The Breakthrough Basketball Newsletter
Issue 9: November 21, 2007

Announcements

For those of you that participated, thank you for telling us what you wanted to learn about man-to-man defense.

We received 452 submissions and you gave us some great ideas:
https://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/defensequestion.asp

Thank you.

Your feedback has helped us make some significant improvements!

As we read through the comments, we felt we should answer a few questions and not leave you hanging...

Question: When will the defense eBook be released?

Actually it has turned into more than an eBook (it's actually a couple eBooks with drills for reference and an audio recording) but we plan to release the new man-to-man defensive system on Thursday November 29th (barring any unforeseen technical issues).

We're almost there and we're working hard to proof everything and get many of your requests added.

Question: At what age level should you start teaching man-to-man defense?

Question: What defense should you teach youth players (zone, man, press)?

Question: Is man-to-man the best defense for young kids?

Read this article to get an explanation and an answer to all three questions:
https://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/defense/age.html


New Basketball Tips, Drills, and Plays

3 Simple Tricks That Will INSTANTLY Double Your Defensive Quickness

5 Tips for Better On-The-Ball Defense

An Easy Way to Improve Your Team's Communication on Defense

NEW Defense Drill - 123 Progression

NEW Defense Drill - Corner Close Out

NEW Set Play - 4 Out Swing Rattle

NEW Set Play - 5 Out Zinger


Let us know if you have any comments or questions...




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Comments

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Stephen MacKinnon says:
11/21/2007 at 10:29:24 AM

I'm new to coaching basketball, although I grew up around it and know the rules, have played my whole life, and know how to run a few drills.

With practice starting in a few weeks, I am going to be coaching 4th and 5th grade boys.

At that age, from what I remember, we always wanted to just run scrimmages at practice, not stupid drills.

Do you have any general tips or have your readers expressed any general tips on how to run practices, especially keeping the boys interest and enthusiasm?

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Jeff Haefner says:
11/21/2007 at 10:48:32 AM

Stephen,

Yes, here's a snippet from our youth page:

When working with young kids and running basketball drills, there are three very important concepts you need to consider:

1 - Kids need to be highly active!

Just by using fast paced drills and keeping things moving, your players will have more fun and get in better condition. Your kids should be breathing hard and their hearts should be pumping. It's good for them!

Avoid standing in lines as much as possible and keep the ball in their hands as much as possible.

2 - Kids want to feel successful!

With very young kids, competition doesn't always serve as a motivator. You should always provide activities that help them build their skills and confidence. Strive to focus on the learning process instead of measuring up to those around you.

You'll want to avoid adding pressure and competition until the players have developed their skills, confidence, and become proficient with the basics.

Put them in situations where they can succeed.

3 - Kids want to have lots of fun!

This is an important stage for young players and your actions could determine whether they enjoy sports or not.

It's important to make things fun so they can improve and become confident.

Drills don't have to be boring. Almost any drill can be modified to provide high activity, high success, and high enjoyment.

Scrimmages

Scrimmages are fine and dandy, but young kids should learn the fundamentals and skill development.

If you just run scrimmages, YOUR PLAYERS will learn bad habits that will probably stick for life!

They need to learn proper shooting form, footwork, pivoting, etc.

You need to run drills for them to learn this.

Fortunately you can still make the drills fun by using the concepts above. You can also celebrate small successes because kids just like to feel that they succeeded.

You can do this by tracking improvements in shots made during drills, incorporating games into your drills, and appraising them for learning a new skill!

Check out our youth section for more ideas:
http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/coaching/youthbasketball.html

I wish you the best of luck with you new team and we'll continue to post new ideas and tips for youth coaches.

Jeff Haefner
http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com

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Scott Ulsaker says:
11/21/2007 at 12:33:51 PM

Stephen, as a long time youth and MAYB coach I would have to second what was mentioned by Jeff above. While drills sometimes are boring, fundamentals are essential for kids. Too many times we and parents and coaches want everything to be fun and loose sight on what makes kids successful. Learning the fundamentals early and correctly will let kids have more success on the basketball floor and in turn make playing the game more fun for them.

