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  1. #1

    HELP! Coaching youth basketball?


    Since I come here for all of my uk basketball needs I thought it would be good to come here for some basketball advice. I've read about ten million pages on the subject and of course played the game all my life, but I wanted to see if any of you older guys who have been through the youth coaching experience could lend your advice. I know there are a few of you out there that have dug in pretty deep.

    Here's my situation. My little girl is in third grade and is doing really well so I've jumped in with two feet and started to coach her teams. Last few years I have really worked with her a ton on fundamentals in the driveway and it really shows. She played in our county league for the first time this year and was really the only one that could do a layup at full speed. There were a handful of girls that stood out so I've gathered that group and plan on playing in the local church league with them against some older girls to make for some competition. The issue is that I think everyone has abandoned teaching the basics and moves on too fast so most all of them really need to stick with fundamentals, which I've really tried to do. However, at some point I feel I need to teach them some sort of offensive ideas in regards to spacing or screening without making it too complicated. My main question is whether any of you have developed a good process to teach a simple offense that doesn't involve much thought. I think using some sort of motion cutter or screen away after passing is the simplest but how to you teach them to fill space and maintain space while not standing or getting too grouped. Something that isn't really a play but teaches them the basic principle of spacing and moving with a purpose. Is there a building block approach you've seen work best for this age that you can install in short order. I refuse to spend a ton of my limited practice time teaching how to run an offense when they need fundamentals, but if there is something simple that would help them understand how to move on offense in order to teach them the game Id be all for it. I'm working with girls that like it so even though they are young they tend to pick things up quickly, but I don't want to waste our time if nobody has found this worthwhile.

    Thanks in advance for any advice or thoughts!
    Go Cats!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    brandon, ms

    Re: HELP! Coaching youth basketball?

    wait for Darrell, he has done it all.

  3. #3

    Re: HELP! Coaching youth basketball?

    Quote Originally Posted by jazyd View Post
    wait for Darrell, he has done it all.
    He was my primary target!

  4. #4
    I'm on my phone with battery dying, but I'd go one of two ways with it. I prefer option B, but I will mention it last.

    Option A - Read and React offense. The key to this is that you teach it in layers, such that it can be very elementary, and I think 3rd grade is fine for starting. It does teach basketball concepts of spacing and movement, which is the primary goal. Several teams at my school are teaching it, and the high school 75% of the kids are going to attend uses R&R for freshman, JV and varsity teams. Can be used against man or zone.

    I don't use it. It is more mechanical than I like, even with plays which allow flexibility. JMO, and I'm in the minority.

    Option B-With limited practice time, and a team that consists of everybody who signs up, no-cut team, I teach them to find gaps in the defense. Unfortunately, every opponent we play runs a zone defense. So I teach zone offenses that are extremely simple.

    BYU push base in (we call it Omaha, with a tweak called Omaha 2 that is an "overload" offense), Jam (left or right - Xavier's offense against a 2-3), Niagara, and Butler's shallow dive. These are all very easy to learn, if you do it one at a time and repeat, and the beauty is, if they screw it up, it still works because all of them implement concepts of spacing, filling gaps, some use screens, and all use movement without the ball. By now, 8th graders understand these offenses (or plays) are not the goal, but a means to the goal, and they are flexible in changing it in the middle of the play if an opportunity presents. They got pretty good with that when we had intersquad scrimmages, since the defense knew what the offense was supposed to do for each play.

    We also have a basic man offense or play we call Cut 2, which uses screening, a clear out of post to allow wing player to drive and dish, and movement where every player mechanically goes to another spot depending on where others go (similar to read and react, basic, but that's the extent of it).

    How I chose my zone offenses was simple. I read a lot online, looked at Bo Ryan's old swing offense, played with dribble drive, then found something like 8 best 2-3 zone offenses on YouTube. There were several I did not like (ones that are designed to get a perimeter player open, which, at our low level, we can always get).
    In addition to the YouTube video on them where, because I'm such a simple person, I liked because I could start/stop it to write down what I saw so I could teach it, even though they are simple), but I also have diagrams of each of them as well.

