7 Best Zone Busters to Use this Basketball Season

7 Best Zone Busters to Use this Basketball Season

Welcome to our basketball coaching blog, where we dive deep into the strategies and tactics that can turn a good team into a great one. Today, we’re about to unveil the ultimate weapon in a coach’s arsenal – “zone busters.”

Zone defenses can be formidable obstacles on the basketball court, but with the right knowledge and execution, your team can crack even the most impenetrable zones. In this post, we’ll explore the art of attacking zone defenses, breaking down the key principles, strategies, and plays that will make your team a force to be reckoned with on the court.

So, whether you’re a coach looking to add some firepower to your playbook or a player seeking to excel in any situation, let’s dive into the world of zone busting and unlock the secrets to offensive success.

7 Universal Zone Busters to Use This Season

Zone busters are specific offensive strategies or plays designed to exploit weaknesses in a zone defense. They are tactics used to break down the defensive structure of the opposing team when they are playing a zone defense, which typically involves players guarding specific areas of the court rather than individual players.

Zone busters can involve quick ball movement, sharp perimeter shooting, player positioning, and penetration to create scoring opportunities within the zone. The goal is to force the zone defense to collapse or shift, creating open shots or passing lanes for high-percentage scoring chances. Successful execution of a zone buster can make the difference between struggling against a zone defense and scoring consistently.

1. Dribble Penetration

Dribble penetration is quickly becoming the number one method that teams are utilizing when faced with a zone defense. One of the reasons teams are implementing dribble penetration is due to the decreasing number of skilled shooters today.

To become a great shooting team, coaches have to take valuable time out of their practice to focus on the necessary repetition of shooting drills, and many have to work tediously on correcting shooting form. Many players today are better ball handlers than shooters, and so it is easier and takes less practice time to play to their strengths.

Dribble penetration is most effective when players are attacking the gaps. Penetrating the gaps forces the defense to pinch in and stop the ball, leaving both inside and outside outlet options available.

2. Ball Reversal

Perhaps the most common instruction coaches will verbalize to their players when facing a zone is “ball reversal.” Reversing the ball forces the defense to shift as a whole unit from side to side, and if just one defender is slow in shifting, the whole zone will become distorted and openings will appear.

However, what coaches should be stressing is QUICK ball reversal, as this is what can often make or break a zone offense. At first, your team’s tendency will be to look at the basket right away for any immediate scoring opportunities, but doing this will give the defense an extra fraction of a second to recover. You may get a good shot right away, but ball reversal can get you a great shot!

On a side note, most players and teams do not utilize the skip pass enough. Skipping the ball over the top of the zone, usually from wing to wing, can provide shooters with wide-open looks, since defenses are often not prepared to react that quickly.

3. Flashing to the Middle

Sending one or more players flashing or breaking into the middle of the key forces the zone to immediately react, collapse, and cover up. When the defense collapses, shooters will be free to spot up on the perimeter for catch-and-shoot opportunities, and baseline runners will be able to move in from underneath the zone.

There are two main ways to flash to the middle. (1) with a post player breaking up from the block to the high post. And (2) breaking a perimeter player in from behind the defense (weak side), where the defenders can’t see him coming.

4. Behind the Zone

Working the baseline is one of the most underused principles of attack. In fact, many coaches instruct their players to intentionally avoid the baseline in fear of the baseline acting as a 6th defender. If you are one of those coaches, then you are denying your team three distinct advantages.

Attacking from behind a zone: (1) gives your players an inside rebounding position;(2) allows your team to easily post up against any zone; and (3) keeps the bottom line of the defense busy and also forces them to play lower (closer to the baseline), which stretches the zone and creates bigger gaps in the middle.

5. Screening the Zone

Another major way to attack any zone is to simply screen the defense. For years, coaches shied away from this technique, believing that it could only be used effectively against man-to-man defenses.

On-ball screens, flare screens, back screens, cross screens, and screens for baseline runners are all extremely effective against zone defenses when used properly. The best zones are very similar to sloughing man-to-man – take advantage of this fact and get some screens into your offense.

6. Fast Break

One of the easiest ways to defeat a zone is to simply get out and run, run, run! In order to set up a zone, the defenders need time to get back into their rightful spots, especially those who play at the bottom of the zone.

Even though defensive guards are usually the first ones back, they often stop at the top of the circle, and this leaves the basket unprotected. I can guarantee that your point guard is faster than their 5-man, and so if you can consistently beat the defensive center down the floor, your opponent will be in big trouble.

7. Crash the Boards

A topic of great debate over the years has been whether crashing the offensive boards should be considered a legitimate method of attack. The answer completely depends on your team’s mindset! By crashing the boards aggressively and fearlessly, you are putting tremendous pressure on the defense to box out.

In a zone, defenders are not matched up to a man, per se, but rather an area, which makes it much harder for defenders to box out. Since they don’t have specific box-out responsibilities, zone defenders often turn and watch the flight of the ball every time a shot is taken, which makes it even easier for offensive rebounders to get to the rim untouched.

For what it’s worth, we send four players to the offensive glass every time we play against a zone. Occasionally, our best zone offense has been to simply get the ball up on the glass and let our four rebounders relentlessly go after it.


zone busters

Zone Busters! 

Championship offenses to destroy any zone defense!

This easy download provides detailed breakdowns of 18 different offensive strategies that will dismantle any zone defense a team might try.

Some of what you’ll find in this offer includes important concepts to consider when facing a zone, and universal methods to deploy when attacking this defensive strategy.

This incredible sale item also includes detailed notes on motion offenses and several quick hitters to use when trying to catch the defense unprepared.

For more, check out Coach Collins’ latest sale item today!

 


Related: The Basketball Leadership Podcast


Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast:


Youth Basketball Coaching Made Easy

If you coach a K-8th grade team, we have hundreds of resources. All laid out in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to save you time and money. Check out coachingyouthhoops.com today!


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Top 5 Youth Basketball Shooting Drills

Top 5 Youth Basketball Shooting Drills

In the world of basketball coaching, we know that nailing those shots is a game-changer. Whether you’re a seasoned coach or just starting out, we’ve got a lineup of the top 5 youth basketball shooting drills that will revolutionize your team’s accuracy and boost their confidence on the court.