Make the drills fun by changing the format of the drill but stressing the same fundamentals. There are many good ideas in the basketball drill area of this site, check them out. Also do them along with the kids and teach by showing. Gotta make sure that the fundamentals become second nature. And above all praise, praise, praise every little success they have and point out why doing the fundamentals correctly made them successful. The discipline it takes to learn fundamentals at an early age also pays dividends in life an in the classroom for kids. I try to stress good habits as a ball player as well as the importance of discipline in the classroom with good preperation and good study habits.

Just my philosophy.

Good Luck

Scott

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Oz says:
11/21/2007 at 12:45:47 PM

Thanks!! Good stuff. After 32 years of coaching Bxbl, I probably have seen it before but, it is really good to be reminded of these things and see new plays, etc. to keep one fresh and on top of things. KEEP THIS GOOD STUFF COMING !!!!

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Lee Hendircks says:
11/21/2007 at 8:25:38 PM

Great stuff, I'm in my second year of coaching girls ages 9-11...you've made it a lot easier for me to coach. Keep up the great work. Thanks

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Ronald says:
11/21/2007 at 9:13:53 PM

These are great! Keep 'em coming. Great job, guys!

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Darron says:
11/22/2007 at 3:48:42 AM

Great site guys and a great inspiration. All the people on here would not be able to thank you enough with the fact that you are giving us assistance for free. It is a wonderful site that has truly helped me no end.

Keep up the excellent work.

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COACH PETER.MAKANJUOLA OHIOKHIE says:
11/22/2007 at 3:55:11 AM

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE DRILLSS IT WORK WELL FOR ME IN MY LAST GAME AND I HOPE TO INTRODUCE THE LATEST ONE IN MY NEXT ELEMENTRY GAME COMING UP IN TWO WEEKS TIME.
MR. PETER
BBALL COACH GREENSPRINGS SCHOOL LAGOS NIGERIA

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Antonio Santos says:
11/22/2007 at 6:22:49 AM

I liket evrything, but is possible, give us images about it.
thank you

sorry my ingls! From PORTUGAL

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david payne says:
11/22/2007 at 11:36:24 AM

I am looking for an offense against a 1-3-1 zone. I have seen what I am looking for but it has been many years ago. The offense is ran from a 2-1-2 set and each player plays every position in the rotation.

When a pass is made from one guard to the other guard, the passing guard cuts to the ball side corner and the high post steps into a guard position. Do you have a diagram of such a play and/or any coaching tips? Our team seems to be able to "run" the offense but we are not scoring from it very well.

dmp

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Janetta says:
11/22/2007 at 8:10:53 PM

Our 8th grade coach is trying very hard to have the girls move quickly to the person they are defending. I will give her these tips tomorrow and see if they will improve our girls.

Thank you, for the advice.

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Ugyen Mama Dorji says:
11/23/2007 at 4:48:28 AM

All the advice are of good knowledge & of implemeting issues & widely accepted for I for One agree & shall use the stratregy on the field.

Ugyen Mama

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Damon Jones says:
11/23/2007 at 8:12:14 PM

I'm new to coaching and I'm coaching an 7th and 8th grade boys basketball team. We have been blown out by 20+ everygame. We cannot run a play nor can we rotate properly on defense. My team is very slow and small as well. We do not have a big men that can play with the 6ft and up big men we been playing against. So we have a lot of trouble rebounding as you can imagine. We also do not have a real point gaurd so I have which should be a 2 man playing the 1 and we struggle with the press as well. Any suggestions. I really need your help or anyones help. I am starting to receive some heat from the parents and I'm just stuck and don't know what else I can do. Please help!!!!!!

