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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2014, 15:01 

Posts: 11
Hi all,

I coach my daughter's 4th grade co-ed team and my son's 2nd grade teams, and my coaching philosophy is to teach the kids the fundamentals so they can become better basketball players, learn to play the game right, and hopefully prepare them if they decide to play more competitively in the future.

HOWEVER, when we play our 1st games, both of our teams get CRUSHED by the other team. My daughter's team lost by at least 30 points on Saturday, where the scoreboard was turned off in the 2nd half. My son's team scored 1 basket, while the other team scored relentlessly (thankfully they don't keep score).

My questions:
1. How do you maintain focus of teaching the fundamentals while your team is getting absolutely crushed? It's difficult for the kids to even dribble, let alone get a shot off during the games? I try to teach spacing, however once the game starts, the kids seem to crowd toward the ball.

2. What message do you tell the kids after games like those? A lot of them are frustrated, and I tell them we'll work on getting better, but I can still tell their upset.

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated!


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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2014, 17:32 

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Quote:
I coach my daughter's 4th grade co-ed team and my son's 2nd grade teams, and my coaching philosophy is to teach the kids the fundamentals so they can become better basketball players, learn to play the game right, and hopefully prepare them if they decide to play more competitively in the future.
Sounds like a great philosophy to me. Make sure the parents know.

Quote:
HOWEVER, when we play our 1st games, both of our teams get CRUSHED by the other team. My daughter's team lost by at least 30 points on Saturday, where the scoreboard was turned off in the 2nd half. My son's team scored 1 basket, while the other team scored relentlessly (thankfully they don't keep score)
Don’t let the 1st game blues get you down. Many more games to go against different teams. You’ll run into teams that have played together for several seasons and others that are beginners. It takes a few games for the kids to get used to playing together and for you as a coach to see what areas need more attention.

Quote:
1. How do you maintain focus of teaching the fundamentals while your team is getting absolutely crushed? It's difficult for the kids to even dribble, let alone get a shot off during the games? I try to teach spacing, however once the game starts, the kids seem to crowd toward the ball.
Without going into a detailed diatribe about rec ball, it can be a tough gig if you aren't the team that’s been together several seasons. Especially when you’re playing against the team that’s been together several seasons.

You’ll have to customize things as you go along each game. If you’re playing a team that is closer to your skill level, I’m betting your kids will take more shots, etc. If you’re playing against the Kobe Bryant all-star team, focus on one skill for offense and one for defense. Take the focus off the scoreboard and put it on a specific measured skill during the game (e.g. count the number of passes on offense and number of rebounds on defense). If they achieve the predetermined number, they get what’s in the bag at the end of the game. A trip to the local Dollar Store usually does the trick on those bags of goodies.

Quote:
2. What message do you tell the kids after games like those? A lot of them are frustrated, and I tell them we'll work on getting better, but I can still tell their upset.
If you practiced a skill during those games you would focus on those results, not the scoreboard. I remember games where my 2nd graders got up to 100 passes in a game (you should see them at the 10th grade level now, they can pass). It can happen. At the 7th grade level, we were getting crushed by full court presses and 30 pt blowouts weren't uncommon. I was determined to figure that out, so we practiced our butts off (thanks Coach Sar!) on how to beat a press. It took several games to become proficient at breaking a full court press, but we figured it out.

In your current situation, I'd probably have at least one measured achievable skill each game to work on during the game. Number of passes, rebounds, hustles (e.g. getting loose balls), staying in front of their player on defense, blocking out, etc. One side benefit of this approach is you attract parents who like what you're doing and want to join/stay with your team. It worked for us.

Oh? And the most important thing? You need to get some cool team breakdown cheers before and after the game. It works a lot better if the moms and dads are involved.

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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2014, 17:34 
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Brian -

Forget about the winning and losing.... you HAVE the right philosophy.about the game for kids this age. Teach them all about fundamentals and how to play the game and have some FUN. They will take your lead regarding Ws & Ls.


I was a boys HS Varsity coach and one year we always seemed to find a way to lose....one year, I lost my two best players, 1 to grades and they other to and in injur, then my point guard to a broekn thumb.... we went 1 and 26... but we had fun. I mad e sure that they did! AND they never once quit in a game.