    I'm in New Orleans and don't have my computer, but if you are interested, I will send you a link to the video and you can see if you would like to try one or two.

  5. #5

    Re: HELP! Coaching youth basketball?

    Thanks for the info! Yes please send anything you have!

  6. #6

    Re: HELP! Coaching youth basketball?

    Padukacat, here is a handout that describes several zone offenses, including all of them I described above (except the overload "tweak").


    We simply use BYU, Niagara, Xavier and Butler. All of those are simple, and are primarily designed to get shots from less than 15' in, and involve all players. That's a huge point for us--it is easy for our guards to get shots; harder for our post players, and this has made them feel much more connected to the team.

    Here is every one of those offenses in a 4-1/2 minute youtube video so you can see it in action.


  7. #7

    Re: HELP! Coaching youth basketball?

    Here's a very elementary "offense" that is a great introduction to motion as well. It also works well if you have 5 fairly mobile players, and no true posts.

    "5-out" involves spreading the floor around the perimeter. I don't put 5 past the arc; my post players just extend their normal positioning, and stay inside the arc, but away from the lane. Maybe 15 feet out.

    The rules are simple.

    Player passes, then cuts to the basket. Player closest to the passer fills his spot, and everybody moves accordingly. If player that cuts is open, pass him the ball. If not, the cutter moves to the baseline on the weak side where the post player has moved up to the wing already.

    And so on, and so forth. It continues indefinitely. Obviously, you can get a defender leaning a direction, make a back cut, have a good dribble penetrator beat his man for a layup or a jump stop (or my favorite, a tear drop floater, which I think young kids do better than college kids).

  8. #8
    Don't know if you have used anything from these, or if the season is winding down (most seasons here are done...we have the longest, which goes to March 8).

    Thought I would mention a couple of modifications we have done.

    First, after struggling because we were getting post players 12-14 foot open baseline shots that they were missing, we inverted the guards on the Omaha play/offense. We call it Omaha-G, and name a post or wing on one side, and we invert them so our better shooting guard gets that same shot. Working well for us.

    On Cut-5 against a rare man defense, we are using dribble handoffs a lot, particularly at the top of the key, and especially against aggressive defenses. It limits our poor passes, and often we can get a screen off of it with a pick and roll opportunity.

  9. #9

    Re: HELP! Coaching youth basketball?

    Bumping this to the top

  10. #10

    Re: HELP! Coaching youth basketball?

    Gosh, this is memory lane. My daughter is in 8th grade now and will be playing varsity this year. I’m sitting in the car outside waiting for her to get done with team pictures so I can go inside and work with her without embarrassing her that her dad is around lol.

  11. #11

    Re: HELP! Coaching youth basketball?

    Quote Originally Posted by Padukacat View Post
    Gosh, this is memory lane. My daughter is in 8th grade now and will be playing varsity this year. I’m sitting in the car outside waiting for her to get done with team pictures so I can go inside and work with her without embarrassing her that her dad is around lol.
    Awesome. Thanks for the bump sir. And the info Darrell.

  12. #12

    Re: HELP! Coaching youth basketball?

    FYI....we used the BYU Push Base In (we call it Kanye haha) on Saturday. Worked like a charm.

  13. #13

    HELP! Coaching youth basketball?

    Made my day. Thanks for sharing that, Puma.

  14. #14

    Re: HELP! Coaching youth basketball?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell KSR View Post
    Made my day. Thanks for sharing that, Puma.
    Darrell, we ran it a few times. I don't know if this link will work as I've never done a video on here before but here is the first time we ran it. Unfortunately, my older boy missed the shot (and you will see several mistakes made). But for our first game and only a few practices I will take it (mostly because we won).


  15. #15

    HELP! Coaching youth basketball?

    Oh, that's terrific. Worked, he'll knock it down, it'll open up other opportunities, too. That's great. Video was perfect, thanks so much for that.

    Congrats, Coach and Dad!



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