Picture this: your players confidently sinking shots from all angles, their form impeccable and their focus unwavering. That’s the power of a well-practiced shooting routine, and that’s exactly what we’re here to help you achieve. We’ve curated a range of dynamic and engaging drills that target everything from catch and shoot finesse to mastering free throws under pressure.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of each drill, explaining their rationale, suggesting variations to increase the challenge, and highlighting the coaching points that will ensure your players develop solid shooting fundamentals. Plus, we’ve sprinkled in some invaluable tips on how to adapt these drills to suit different skill levels, keeping your players engaged and eager to improve.

5 Youth Basketball Shooting Drills

As coaches, we know that mastering the art of shooting is crucial for any youth basketball team. So, let’s gear up and explore the five best shooting drills that are not only effective but also fun and engaging for your players. These drills will not only improve their accuracy but also boost their confidence on the court.

1. Catch and Shoot Frenzy

Drill Details: Players form a line on the perimeter, each with a ball. The first player shoots from a designated spot, retrieves their rebound, and passes to the next player. The sequence continues until all players have shot from that spot. Then, rotate to a new spot.

Rationale: This drill develops quick release, shooting under pressure, and efficient footwork when catching and squaring up to the basket.

Variation: Add a defender who lightly contests shots to simulate game situations.

Coaching Points: Emphasize proper hand placement on the ball, balance, and using legs to generate power. Encourage players to focus on form and rhythm.

2. Form Shooting Focus

Drill Details: Players work in pairs, standing close to the hoop. They focus on perfect shooting form – elbow in, wrist locked, follow-through – without the ball touching the rim.

Rationale: Building muscle memory for correct form is crucial for consistent shooting.

Variation: Increase distance gradually and introduce light competition by challenging players to hit a certain number of consecutive shots.

Coaching Points: Stress the importance of consistent form and repetition. Use positive reinforcement to create a routine of proper technique.

3. Around the World

Drill Details: Place markers at various spots around the three-point line. Players take turns shooting from each spot. Once a shot is made, the player moves to the next spot. The goal is to complete the circuit.

Rationale: This drill improves shooting from different angles and distances, simulating various game situations.

Variation: Set a time limit for completing the circuit or require players to make a certain number of shots at each spot.

Coaching Points: Encourage players to focus on using their legs and consistent follow-through. Remind them to adjust their shooting angle based on their position on the court.

4. Partner Passing and Shooting

Drill Details: Players work in pairs, with one player passing and the other shooting. The passer alternates between chest passes, bounce passes, and overhead passes.

Rationale: Teaches players to catch and shoot quickly after receiving a pass, enhancing their overall court awareness.

Variation: Increase the distance between players for longer passes, challenging both passing accuracy and shooting range.

Coaching Points: Emphasize being ready to shoot upon receiving the pass. Highlight the importance of catching in a shooting-ready stance.

5. Free Throw Pressure Cooker

Drill Details: Players shoot a series of free throws with added pressure. For each miss, players must perform a physical activity (e.g., jumping jacks) before attempting the next shot.

Rationale: Simulates the pressure of free throws during a game and helps players focus under stress.

Variation: Increase the number of physical activities for consecutive misses to up the challenge.

Coaching Points: Discuss maintaining focus and concentration despite distractions. Remind players to take a deep breath and execute their routine before each shot.

There you have it – five engaging and effective shooting drills to elevate your youth basketball team’s shooting prowess. Remember, practice makes perfect, so integrate these drills into your training sessions and watch your players’ shooting skills skyrocket. Let’s turn those misses into swishes and create a team of confident, accurate shooters!


Related: Simple Pass and Cut Drill for Motion Offense


Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast:

Ep 1767 Three Favorite Practice Drills


Youth Basketball Coaching Made Easy

If you coach a K-8th grade team, we have hundreds of resources. All laid out in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to save you time and money. Check out coachingyouthhoops.com today!


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Motion Offense Drill: Simple Pass and Cut

Motion Offense Drill: Simple Pass and Cut

t’s game time here on the blog, and today, we’re delving into a motion offense drill that’s going to transform your team’s offense from good to unstoppable. I’m thrilled to bring you a coaching gem that’s all about honing those essential pass and cut skills within the dynamic framework of a motion offense.

Imagine your players on the court, a symphony of movement and coordination. The ball glides seamlessly from one player to another, creating lanes, opening up opportunities, and leaving the defense scrambling to keep up. That’s the beauty of the pass and cut in a motion offense – a strategy that not only cultivates teamwork but also generates high-percentage scoring chances.

Whether you’re a seasoned coach seeking fresh ideas or a new coach eager to build a strong foundation, mastering the pass and cut with this motion offense drill is a game-changer. Get ready to lace up those sneakers, gather your team, and witness the magic unfold as players seamlessly pass, cut, and score their way to victory.

Motion Offense: Pass and Cut Practice Drill

5-out motion provides basketball teams at any level a key structure. This is especially true for youth basketball teams. This set up forces players to make decisions by reading the play of their teammates and defenders. It remains a great tool for teaching players how to play basketball.

One drill to teach basic 5-Out motion to your basketball team is a simple pass-and-cut drill.

5-out motion

This drill begins with Player 1 making a pass to the wing. From there, that player cuts to the basket. When that cut occurs, everyone behind the pass rotates to fill the open space along the perimeter. Player 1 takes the open space in the corner after his cut.

Next, the ball is passed to the right again and the passer cuts to the basket. Once again, the weak side players rotate to fill all open spots.

The only exception to this rule is a pass from the corner. A pass from the corner results in a short cut and retreat. A pass up from the wing to the top results in the corner player rotating up to fill on the wing, making sure all five players participate in station movement.

Stress to your players the key concept of great spacing. If they’re in the right positions at the right time, the offense should be wide open. This approach opens driving lanes and minimizes quick help from opposing defenders. 

Coaches can teach 5-Out Motion in progressions to avoid their players getting overwhelmed learning an entire offense all at once.


Related: Better Basketball – Motion Offense and the 5-Out Set


Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast:

Ep 1831 How to Establish your Offense


Youth Basketball Coaching Made Easy

If you coach a K-8th grade team, we have hundreds of resources. All laid out in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to save you time and money. Check out coachingyouthhoops.com today!


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Better Basketball: Motion Offense and the 5-Out Set

Better Basketball: Motion Offense and the 5-Out Set

Picture this: a team that moves like a well-choreographed dance, passing the ball seamlessly, creating open shots, and leaving the opposing defense scratching their heads. It’s not just a dream; it’s the power of the motion offense. And when we combine it with the 5-out alignment, something magical happens – the court opens up, opportunities multiply, and teamwork takes center stage.

