were not good at passing which is something we really need to focus on next season.


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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2012, 16:21 
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Jeff was spot on with his response... I guess the question I would ask is WHY are they allowing zone defenses at that age Answer - WORRYING TOO MUCH ABOUT WINNING.

This age group should be all about fundamtentals of the game and having FUN..... too bad you cant convience the league director to change that... along with all the other coaches.

Using Motion is good vs zones as long as you remember... (this is something a college coach told me) " Put em where they aint. " Have your kids get into passing lanes / the gaps in the zones.

As Jeff said... these are the important things -

"With all that said, if you don't have players with skills (passing, dribbling, decision making, driving, shooting, etc), it does not matter what offense you run because it won't work. I have found the best way to improve your offense is keep is simple and spend TONS of time on fundamental skills. Our offense always improves when we do that.

Its tough for kids of this age to make some of those passes, so that needs a lot of work... Passing at some levels seems to be a lost art.... saw a high school game last night, one team had 30 turnovers from bad passes.

Good luck and God Bless you for working with the younger kids.


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PostPosted: 29 Feb 2012, 06:58 

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Thank you for your response Coach Sar. Unfortunately the league policy will not change. It is the local youth league and has 100's of teams starting in the 3rd grade all following those rules. As a coach it was fun seeing what the other teams did but it would be best for the kids to play M2M.

Our team was referenced on a CBS broadcast. We had a very special player. Check out the videos below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Gu77WBNIg4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZtMaqk10Tc


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PostPosted: 29 Feb 2012, 07:12 
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I think its always great / fun to watch young kids play basketball... they do it to have FUN....

God Bless you and your players for giving Gabe a chance to live his dream - this is a very touching story. I'm sure that this is something Gabe will never forget.

Anybody that has had some contact with sick kids knows exactly what I am talking about. I've been a pen pal with kid that had cancer at a young age (3) .... 10 years later he is healthy ( thank you dear Lord )

THANK YOU FOR SHARING HIS STORY


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PostPosted: 29 Feb 2012, 07:42 
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Location: Winter Garden, FL (Orlando suburb)
Jimmy V said it best when he said to laugh, cry, and think every day. You took care of my cry for the day! :)

"To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special." - Jimmy V

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PostPosted: 29 Feb 2012, 07:51 
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Location: Winter Garden, FL (Orlando suburb)
Another thing I love about that video is Gabe's teammates reactions when he almost makes one. They look so upset when he misses.

Then when Gabe makes his shot, the whole team on the court practically falls over each other.

Great moments!

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PostPosted: 29 Feb 2012, 08:05 

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Great posts! It was a blessing to work with Gabe this season. He did every drill, ran every sprint, and gave maximum effort all year long. The challenge for me was making sure we treated him like everyone else. He has a ton of heart.

My assistant coach and I about did back flips at that moment as well. The best thing was their was no special agreement to set that up with the other team. It was all about Gabe and his teammates working together and executing what we drew up. The boys said at halftime "we have to get Gabe a basket". Lucky the help side wasn't paying attention!

It is heart breaking to think about giving something up because the physical limitations will prevent him from continuing. I cannot imagine what potential pain he may have endured to have one season with his classmates. He never complained.


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PostPosted: 29 Feb 2012, 11:34 
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Are you trying to get us in tears again? :-)

I cant think of a better group of kids to work with than kids like you had this season. Forget the Ws and Ls.... you taught them a valuable life lesson... their parents must be great people too... to have their kids want to do something like that for him.

Keep up the good work with these kids.


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