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regina cooper says:
11/26/2007 at 12:37:34 PM

thanks

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Jeff Haefner says:
11/26/2007 at 1:33:41 PM

Damon,

That's a tough question. The answer is probably a couple books worth of typing, but I'll give you a few thoughts to ponder:

- First, I would celebrate small successes because you won't be able to perform miracles and start winning overnight. You can set small goals. So for example, let’s say your team was out rebounded last game. For future games, set a goal to out rebound the other team by 3. When you reach the goal, celebrate the success. Praise your players and help them feel good about their accomplishments.

You can also start tracking shooting percentage during practice. Show your players how they have improved as the season progresses. You can even show players how the games are getting closer and point margin is getting smaller. That means you’re getting better.

Not everyone can win, so it's important to set small goals and keep improving every day.

If you're players can see how they are improving, they will feel about themselves and stay motivated. Your ultimate goal takes hundreds of small accomplishments. Have fun and enjoy those accomplishments along the way.

- There are more important things than winning, especially with young kids like 7th graders. You might want to have a meeting with the parents and tell them your plan. Tell them you plan to teach the fundamentals and not worry about winning right now, because that's what is best for the players in the long run. You are trying to build their skills for the future. That’s what a good coach would do. Stan Van Gundy took a year off from the NBA to coach his son. He said they were doing great but they didn’t win a game. The other teams pressed and played zone. But Van Gundy’s team worked on fundamentals and situational basketball to prepare these kids for the future. He wasn’t concerned with winning. He was concerned with teaching fundamentals.

Share your small goals with the parents. Set some goals like: reducing turn over margins, improving shooting percentage, improving rebound margins. Set goals that are attainable.

- Pick up our new defense ebook/system that will be released on Thursday. It addresses many of the issues you face when playing bigger and faster players. The nice thing about defense is that 90% of defense is balance, positioning, and intensity. Notice that quickness and size is not one of them. Slow players can get quicker by using good fundamentals. This book will definitely help you.

Keep practicing the fundamentals:
http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/fundamentals/basketballfundamentals.html

Keep it simple. Pick a couple things to get really good at. My favorite things to emphasize are:

- Great man-to-man defense
- Great rebounding
- Taking care of the ball and limiting turnovers
- Team work

If you can get really good in those areas, I promise you'll start giving the other teams a run for the money.

Basketball is about shooting percentages and number of possessions. The things I listed above will get you MANY more possessions and help win games.

Even offensive rebounding will improve your shooting percentage because many of those rebounds are tip-ins close to the basket.

I hope this helps and good luck.

Jeff Haefner
http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com

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reynaldo miral says:
11/28/2007 at 10:01:00 PM

I'm a starter, please send me through my email the fundamentals in coaching, tricks, plays and drills.

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Reggie says:
11/29/2007 at 10:06:34 AM

This has been a great help to me but I need some more help. Is there any way you can help me with a great Motion offense that will work on man to man and a zone?

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Don Kelbick says:
11/29/2007 at 2:45:59 PM

Reggie

There are no great offenses, only great players.

In addition, aside from how many players you want on the perimeter (5 out, 4 out,etc) by definition, there is really only 1 motion offense. It is a read, pass move offense that takes on different forms based upon what best takes advantage of the defense.

What ever cuts you make against a man, you can make against a zone. Make sure you don't cut to spots but to openings.

You can set the same kind of screens against a zone as you do against a man with 2 adjustment.

The first adjustment is timing. Because a zone moves with the ball, setting a screen too early will be ineffective because the defense will not be in the same place when the ball arrives. The screen should be made at the time the ball can be delivered, maybe even when the ball is in the air. It is not as hard as it sounds, it just takes an awareness of when to pass the ball.

The second adjustment is to screen an area instead of the player. Since coverages change with ball movement, the defensive player who is defending a player when the ball is in one place, won't be defending with the ball in another area. For example, if you have a player on the block who you are going to bring to the wing, screening the player defending on the block will not be effective. You need to screen in the area on the wing where your player is going to cut to.