Whether you’re a seasoned coach looking to fine-tune your strategy or a rookie coach eager to make a mark, mastering motion offense with the 5-out alignment is a game-changer. So, grab your clipboard, rally your team, and let’s delve into the magic of fluid movement, precision passing, and scoring galore.It’s time to take your coaching playbook to the next level and lead your team to victory through the art of motion offense and the 5-out alignment.

Motion Offense with the 5-Out Set

5-Out motion

For a motion offense, using the 5-Out set often provides the most space for your team.

The term “5-Out” references the fact that all offensive players on the floor are starting outside the three-point line. Typically, the setup features one player at the top, two on the wings, and two in the corners.

The 5 Out alignment can be a base for any motion offense. All five positions are interchangeable but can be set up to match locations with player skills.

This “position-less” offense relies on floor spacing and a set of basic movement that assist players to determine actions.

The basic concept for 5-Out Motion features an easy-to-understand set up: cut and replace. Each of the five spaces along the perimeter should be occupied by an offensive player.

When one player cuts, his teammates shift along the perimeter in corresponding fashion. If too many players end up on one side, the coach could call to “balance the floor” from the sideline.

5-out motion

A good way to start teaching 5-Out Motion on a pass is to have the passer cut to the basket with everyone rotating to replace the open slot. The only exception to this rule is a pass from the corner.


Related: Preparing for Youth Basketball Tryouts


Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast:

Ep 1831 How to Establish your Offense


Youth Basketball Coaching Made Easy

If you coach a K-8th grade team, we have hundreds of resources. All laid out in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to save you time and money. Check out coachingyouthhoops.com today!


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Basketball Practice Drills for End-of-Game Scenarios

Basketball Practice Drills for End-of-Game Scenarios

When practicing for end-of-game situations in youth basketball, it’s essential to focus on drills that simulate game-like scenarios and help players develop the necessary skills and decision-making abilities. Having practice drills specific for End-of-Game situations will help develop your team’s confidence in those key moments.

Here are some good youth basketball drills to run for end-of-game situations:

Practice Drills for End-of-Game Scenarios

1. Scrimmages with Time Constraints: Divide the team into two groups and play controlled scrimmages with specific time constraints, such as 1 minute or 30 seconds left on the game clock. Emphasize executing plays, managing the clock, and making quick decisions under pressure.

2. Free-Throw Pressure: Create pressure situations in free-throw shooting drills, where players have to make critical shots with the game on the line. Add consequences for missed free throws to increase the pressure.

3. Quick Transition Offense and Defense: Practice transitioning from defense to offense and vice versa quickly. Emphasize making fast decisions, passing, and attacking in transition to capitalize on opportunities.

4. Defensive Stops Drill: Set up scenarios where the defensive team needs to make consecutive stops to win the game. The offensive team tries to score, and the defensive team must secure rebounds and prevent scoring to succeed.

5. Decision-Making Scenarios: Design drills that force players to make quick decisions based on the game situation, such as whether to hold for the last shot, take an open shot, or pass to a teammate.

6. Clock Management Drill: Run scenarios where the team must manage the clock effectively, making deliberate decisions to use or save timeouts and control the pace of the game.

7. Simulated Game Endings: Recreate actual end-of-game situations from previous games or popular basketball moments. Have the team watch footage and discuss the strategies used, then try to replicate those scenarios in practice.


Related: Youth Basketball End-of-Quarter Quick Hitter


Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast:

Ep 1699 Success Leaves Clues


Youth Basketball Coaching Made Easy

If you coach a K-8th grade team, we have hundreds of resources. All laid out in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to save you time and money. Check out coachingyouthhoops.com today!


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Youth Basketball End-of-Quarter Quick Hitter

Youth Basketball End-of-Quarter Quick Hitter

As a seasoned basketball coach with years of experience on the court, I firmly believe in the power of precise execution during critical moments. The end of each quarter presents a golden opportunity to make a significant impact on the game’s momentum, and that’s where this “End-of-Quarter Quick Hitter” comes into play.

In this post, I’ll be sharing valuable insights into this strategic offensive play, tailored specifically for youth basketball teams. Mastering the art of the end-of-quarter quick hitter can give your team the edge they need to finish quarters on a high note, gain momentum, and seize control of the game. So, let’s dive into the intricacies of this tactical gem and empower your young athletes with a game-changing tool that will elevate their performance to new heights.

End-of-Quarter Quick Hitter

basketball entry playsThis play begins with using the 1-4 High set.

1 starts with a dribble entry to the wing. As 1 makes his way to the wing, 2 imitates a zipper or loop cut.

2 cuts down and loops around 5, who provides the down screen.

As that action is taking place, 3 cuts to the corner as a decoy action.

This initial action might get an open look for 2 at the top of the key.

Any defensive overplay might result in a dump down pass to 5 for a layup.

basketball entry plays

3 pops up from the corner to receive a pass on the wing.

1, meanwhile, cuts from the opposite wing to the strong side corner. He cuts along the baseline, receiving a screen from 4 at the block to free him.

2 reverses the ball to 3 on the wing. Once that pass has happened, 5 provides a flare screen for 2.

This action might get an open shot for 3. It might also get an open shot for 1 in the corner, or 4 on the block.

 

basketball entry plays

The final sequence of this play sees 3 make the decisions. He might be open, or 1 in the corner, or 4 on the block.

3 can also skip pass to 2, whose flair screen might see him open on the opposite side. Depending on how the defense plays it, 5 might slip the screen for an open layup as well.

The value of a play like this one remains the pressure-release aspect. If a defense overplays or denies certain passes, preventing a team from initiating a continuity offense, then a set like this one provides a useful counter attack.

 


Related: 7 Reasons to Practice End-of-Game Situations


Resources:



Youth Basketball Coaching Made Easy

If you coach a K-8th grade team, we have hundreds of resources. All laid out in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to save you time and money. Check out coachingyouthhoops.com today!


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

7 Reasons to Practice End-of-Game Situations

7 Reasons to Practice End-of-Game Situations

As a veteran basketball coach who has witnessed countless thrilling finishes and heart-wrenching losses, I understand the immense value of preparing young athletes for the intense pressure and critical decision-making that accompanies end-of-game situations.

These nail-biting moments can define the outcome of a basketball game, making them an essential aspect to address during practice sessions. In this post, I will delve into seven compelling reasons why youth basketball coaches should prioritize practicing end-of-game situations with their teams.

From fostering composure under pressure to enhancing strategic thinking, these reasons highlight the significant impact that targeted practice in these scenarios can have on the development and success of young players. So, let’s explore the crucial reasons why dedicating time and effort to practicing end-of-game situations is vital for the growth and achievement of our youth basketball teams.

