This is a great play that can be used against a man to man or zone defense.


  1. The play starts with:

    1 at the top of the key with the ball.
    2 on the right block.
    3 on the left wing.
    4 in the left corner.
    5 in the right elbow area.

  2. The play is initiated by 5 cutting to the 3-point area.

  3. 1 passes to 5 on the wing.

  1. After the pass..

    1 follows the pass and goes to the right wing.
    (Option: Execute a dribble handoff between 5 & 1.)

    3 & 4 set a double screen for 2.

    2 curls around the double screen to the corner.

  1. 5 passes to 2 for an outside shot.


  1. If the defenders cheat over the screen to defend 2's shot..

    3 & 4 slip the screen an open up to the ball.

  2. 5 passes to the open player.

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...

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dan says:
6/14/2008 at 9:42:44 PM

My question is what do you if all of your players are within a 5'7 to 6'0 foot range in height wise. The reason why is because my boy can play the offense but we have trouble matching up with teams who have huge kids the are a head taller than us. So i guess my question is what drills can i do to get them better? I don't want to play a zone for high school basketball.


Joe Haefner says:
6/16/2008 at 7:53:55 AM

Hey Dan,

You could have the best coach in the world, but if you don't have the players, you still might not be able to do much.

I would advise fronting the post. If these shorter players are quick, I would advise pressuring the ball all over the court. Focus on your strengths and try to play to them.

Joe Haefner


Jill says:
12/26/2008 at 10:45:26 PM

Thanks for the great website! I am new to coaching, have a very small team (5 players for right now), at a private Christian school, and they range from 3rd to 6th grade. I am looking for a very simple play to put into practice in games. We have VERY limited practice time, but lots of games, so our games tend to turn into learning time, like practice! And none of them have ever played ball before. We are at a disadvantage with this, and the other schools that we play have more players, more practice time and "seasoned" players. What can I do to keep MY kids moral up? They get so frustrated! I thought adding a small play would help as they seem very gung ho, they want to learn and look to me for approval. All but one are very short too, I keep telling them this means that they are quick and to use that to their advantage, but, it is all overwhelming for them! Any help, suggestions, whatever, would be appreciated! :) We work on layups, ball handling, dribbling, and pivots in practice for the most part. They have learned zone but not sure they are ready for man to man? Thanks so much!


Joe Haefner says:
12/29/2008 at 4:05:52 PM

Hi Jill,

We have created a page which talks about things to teach to youth players. You can check it out at this link:

It will answer some of your questions about zone defense and many other things.

For more on coaching youth players, you can look at our youth coaching section which has tons of articles, drills, plays, and so on:

As for their moral, I would advise to set small attainable goals. Not necessarily about winning or losing, but about reducing turnovers, making good passes, getting rebounds, and so on.


Laken Montell says:
2/8/2009 at 8:21:05 PM

On this site you should put what the positions mean.Like what a forward is and there responsibilities.You should do that for each one so that people get the idea what your suppose to do.


Matt Deloach says:
2/9/2009 at 4:48:32 AM

I coach a 4th grade team of first year players with the exception of 2 very experienced, dominant players. We are undefeated, but I am looking for some simple plays that can get all of my players involved. We play for the league championship against an athletic, fast, and very well-rounded team that runs a 2-3 defense, and occasionally mans up. Any suggestions?


Joe Haefner says:
2/9/2009 at 7:48:28 AM

Hi Laken,

We have a page on our site that explains the basics of basketball at this link:


Joe Haefner says:
2/9/2009 at 7:55:50 AM

Hi Matt,

If you coach 4th graders, you're number 1 concern should be to have fun. If you put stress on them to win a game, they'll eventually resent basketball. Children don't respond well to stress at a young age. Not saying you do this, but you mentioned something about a league championship and often parents get wrapped up in winning games and championships rather than developing the children athletically and psychologically. It's mostly due to not being educated in the development of children, because almost all parents have good intentions.

As for plays, I don't like to use them with young children. You should focus on developing the children's basketball IQ, because that's what is going to benefit them the most in the long-run.

Also, if you are in a league that plays zones, traps, and presses, I would try to find a different one, because that is not a true youth development league.

Here are some articles you may want to take a look at that explain a lot of my reasoning behind my opinions stated above:


Matt Deloach says:
2/9/2009 at 9:46:04 PM

Thank you very much for the information. I understand where you're coming from on the whole "pressure vs Fun" situation. I put fun first and winning last. I do however, place my emphasis on learning. I feel like its first my job to teach. I only am wanting to push them to win because they set the goal as a team to win the championship. I feel my job is to teach and help them accomplish their goals. We have not ran set plays all year. I recently noticed we were the only team not running plays. But what you say makes sense. We have gotten this far without plays so it would be senseless to start now. Thank you very much for the information and insight.


Joe Haefner says:
2/10/2009 at 7:18:48 AM

Yeah, Matt. It's very easy to over-coach with that age group. When I first coached 11 year olds, I over-coached them way too much. It sounds like you're doing a great job, though.

One thing to keep in mind is that you may want to avoid setting winning as a goal. The great Morgan Wooten always wanted his kids to play hard and play smart. He said some nights the other team is going to play better.