Good luck,


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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2014, 21:57 

Posts: 11
Thanks Coach Rob and Coach Sar for your feedback.

I sometimes also struggle with taking control of the team once the game starts. We practice spacing and trying to pass, yet once the game starts, everyone starts crowding the ball, and the week's worth of practice goes out the window!


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PostPosted: 14 Oct 2014, 05:15 
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I agree. Set small and attainable goals. And celebrate and give lots of praise when you reach those goals. For example, maybe your goal is to get 10 rebounds. Or out rebound (out hustle) the other team. It all depends on what you think is attainable.
in a game.

They will smile and feel proud when you give them the good news of reaching their goal!

Yea, spacing will be a mess. You will have to emphasize spacing in every practice and game forever. Starting now, through middle school, high school, and college if they go that far.

I do a lot of no-dribble games to teach passing and spacing at the same time. With young kids it's 3v2,4v2, or 4vs3 (give the offense an advantage). And then if you advance the ball to other end of court without dribbling, you get a point. If you turnover, the other team gets it where you turned it over. We actually call them touch downs and give them 7 points, just for fun.

As they get older you can go 3on3, 4on4, etc.

Good luck!

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http://www.BreakthroughBasketball.com


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PostPosted: 14 Oct 2014, 08:04 
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This has a lot to do with their ages..... its like truing to heard chickens. You need to have the patience of a saint with them

.
JeffHaefner wrote:
I do a lot of no-dribble games to teach passing and spacing at the same time. With young kids it's 3v2,4v2, or 4vs3 (give the offense an advantage). And then if you advance the ball to other end of court without dribbling, you get a point. If you turnover, the other team gets it where you turned it over. We actually call them touch downs and give them 7 points, just for fun.


I agree with Jeff... keep your games , drills and goals ssimple.... something they CAN achieve. Mske su8re you end every practice with something that is fun, so they look forward to coming back the next day.

Maybe you could put some markers on the floor and make a rule.... cant go inside of them unless its a cut to the basket?
That might help you with controlling the "swarming effect."


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PostPosted: 14 Oct 2014, 18:09 

Posts: 11
Thank you everyone!

I will try these drills in our practice tomorrow.

We only get 1 practice a week for 1 hour. I have to make the most of each and every one.


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PostPosted: 14 Oct 2014, 19:44 

Posts: 158
It sounds like you are doing everything fine. Don't sweat early losses. I've been on the receiving end of some severe beatings in early season games myself.

I always just assess what wasn't working and try to run drills to fix it.

With crowding towards the ball, I always tell players that if you want to get the ball, run away from it. Run towards the rim or get space away from the ball. Obviously this won't make for a great offensive pattern, but once they understand that to get the ball, they shouldn't get closer to it, it will solve at least the spacing issue.

When they have trouble with getting crowded and pressured with the ball, they have to learn how to pivot and swing the ball to avoid pressure. There is a really nice 4 on 3 passing drill that was run by Jack Bennett that is wonderful for teaching players how to use their pivot foot to create a window to pass through under pressure.

With experience, comes wisdom, and as your players see more, they will react better and more quickly. But the growing pains are tough. Keep faith in your process and never lose sight of your goal. You will do fine and the kids will thank you for it.


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PostPosted: 20 Oct 2014, 19:56 

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Thank you everyone.

The games last Saturday went a lot better. Our 4th grade team spread the ball and had decent spacing. They played a team more on our skill level and they pulled out a close win.

Our 2nd grade team passed the ball around better this week as well. We still have a lot to work to do, since many of the kids are very new to the game. However, improvements were made this week.

For both teams, I kept track of rebounds for each player and awarded the player with the most rebounds at the end of the game a Powerade. The kids seemed to like the goal, so this week I'm awarding the weekly Powerade to the player completing the most passes.

Again, thanks for the tips and your feedback is greatly appreciated!


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PostPosted: 21 Oct 2014, 08:42 
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Glad to hear that you are seeimg improvements...... means you are doing something right.

These are young kids so they will always need to improve... heck, its the same with varsity kids.... improve every day or someone will pass you by.

the goals are a good way to encourage them.

Be pateint and keep up the good work.


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