7 Reasons to Practice End-of-Game Situations

As a veteran coach, I can emphasize the crucial importance of practicing end-of-game situations for a youth basketball team. Here are several reasons why practicing these scenarios is essential:

1.  Building Confidence

End-of-game situations can be high-pressure moments that require composure and decision-making under stress.

By practicing these scenarios, players become more comfortable and confident in executing their roles and responsibilities when the game is on the line. This confidence translates into better performance and reduced anxiety during real-game situations.

2. Enhancing Execution

End-of-game situations often involve specific plays, strategies, and tactics.

By practicing these scenarios, players learn how to execute these plays effectively, make precise passes, set screens correctly, and execute scoring opportunities. Regular practice allows players to refine their skills and improve their execution in critical moments.

3. Developing Decision-Making Skills

End-of-game situations require players to make quick and smart decisions based on the game’s context.

Practicing these scenarios allows players to develop their basketball IQ, understand the importance of time management, shot selection, and reading the defense. It helps them become more knowledgeable and skilled in making intelligent decisions in pressure-filled situations.

4. Team Cohesion and Communication

End-of-game situations require seamless coordination and communication among teammates.

By practicing these scenarios, players develop a better understanding of each other’s strengths, tendencies, and preferred plays. They learn to communicate effectively, anticipate each other’s moves, and make collective decisions that can lead to successful outcomes.

5. Minimizing Mistakes

End-of-game situations can be unforgiving, and even small mistakes can have significant consequences.

By practicing these scenarios, players become more aware of potential errors and develop strategies to avoid them. This includes minimizing turnovers, making solid passes, executing plays correctly, and maintaining focus until the final buzzer.

6. Instilling a Winning Mindset

Practicing end-of-game situations instills a winning mindset in young players. It teaches them to never give up, fight until the end, and believe in their abilities.

By rehearsing these scenarios repeatedly, players understand that victory is achievable in challenging situations, boosting their motivation and competitive spirit.

7. Preparedness for Real Games

Youth basketball teams often face close games where end-of-game situations become decisive.

By practicing these scenarios regularly, players are better prepared to handle the pressure and execute their roles effectively. They can enter real games with the confidence and skills necessary to succeed in critical moments.

Overall, practicing end-of-game situations is invaluable for a youth basketball team. It not only enhances their basketball skills and decision-making abilities but also fosters team cohesion, confidence, and a winning mindset. These skills and qualities extend beyond basketball and can positively impact players’ lives both on and off the court.


Related: 5 Questions to Ask Before Basketball End-of-Game Situations


Resources:



Youth Basketball Coaching Made Easy

If you coach a K-8th grade team, we have hundreds of resources. All laid out in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to save you time and money. Check out coachingyouthhoops.com today!


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

5 Questions to Ask Before Basketball End-of-Game Scenarios

5 Questions to Ask Before Basketball End-of-Game Scenarios

As a veteran coach with years of experience on the basketball court, I firmly believe that preparation is key to success in any sport. As Benjamin Franklin famously said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” When it comes to basketball, there’s one aspect that often separates the winners from the losers—the ability to navigate and excel in basketball end-of-game scenarios.

These critical moments can make or break a team’s chances of victory, and as coaches of youth basketball teams, it’s our responsibility to ensure our players are well-equipped to handle the pressure and make the right decisions. In this post, we’ll explore five essential questions every coach should ask before diving into those nail-biting, adrenaline-pumping end-of-game situations. By addressing these questions, we can empower our young athletes to face these moments with confidence, poise, and a strategic mindset, ultimately increasing their chances of triumph. So, let’s dive in and unlock the secrets to mastering basketball end-of-game scenarios!

Basketball End-of-Game Scenarios: 5 Questions to Answer

As a coach, you and your staff need to know the answers to the following questions ahead of any basketball season to prep for those end-of-game scenarios.

Question 1: Should you foul or go for a steal/turnover if your team is behind? If fouling, whom and when?

Rationale: This question addresses the strategy of whether to intentionally foul the opposing team to stop the clock and extend the game or to go for a steal or turnover to regain possession quickly.

Possible Answers: It depends on the time remaining, the score difference, and the defensive capabilities of your team. If there is sufficient time, fouling the opponent’s weakest free-throw shooter or the player with the ball can increase your team’s chances of getting the ball back. However, if your team excels at creating turnovers, going for a steal or trap might be a viable option.

Question 2: Should you foul when your team is up by 3 points to avoid a potential 3-pointer? If so, when?

Rationale: This question addresses the decision of whether to foul the opponent intentionally to prevent them from attempting a game-tying 3-pointer.

Possible Answers: It depends on the time remaining, the defensive capabilities of your team, and the likelihood of the opponent making a 3-pointer. Foul only when the opposing team is attempting a 3-pointer, ideally before the shot is released, to prevent them from tying the game.

Question 3: What should your team do after getting a rebound/turnover or after a made shot? Should you call an immediate timeout, push the ball up and call a timeout, or disregard the timeout and go for a score?

Rationale: This question addresses the decision of whether to call a timeout immediately, push the ball up the court and then call a timeout, or play through without a timeout to capitalize on the momentum.

Possible Answers: It depends on the game situation, time remaining, and the need for a strategic adjustment. If your team needs to regroup, set up a play, or make substitutions, calling an immediate timeout might be appropriate. However, if there’s an opportunity for a quick score in transition, pushing the ball up the court and then calling a timeout can catch the defense off guard. In some cases, if the flow of the game is favorable and momentum is on your team’s side, it might be best to let the players play and go for a score without using a timeout.

Question 4: Should your team hold for the last shot or take the first good scoring opportunity when trailing by 1, 2, or tied?

Rationale: This question explores the strategy of whether to be patient and hold the ball for the last shot to ensure your team has the final possession or to take the first good scoring opportunity available.

Possible Answers: It depends on the time remaining, the offensive strengths of your team, and the quality of the available shot. If time allows, it might be wise to run a well-executed play and look for the best possible shot rather than rushing. However, if there’s a clear and open opportunity early in the possession, taking the shot might be a suitable option.

Question 5: Do you have plays prepared for various locations on the court, considering the time left in the game?

Rationale: This question emphasizes the importance of having well-rehearsed plays from different areas of the court, taking into account the time remaining in the game.