Teach the skills, have fun, and sit back and enjoy it. Don't worry about winning.


Brandon says:
3/17/2009 at 1:23:10 PM

Hi, I have mostly guards and a few big men between 6'1 and 6'4 for an AAU team. I am wondering what would be the best offense as well as defense for this group. We are pretty quick overall and we have decent shooters. What would you advise me to do?"


Joe Haefner says:
3/17/2009 at 8:10:38 PM

Hi Brandon,

I prefer the motion offense. Take a look at these articles, too. I think they will help.


Wallace Berry says:
11/17/2009 at 2:24:18 PM

Whether coaching young players or older ones, I also prefer the motion offense. You can start by making it very simple, such as two post players and three perimeter players with some basic rules/principles (move every three seconds, fill the open spots, maintain spacing, post comes high to relieve pressure, etc). Then, you work on give and go, backdoor cut, screen and roll, pass and screen away, curl, fade, etc. As your kids get more comfortable, you can add different sets that are run (e.g., hi-lo, double hi, double low, box, etc) and, if nothing opens up, you continue into your motion offense. This is basic, but you run a one player front vs. even front zones and a two player front vs. odd front zones. This offense is really pretty simple and, the real beauty of it is, because you are teaching principles more than set plays, the defense cannot easily anticipate what you are going to do because your players should not know exactly what they will do (they react to the holes/weaknesses in the defense). However, you can always exploit match-up problems because you can place your offensive players wherever you wish. Last think I'll say for now is that you will have to live with some mistakes from time to time, but eventually your players will amaze you with their creativity during game play!


Doug says:
11/25/2009 at 12:29:18 PM

I like the play but I have an idea. Instead of having 1 just stand by five, he could run off of a screen by 2 and a double by 4 and 3, instead of having 2 run off the double screen. what do you think?? Is that to confusing??


keiara says:
11/16/2010 at 9:36:58 PM

very nice play i will be using this one saturday


keiara says:
11/16/2010 at 9:37:34 PM

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Cynthea says:
11/30/2011 at 9:27:17 PM

this play is pretty confusing to my team but they got it after we ran through it a couple times. Very confusing for the other team!! lol


Meagan says:
12/5/2012 at 1:39:27 PM

I need some end of game scenarios to practice with my high school girls basketball team!


Ken says:
12/5/2012 at 1:56:31 PM

Thats an easy one -

Check this page -

Here is something that I did after every game.... anything that we did during or at the end of the game that I didn't like, we ran at the end of the next practice. The kids knew why we were doing it and its a great learning experience.

This is a great teaching too..... you can make up your own as you go.

Hope this helps.


Joe Haefner says:
12/5/2012 at 3:13:29 PM

Hi Meagan,

Here is something else you can do as well:


Josh says:
12/2/2013 at 1:33:42 PM


I am a first year High school JV boys coach and the issue I am having is my tallest boy is 5'11 and we face teams with kids 6'5(+). What style of defense/offense can we run to balance the mismatch. I have tried doubling in the post, fronting the post on defense and on offense we try to run a fast break and spread the floor to get one on one opportunities but still struggling a bit.



Ken Sartini says:
12/2/2013 at 8:06:13 PM

Josh -

When you face teams like that you have to pick your poison. We tried to dead front the post and put a lot of pressure on the ball, forcing them to dribble.

Sag your helpside in the paint and IF the post does get the ball, teach your kids to dive down and dig at the ball, especially if they put it on the floor.

We ran a 5 out offense and I was big on controlling the tempo. We had to play to our strengths and tired to force them to do something they didn't want to do.

Hope this helps.


Patrick says:
2/5/2014 at 11:12:53 AM

I coach 7-8th graders. I have one phenomenal player(AAU), my point guard, and 4 average players with little size and limited ball handling. Teams basically do Box & 1 or Triangle & 2 against us and dare any of the other 4 to make outside shots.

They are good kids and try hard but are just not very talented. We practice shooting over and over...

What I'm wondering is what are some other options to free up this one player. Put him at the free throw line? He's also my tallest player though not tall compared to any of the other teams.


Ken Sartini says:
2/5/2014 at 11:37:29 AM

Read this article by Don Kelbick, Partiick -

Its a shame that one of the other kids cant hit a shot for you, thats the fastest way to get them out of a junk D!

Don's article is very good.... I might just add this... you can try running him off a baseline player... that way he will a screen from his man and the other defensive player . Drive the defender towards the baseline ( in middle of the lane) and cut one way or another trying to rub his man off. ( curl to the middle or short corner.

Don's idea is very good because it gets everyone else involved and keeps the defense more honest..... and it will take all this pressure off of one boy. I guess you would call this the KISS method.



Emily says:
4/25/2014 at 5:18:15 PM

I coach 8th grade and JV and this is very effective! going to incorporate this into the up coming season!


Andrew says:
11/23/2015 at 12:04:52 AM

The biggest thing IMO is to show them the big picture and help model a growth mindset for them. Let them know that even though we might not be good at this now, if we practice enough we can get better and that all of this losing will be worth it when were winning in the future because were getting better and practicing good habits. Then hold them accountable for making mental mistakes when you know they understand and are capable of doing it.


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