To be an effective screening team against a zone, you need to think as a zone coach, understand how the zone moves and what the coverages are and then screen, at the proper time, the areas where you want your offensive players to be effective.

If I can be of help, feel free to contact me

Don Kelbick
Contributing Editor, Breakthrough Basketball
www.DonKelbickBasketball.com

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Steve says:
11/29/2007 at 2:51:16 PM

I'm new to coaching basketball, and this season I'll be coaching 8-10 4th and 5th grade boys. I don't come across as a particularly confident assertive person. Got any tips on how I can have a successful season?

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Don Kelbick says:
11/29/2007 at 2:55:44 PM

Steve

After 27 years of coaching I have learned this: It's not what you know, it's what they think you know.

Go into ever practice with a plan, stick to the plan. Just keep in mind where you are going, don't be concerned with the route you take. You don't have to know everything and there is nothing wrong with saying, "I'm not sure. Lets walk through it together and see what we come up with.


Don Kelbick
Contributing Editor, Breakthrough Basketball
www.DonKelbickBasketball.com

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BOB MARLEY says:
12/1/2007 at 6:43:25 PM

greetings coaches/to whom this may concern:

i'm bob marley, i'm a professional basketball coach of girls a boys ages 10-16. they all love me! my 14 year old daughter when to a clinic today directed by a wnba coach, she learned a lot of new drills and had jumbles of fun. thanks, bob.

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Bob Marley says:
12/1/2007 at 6:46:42 PM

hi, to stephen, jeff and mark.

you guys are giving some dandy tips, KEEP PUSHING EM' IN.

peace&love <3

bob.

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bob marley says:
12/6/2007 at 7:50:57 AM

what is a pick and roll im not a good coach help me

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Damon Jones says:
12/7/2007 at 2:40:21 AM

Thanks Jeff that was really helpful

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raymond says:
12/13/2007 at 6:47:21 AM

i just want 2 thank 4 d imformation that u shared n me...i think it s very effective to use all d imformation n giving training/improving a team. and i want to a lot specially on how to condition my players or what are the conditioning tips? thank you and more power!

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Peter.Makanjuola.Ohiokhie says:
4/10/2008 at 8:42:09 AM

GREENSPRINGS SCHOOL LAGOS, LEKKI CAMPUS HAS PROVED TO BE THE VENUE FOR TALENT HUNT.AT THE COURSE OF THIS SECTION THE SCHOOL HAS ACHIEVED ALOT SPORTS WISE, THE SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAM WON THE NISA FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP, THE FEMALE FOOTBALL ARE SECOND BEST, WON THE FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT AT GRANGE SCHOOL'S SPORTS FESTIVAL, GOLD AT THE PINE FIELD FIELD FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP. THE TEAM DID EXTREMELY BETTER AT THE NISA ATHLETICS MEETS, THE SCHOLL CAME 2ND AMONG ALL SCHOOLS WITH 15GOLD,11SILVER, AND 15BRONZE MEDAL. THE SCHOOL WILL BE HOSTING NISA BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP IN MAY.
WATCH OUT FOR THE SCHOOL INTER-CLASS BASKETBALL LEAGUEFOR BOYS AND GIRLS UP GREENSPRINGS SCHOOL LEKKI CAMPUS.

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Peter.Makanjuola.Ohiokhie says:
4/10/2008 at 8:46:11 AM

GREENSPRINGS SCHOOL WILL HOSTING THE NISA BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP AMONG INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA,. THIS COMPETITION COMES UP IN MAY AT THE SCHOOLS ULTRA MODEL BASKETBALL COURT.
THE SCHOOL'S BASKETBALL COACH MR PETER OHIOKHIE BOASTED TO BEAT ALL COMMERS IN THIS YEARS CHAMPIONHIP.

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