Possible Answers: Yes, it is crucial to have a variety of plays designed for different scenarios, such as sideline inbounds, baseline inbounds, and half-court sets. These plays should consider the time remaining and provide options for quick scores, perimeter shots, or set plays to exploit defensive weaknesses. Having a diverse playbook allows your team to adjust and execute effectively, regardless of the location and time left on the clock.

 

 

Related: Youth Basketball End of Game Situations


Resources:



Youth Basketball Coaching Made Easy

If you coach a K-8th grade team, we have hundreds of resources. All laid out in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to save you time and money. Check out coachingyouthhoops.com today!


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Youth Basketball End of Game Situations

Youth Basketball End of Game Situations

Basketball End of Game situations refer to the specific scenarios and strategies that teams employ in the closing moments of a basketball game when the score is close and every possession becomes critical. These situations typically involve various tactics aimed at maximizing scoring opportunities, managing the clock, and maintaining or gaining a competitive advantage.

It’s important to note that end-of-game situations can vary depending on the specific rules and regulations of different basketball leagues and organizations. Coaches and players often develop unique strategies and adjustments based on their team’s strengths, the opponent’s weaknesses, and the game’s context.

Here’s a look at seven elements basketball coaches should consider when dealing with End of Game situations.

7 Elements to Consider During Basketball End of Game Situations

  1. Game-Winning/Go-Ahead Possession: When a team is trailing by a small margin or tied, they have the opportunity to execute a play to score and take the lead or win the game.
  2. Clock Management: Teams need to be mindful of the game clock and shot clock in order to maximize their possessions and prevent the opposing team from having enough time for a comeback. This may involve intentionally fouling to stop the clock, strategic timeouts, or using quick fouls to send the opponent to the free-throw line and conserve time.
  3. Free-Throw Strategies: Depending on the score and time remaining, teams may employ different strategies when shooting free throws or defending against them. This can include intentionally missing a free throw to create an opportunity for an offensive rebound or committing intentional fouls to prevent the opposing team from attempting a potential game-tying or game-winning shot.
  4. Inbound Plays: Out-of-bounds situations, especially when the offensive team is near their basket with limited time, require well-designed plays to create open scoring opportunities. These plays often involve screens, cuts, and decoy movements to confuse the defense.
  5. Three-Point Shooting: With the increased value of three-pointers, teams may strategically seek three-point shots to quickly close a scoring gap or take the lead.
  6. Defensive Strategies: Teams may employ specific defensive strategies, such as full-court pressure, double-teaming star players, or denying certain passes, to disrupt the opposing team’s offensive flow and force turnovers.
  7. Overtime Strategies: When a game is tied at the end of regulation, teams enter an overtime period with additional time to determine the winner. Overtime basketball strategies are similar to end of game situations, but teams need to adapt and adjust their approach based on the game’s flow and player fouls.

Prepping for Basketball End of Game Situations

Preparing for end of game situations are crucial for basketball coaches at any level. Often times, however, this remains overlooked when developing their practice plans. Coaches continually drill aspects of an offensive set or a defensive approach, but sometimes forget those end-of-game scenarios.

Competitive practice games stand as one useful tool. These drills inject energy into practice that’s usually reserved for game nights. Competitive games, especially ones where the losing team feels the consequences, allow coaches to bring a high-level of energy to the practice floor.

Another thing basketball coaches should consider is developing specific in-practice scenarios to prepare for those end of game situations. These scenarios might play out during a controlled scrimmage. But adding specific elements like time and score will aid in that preparation. Something like, asking a team to hold a single-digit lead for three minutes. Or maybe the “best” player is not available due to foul trouble. Options are only limited by the coach’s creativity.

Check out the YouTube link below for a specific discussion between coaches on how to deal with end of game situations. In this segment, coaches use real game footage to talk through the options available.


Related: Defensive Drills and Rebounding Techniques


Resources:



Youth Basketball Coaching Made Easy

If you coach a K-8th grade team, we have hundreds of resources. All laid out in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to save you time and money. Check out coachingyouthhoops.com today!


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Essential Youth Basketball Skill Development Drills (Offense)

Essential Youth Basketball Skill Development Drills (Offense)

In this post, we will delve into the essential skill development drills for youth basketball players on the offensive side of the ball. These drills are designed to improve their fundamental skills, boost performance, and foster their love for the game. Whether you are a seasoned coach or just starting, incorporating these drills into your practice plans will greatly benefit your players’ growth and development.

Dribbling Drills

Dribbling is a fundamental skill that every young basketball player must master. By focusing on proper dribbling techniques and ball control, players can become more confident and effective on the court.

Here are three dribbling drills to incorporate into your practice sessions:

1. Stationary Dribbling Drill

This drill helps players improve their ball-handling skills while standing in one place. Instruct your players to dribble the ball using both hands, focusing on maintaining control and keeping the ball at waist height.

Encourage them to use their fingertips, stay low, and alternate between dribbling with their right and left hand. This drill promotes coordination and helps players develop a feel for the ball.

2. Zigzag Dribbling Drill

The zigzag dribbling drill is an excellent way to work on change of direction, speed, and ball protection. Set up cones or use defenders spaced apart in a zigzag pattern. Instruct players to dribble through the course, weaving in and out of the obstacles while maintaining control of the ball.

Emphasize the importance of staying low, using quick crossovers, and protecting the ball from defenders. This drill enhances agility, quickness, and dribbling under pressure.

3. Two-Ball Dribbling Drill

The two-ball dribbling drill is a challenging exercise that enhances coordination and ambidexterity. Each player uses both hands simultaneously to dribble two basketballs.

This drill helps players develop their weak hand while improving overall ball-handling skills. Encourage players to start with simple dribbling patterns and gradually progress to more complex moves. It’s important to emphasize control, coordination, and rhythm while dribbling with both hands.

Shooting Drills

Shooting is a fundamental skill that every player wants to excel at. By incorporating specific shooting drills into your practices, you can help your players improve their shooting technique, accuracy, and confidence.

Here are three shooting drills that focus on different aspects of shooting:

1. Form Shooting Drill

The form shooting drill is a fundamental exercise that emphasizes proper shooting mechanics. Start close to the basket and have players focus on their shooting form: feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, elbow aligned with the shooting hand, and eyes on the target.

Encourage them to shoot with a smooth motion, using their legs for power. Gradually move players farther from the basket as they improve their form. This drill reinforces muscle memory and builds a solid shooting foundation.

2. Spot Shooting Drill

Spot shooting drills simulate game-like situations where players shoot from specific spots on the court. This drill helps players develop accuracy and confidence in shooting from various locations. Choose five to seven spots around the perimeter or key areas and have players take shots from each spot.

