You can do lots of 5 on 0 (that's how we start out teaching even when we have 10). You can do 3on3 and just practice pieces of your offense. You can do 2on2 practicing a piece of your offense. Practice screening and cutting fundamentals in drills. Practice spacing and getting open with 3on3 no dribble. Set up scrimmages against other teams. Practice with other teams so you can work on 5on5 at the end of practice. Bring in a few players to help.
I have been working with freshman this year, we only have 9 players in 75% of our practices and we can't go 5on5 -- but it hasn't really mattered. We have improved tremendously. We run motion offense and the majority of our practice is just skill anyway. Lots of 1 on 0 skill work and then when players get the hang of things we do lots of competitive skill development. If your players learn how to become good shooters, passers, ballhanders, move without the ball, screen, cut, play defense, rebound, post moves and footwork -- you will be good. You can work on those all of those things with just 7 or less players.
I never had to do this but IF I were in that situation I would use the whole part whole method ..... Show them the entire offense in a 5 on 0 situation, then break down the offense into parts and run it 3 on 3.
Then you would have to go back to 5 on 0.
If you only have 7 players you better have a simple pass and cut offense and fill spots. It will be hard to perfect it in practice without a D but at least they will have the idea of spacing, cutting and filling spots. JMO
how do you handle a player that's all talk no action? a player that knows what's wrong but doesn't put in the extra effort to work on it. and how do you make the rest of the team want it as much as you do?
I believe in equal playing time for youth teams. Coaches coach to develop players. You don't worry about the scoreboard. You make decisions on what's best for everybody, not what's best for the best players.
This question is not related to this category but I do have a question about substituting.I coach in a boys and girls club .I try to give the players equal playing time.However it is tough dealing with trying to win and giving the players the equal playing time.I have nine players on the team.I have a really good starting five and my bench is so-so.There are two 20 minute halves.I usually make substitutions every five minutes.Would you start the best five and sub in four every five minutes or sub in two at a time every three minutes?I feel if I sub too much I never will get the same strong line up in the game at the same time.Any suggestions?
It''s all about what you emphasize and your coaching philosophy. I have always believed that you should not talk about winning or emphasize winning. Instead, coaches should emphasize always working to improve, playing the best they can, and playing the "right" way.
This is something you must repeat over and over. This is something you must demonstrate in your actions every day.
After a game or at half time, you should not talk about the score. You should emphasize the things above. If they are not striving to their potential (even if they''re up by 50) they should know you are not happy.
If you emphasize these things long enough, you''re team will start picking up what you think is important. And they''ll play hard no matter who you face.
Their competition is not the team they are playing. They are competing against themselves. What can they do today to get better? Could they do better? Can they play harder? Are they doing what it takes to be successful and improve everyday?
That''s all you can ask from a team. Winning or losing has nothing to do with those things. Although, if you stress them long enough, winning will be a by-product of the things you emphasize.
This is just my opinion. Other coaches have a different philosophy.
i'm a pretty young coach, what do you do when you have a very talented player but they seem to play to the level of competition because they say they are bored. how do I get this player(s) to push themselves or challenge themselves? it makes it harder in practice because the second string is nowhere near the talent of our top players..so how do i get them to work harder in practice and games to their full potential?
Joe (Co-founder of Breakthrough Basketball) says:
2/13/2008 at 8:36:15 AM
First, you should sit down and talk to that player individually. Tell them that he has great talent and he could do a lot of good things with that talent. Tell him that the other players look up to him and if he doesn't play hard, they think it's okay for them not too play hard. If he wants to be a really good player, he needs to work hard and stay positive. Tell him, you want him to be the team leader. Most of the time, a kid will take great pride in this and work hard to set the right example.
You also need to say to your players that you only play if you practice hard.
Bench the player players for most of the next game if you have to get the message across. As Bobby Knight likes to say, "There's a straight line from the bench through your butt to your brain." I think I worded it a little nicer than he did :)
Joe (Co-founder of Breakthrough Basketball) says:
12/14/2007 at 4:27:39 PM
That's a tough one. We believe that motivation begins in practice and your relationship with the players. Building a caring and trusting relationship goes a long way.
You can set goals to help motivate. Sometimes its small goals, like out-rebounding the other team or having less than ten turnovers. If they have some pride, they'll get it done. The thing is that you'll need an assistant to keep stats during the games.
Motivation really depends on each individual player too. Each player will respond differently and you need to get to know them. For example, some players respond really well to a good butt-chewing and some players won't. Instead, they may play worse. Some coaches will have individual meetings with players and set individual goals.
Here are some other articles that help with player relationships: