This offense is just like playing pickup. Do you recommend it to youth teams or 5th graders to be specific?I think that you are very perceptive but do not understand the wisdom of your statement. Basketball was meant to be played as pick-up. The only problem is the kid that shoots every time he touches the ball and the kid that puts the ball on the floor with his head down. You watch how freely teams play, with no coaching, when you put 5 players on the floor who understand when to shoot, pass, cut, etc. When they are unburdened by mandatory passes or cuts and they play instinctively they are more aggressive, make better decisions, utilize their skills better and are more effective. Who would not want their team to play that way? It is every coach's objective to get their team to play with that freedom. Coaches just don't have the temperament or patience to allow it to happen.
In regard to your second question, which I think is more important, I believe that especially with younger kids, coaches are too preoccupied with basketball offenses. At that age, you should be more concerned with teaching fundamentals and skills. Your offense should be based in teaching the appropriate use of those skills. Teach situations and spacing ("when the ball is here, these are the best places to be and here's why). Kids of that age have limited attention spans and low retention levels. If you try to run a structured offense, they will forget. If you run a motion offense and try to control them by putting in too many rules, they will get frustrated. And worst of all, you will get more frustrated. What is simple to you will not be to kids of that age. In terms of running an offense, the less you give them the better.
I can't help but think that when I was a kid, I had NO coaching until I was in 7th grade. Yet, as a 7th grader I was good enough to play for my school team and even played some high school games in 8th grade. I am not minimizing the effect of coaching because I got a lot better when I played on those teams and got good coaching. However, as I was becoming a player, in those formative years, I figured it out for myself. I learned by just playing all the time, playing against older and better kids and practicing my skills. By the time I got to play on a real team, I knew how play. I just had to learn the best times to use what I already knew. I also think I was the rule, not the exception.
Kids are resourceful and learn quickly when allow to figure things out for themselves. Give them guidance, encouragement and correction, then let them go again. They will learn faster and better than trying to get them to understand the tenants of a particular offense.
I hope I have answered your questions and have been of some help.
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