Encourage proper footwork, balance, and quick release. This drill also improves players’ ability to read the court and find open spots for shooting.

3. Catch and Shoot Drill

In games, players often need to quickly catch the ball and shoot. The catch and shoot drill focuses on receiving a pass and shooting with minimal hesitation. Have players pair up, with one player passing and the other shooting. The passer should deliver accurate passes to simulate game situations.

Emphasize quick footwork, being ready to shoot upon receiving the pass, and proper shooting technique. This drill improves players’ ability to shoot under pressure and in a dynamic setting.

Passing Drills

Passing is a vital skill in basketball that enables players to move the ball effectively, create scoring opportunities, and foster teamwork.

Here are three passing drills to incorporate into your practices:

1. Two-Person Chest Pass Drill

The two-person chest pass drill helps players develop accuracy and technique in their chest passes. Have players pair up and face each other at a moderate distance. Instruct them to use both hands, push the ball from their chest with a quick release, and aim for their partner’s chest.

Encourage players to maintain proper form, follow through with their wrists, and work on passing with crispness and precision. This drill reinforces the importance of strong and accurate chest passes in game situations.

2. Circle Passing Drill

The circle passing drill is an excellent exercise to enhance passing skills under pressure and from various angles. Form a circle with your players, spaced a few feet apart. Start with one player passing the ball to a teammate and continue the pattern around the circle. Vary the passing techniques, such as chest passes, bounce passes, and overhead passes.

Encourage players to communicate, focus on accurate passes, and adjust to different receiving positions. This drill improves passing accuracy, decision-making, and adaptability.

3. Outlet Passing Drill

Outlet passing is crucial for fast breaks and quick transition offense. In this drill, players practice long-distance, accurate passes to initiate the fast break. Set up two lines, one near the baseline and the other near midcourt. The first player in the baseline line rebounds the ball and throws an outlet pass to a teammate in the midcourt line.

Emphasize the importance of accurate and quick passes, leading the receiver, and maintaining good spacing. This drill enhances passing vision, accuracy, and decision-making in fast-paced situations.


Related: 5 Dribbling Drills to Help Youth Basketball Players


Resources:



Youth Basketball Coaching Made Easy

If you coach a K-8th grade team, we have hundreds of resources. All laid out in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to save you time and money. Check out coachingyouthhoops.com today!


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

5 Dribbling Drills to Help Youth Basketball Players Improve Their Handle

5 Dribbling Drills to Help Youth Basketball Players Improve Their Handle

Dribbling is one of the most important skills in basketball. A good dribbler can create open shots for themselves and their teammates, and can also help to break down the defense. If you’re a youth basketball coach, you know that it’s important to help your players develop their skills and sometimes, the best way to do that is with a series of dribbling drills.

In this blog post, I’ll share 5 dribbling drills that you can use to help your players improve their skills. These drills are designed to help players develop their speed, control, and ball-handling skills.

Dribbling Drills: Figure 8

This drill is designed to help players develop their ball-handling skills in tight spaces. It forces players to change directions and pivot while dribbling, which can be difficult to do in a small space.

  1. Set up two cones about 10 feet apart.
  2. Start with the ball in your dominant hand at the midpoint between the cones.
  3. Dribble the ball in a figure 8 pattern around the cones, keeping your head up and your eyes on the cones.
  4. Repeat the drill on the other side.

Difficulty progression:

  • As you get better, move the cones closer together.
  • Once you can dribble the ball in a figure 8 pattern around cones that are spaced about 2 feet apart, you can start adding a defender.

Dribbling Drills: Pound

This drill is designed to help players develop their speed and control while dribbling. Pounding the ball into the ground helps players develop the strength and coordination necessary to dribble quickly and smoothly.

  1. Stand with the ball in your dominant hand in front of you.
  2. Dribble the ball down the court, pounding the ball into the ground with each dribble.
  3. Keep your head up and your eyes on the court.
  4. Repeat the drill.

Difficulty progression:

  • As you get better, increase your speed.
  • Once you can dribble the ball down the court at full speed while pounding the ball into the ground, you can start adding a defender.

Dribbling Drills: Hesitation

This drill is designed to help players develop their ability to change direction while dribbling. Hesitating before changing direction can help players fool defenders and create open shots.

  1. Stand with the ball in your dominant hand in front of you.
  2. Dribble the ball down the court, and then hesitate for a moment before changing direction.
  3. Change direction and continue dribbling.
  4. Repeat the drill.

Difficulty progression:

  • As you get better, make your hesitations more pronounced.
  • Once you can dribble the ball down the court and change direction quickly and smoothly, you can start adding a defender.

Dribbling Drills: Crossover

This drill is designed to help players develop their ability to crossover while dribbling. Crossovers can be used to change direction quickly and create open shots.

  1. Stand with the ball in your dominant hand in front of you.
  2. Dribble the ball down the court, and then crossover to your other hand.
  3. Continue dribbling with your other hand.
  4. Repeat the drill.

Difficulty progression:

  • As you get better, make your crossovers more pronounced.
  • Once you can dribble the ball down the court and crossover quickly and smoothly, you can start adding a defender.

Dribbling Drills: Behind-the-Back

This drill is designed to help players develop their ability to dribble behind their back. Dribbling behind the back can be used to create separation from defenders and create open shots.

  1. Stand with the ball in your dominant hand in front of you.
  2. Dribble the ball down the court, and then dribble behind your back to your other hand.
  3. Continue dribbling with your other hand.
  4. Repeat the drill.

Difficulty progression:

  • As you get better, make your dribbles behind your back more pronounced.
  • Once you can dribble the ball down the court and dribble behind your back quickly and smoothly, you can start adding a defender.

These are just a few dribbling drills that you can use to help your players improve their skills. By regularly practicing these drills, your players will develop the speed, control, and ball-handling skills they need to be successful on the court.


Related: Point Motion Shooting Drills


Resources:



Youth Basketball Coaching Made Easy

If you coach a K-8th grade team, we have hundreds of resources. All laid out in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to save you time and money. Check out coachingyouthhoops.com today!


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Better Basketball: Point Motion Shooting Drills

Better Basketball: Point Motion Shooting Drills

Last month’s article dealt with the installation of various Point Motion sets. What I want to focus on in this month’s article are some drills to help install and get your players shots out of these various looks. We all know that as coaches we want todevelop the needed muscle memory, footwork, and confidence from the spots on the court where the shots will come from.

Below I will describe 3 different shooting drills with diagrams attached to help get shots for players in the spots they will shoot from.

Point Motion Shooting Drills

Drill 1: Need 2 lines. 1 line in the left pinch area where the 5 will usually receive the ball and a line on the right wing. You also need a coach/manager in the right pinch area with a ball.

The line of players with a ball will pass their ball to the right wing and immediately set a ball screen. The player on the right wing will receive the ball and drive for a layup. The player that sets the screen will pop and receive a pass from the coach/manager for a shot.

Switch lines after each rep to work both actions.

shooting drills

Drill 2: Same setup as Drill 1. The ball line will dribble and do a handoff with the other line. The lin without the ball to start will take that handoff and drive for a layup.

After the handoff, the player that started with the ball and shape up for a shot attempt from a pass from the coach/manager.

Switch lines after each rep to work both actions.

shooting drills

Drill 3: This drill needs 2 lines, 1 on the right wing and 1 on the left wing. The line on the right wing will start with balls. They will drive down to the baseline, attacking the paint. The other line will move from the left wing to the left corner.

Once the player with the ball gets to the baseline area, they will hit their teammate in the opposite corner. The player willreceive the pass in the left corner and take a shot.

Switch lines after each rep to work both actions.

shooting drills


Kyle Brasher | Gibson Southern High School
Lady Titans Basketball Coach


Related: 4 Essential Individual Defensive Drills to Practice


Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast:

Ep 1720 Coaching Youth Hoops


Youth Basketball Coaching Made Easy

If you coach a K-8th grade team, we have hundreds of resources. All laid out in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to save you time and money. Check out coachingyouthhoops.com today!


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Better Basketball: 6 Steps to Teach any Skill, Play, or Offense

Better Basketball: 6 Steps to Teach any Skill, Play, or Offense

Welcome to our guide on teaching offensive skills, plays, and offenses for better basketball performance. In this article, we present six progressive steps designed to enhance your coaching approach and help your players play better basketball on the court.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to introduce new skills effectively, ensure proper execution, increase speed, incorporate teamwork, integrate defensive elements, and ultimately apply the learned techniques in real-game situations. Whether you’re a seasoned coach or just starting out, this guide will provide you with a solid framework to teach and improve offensive skills, contributing to overall better basketball performance. Let’s dive in!

6 Steps to Teach any Offensive Skill, Play, or Offense for Better Basketball

It’s often been said that basketball is the most over coached and under taught sport on the planet. In order to help change that, here are six progressive steps that can be used to teach any offensive skill, play, or offense.

  1. Introduce the Skill or Play

  • Start by introducing the specific offensive skill, play, or offense to the players.
  • Demonstrate the movements, positioning, and timing involved.
  • Use a coach or experienced player to demonstrate the skill correctly.
  • Alternatively, utilize a video clip that clearly shows the desired execution.
  • Help players form a mental picture of the skill or play being executed perfectly.
  1. Execute the Skill at a Slow Pace

  • Allow players to start executing the skill at a slow pace.
  • Ensure that all players have the opportunity to master the required techniques and mechanics.
  • Pay close attention to footwork, which often determines the success of a skill.
  1. Increase Execution Speed

  • Transition to executing the skill at game speed.
  • Focus on executing quicker and quicker.
  • Use highly specific and well-designed breakdown drills to accomplish this.
  • Simplify the drills to minimize overthinking and maximize execution speed.
  1. Repeat and Practice

  • For individual skills, emphasize repetition, repetition, and repetition.
  • For plays or offenses, combine multiple parts and involve more teammates.
  • Develop mental and physical quickness, teamwork, and coordination.
  • Example: Add the “picker” when teaching the pick and roll instead of driving around a stationary cone.
  1. Add Defensive Elements

  • Introduce defense to make the learning process more enjoyable.
  • Avoid skipping the previous steps and going directly to this one.
  • Focus on executing all the individual parts while reading defensive reactions.
  1. Apply in Game Situations

  • Incorporate the newly learned skill, play, or offense into actual game scenarios.
  • Utilize five-on-five situations to create a game-like environment.
  • Avoid overlooking or taking this step for granted.
  • Address any difficulties in carrying skills and actions from drills to game situations.

Remember to periodically review the steps even after progressing through all six. Continual improvement is always possible, regardless of skill level.


Related: 5 Skill Development Ideas


Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast:

Ep 1759 Five Skill Every Player Should Work on During the Summer


Youth Basketball Coaching Made Easy

If you coach a K-8th grade team, we have hundreds of resources. All laid out in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to save you time and money. Check out coachingyouthhoops.com today!


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

5 Phases of an Effective Pick and Roll

5 Phases of an Effective Pick and Roll

The pick and roll (PNR) is one of the oldest and most popular plays in the history of basketball. Teams that master the skills involved in the pick and roll can become virtually unstoppable. However, a huge difference exists between mastering the required skills and just running through them.

There are four main reasons why the pick and roll has been so effective for decades:

  1. Creates size and/or speed mismatches
  2. Forces two defensive players to defend one offensive player which causes defenses to rotate and cover up
  3. Gets opposing defenders in foul trouble
  4. Lets you play your best offensive players regardless of “position”

5 Phases of the Basic Pick and Roll

Now most players think there are only two steps involved in the PNR – the pick and the roll – but in reality there are five separate and distinct phases. These phases include:

  1. Set up
  2. Pick
  3. Drive
  4. Roll
  5. Pass

Phase 1: Set Up

The set up required in executing an effective pick and roll on a stationary defender is much different than executing one on a moving defender.

If the defender is stationary, such as when the offensive player catches the ball on the wing, the picker must initiate the set up. However, if the defender is moving, such as when running a pick and roll in transition or out of the Horns set, it’s crucial that the ball handler initiate the set up by taking the correct angle.

Phase 2: Pick

The pick should be set with your knees bent and your feet wider than shoulder width. Guys should have their arms extended down over the groin with one hand placed over the other. Girls should have their arms placed in an “X” so that each hand is placed on the opposite collar bone and the chest is protected. Either way all hands and elbows need to be positioned and kept inside the body to reduce the risk of getting an offensive foul.

Don’t lean into the defense, If the ball handler does not take a good angle and drive his defender into the pick, the picker should never overcompensate by moving.

Phase 3: Drive

A pick and roll is only going to consistently work if the ball handler has the mind set of driving to score first and passing second! A driver who is not a constant threat to score will never force two defenders to guard him which will greatly reduce the effectiveness of the play.

The biggest mistake players make is driving too early before the picker has come to a complete stop and established a legal position. When this happens it almost always results in an offensive foul called on the picker.

Get as low as possible on the drive. Work on getting your inside shoulder as low or lower than your teammate’s (Picker) hip. Drive so close to your teammate that you actually make contact with his hip.

Once you clear the pick, the goal is to execute a straight line drive to the basket. The defense may hard hedge to throw you off line but you should keep your dribble alive, recover as soon as possible and attack the rim. Remember, the shortest distance between two points is always a straight line!

Phase 4: Roll

Once the ball handler has cleared the pick, the picker should open up to the ball and roll in the same direction as the drive. The key to a highly effective roll is to maintain contact with the defender as long as possible.

Many on ball defenders, especially younger ones, will usually take the path of least resistance and try to slide underneath the pick. When this happens a quick and physical roll will essentially serve as a “moving screen” and keep the ball handler’s defender completely out of the play.

Phase 5: Pass

The first four steps can be executed perfectly but if the ensuing pass is thrown poorly the entire sequence becomes a total failure. Since the pass must be thrown quickly and accurately a one handed bounce pass thrown right off the dribble is usually the best option. Chest passes are usually deflected or stolen in this situation and lob passes are often thrown too short or behind the roller.

Pick and roll duos like Stockton & Malone and Parker & Duncan have made this play look much easier than it really is over the years. Don’t let its simplicity fool you into thinking than anyone can do it by just walking out on to the court.

Each of the five steps takes hundreds of repetitions to master but once you do you will be able to impact every game you enter.


Related: Better Basketball – Point Motion Sets


Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast:

Ep 1659 X and O Discussion


Youth Basketball Coaching Made Easy

If you coach a K-8th grade team, we have hundreds of resources. All laid out in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to save you time and money. Check out coachingyouthhoops.com today!


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Better Basketball: Point Motion Sets

Better Basketball: Point Motion Sets

There are a variety of different basketball sets that a coach can run. Some like the 1-4 high looks, some like Box sets, and some like to change it up through all their sets. If a coach has been leading a team for any length of time, they have tried a variety of different set options. Some coaches change them from year to year. This article is going to be looking at three different Point Motion basketball sets that a coach could implement with their team.

We implemented these sets last season for a few reasons. First of all, we had 2-3 players who were really strong with the ball in their hands and going downhill. These sets got our best players in positions where they and our team could be successful.

Second, it clears the lane up for those players to drive. Third, it allowed us to put players who may not be the best ball handlers but are good shooters, defenders, or valuable in other roles for us and keep the ball out of their hands as these drives.

Lastly, we had a solid 5 who could play on the perimeter, shoot the ball a little, and drive to the basket as needed. As you will see in these sets, it helped having a skilled 5 who could do a variety of different things of things on the court. The 3 sets are described in detail below.

Basketball Offense: Point Motion Away

Point Motion Away allows any basketball coach to get a great cutter cutting to the basket and looking to make plays off the catch. This is a really good action if you have a player is great at the LeBron-Catch-and-Go idea that you are starting to see make the waves on attacks.

If the cutter isn’t open, the 1 could be open on a screen and pop or the 5 could do some dribble handoff actions on the strong side of the court.

Point Motion Away

Basketball Offense: Point Motion Middle

This is a great set if you have a guard (especially a 1) who is a skilled post player. It starts with the 5 flashing and the 1 going into the lane for a cut/post opportunity. If that  is not open, it continues with a down screen for the 1 to the corner and the screener could slip.

If neither of those are open, the play wraps up with a dribble handoff with 1 going downhill. The 5 needs to be able to be adaptable to many situations in this set.

Point Motion Middle

Basketball Offense: Point Motion Over

This is quite possibly the most simple of the sets. This is a great opportunity to get the ball into your 1‘s hands. It gets them going downhill and make reads. They could go to the basket or hit a corner shooter for a 3.

A counter to this play would be the 5 keeping the ball and spinning and going opposite. This is a great example of why you need a 5 the opposing team needs to respect because if they don’t the lane will be clogged for the 1.

Point Motion Over

 


Kyle Brasher | Gibson Southern High School
Lady Titans Basketball Coach


Related: 10 Tips for Communicating Effectively


Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast:

Ep 1720 Coaching Youth Hoops


Youth Basketball Coaching Made Easy

If you coach a K-8th grade team, we have hundreds of resources. All laid out in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to save you time and money. Check out coachingyouthhoops.com today!


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

6 Tips to Improve Your Quick Hitters

6 Tips to Improve Your Quick Hitters

Regardless of the age or gender of your athletes, or the amount of coaching experience you possess it is probably safe to assume that you have established some sort of offensive philosophy. While every coach is surely unique, all offensive philosophies can be boiled down to two distinct types; motion offense or the use of quick hitters.

There are many coaches who insist on arguing that one type is certainly better than the other, but the fact of the matter is that there are multiple ways to be successful. Instead of blindly following the crowd, my advice is to simply implement what you are most comfortable teaching!

Utilizing a motion type of offense offers several advantages.

  • All five players will be involved in the offense
  • There are equal scoring opportunities for all players
  • Teams who are not as quite athletic but more disciplined than their opponents can thrive in this system

However, a quick hitting offense also has its advantages:

  • Quicker scoring opportunities often results in more scoring opportunities
  • Your best players get the most shots
  • Favors an up tempo style of play

If you are a coach who has already established a quick hitting offensive philosophy or are looking into changing to this style of play, here are 6 tips for improving your quick hitters.

Tip 1: Check the Speedometer

Remember a quick hitter is intended to be carried out quickly! One of the biggest flaws that many coaches fail to notice/correct is the speed at which the play is being executed! Running the set in a speedy fashion does a couple different things;

  • Puts the defense in a situation where each player has to react quickly
  • If even one defender fails to react quickly or correctly your offense will surely be left with a wide open shot attempt

Tip 2: Know the Scoring Options

One of the biggest advantages of running a quick hitter is that you can dictate and control the scoring opportunities! You can easily place your top three scorers in positions where in a matter of seconds one or all of them will receive multiple looks at the basket. First of all, make sure the plays you select compliment the strengths of your top players.

Secondly, make sure your every player knows and understands the sequence of available scoring options. It’s extremely frustrating and usually counterproductive when a role player takes the first shot opportunity instead of waiting for the play to develop.

Tip 3: Maintain Great Spacing

A common objective in many quick hitters is to develop mismatches and then exploit them. However if your team does not maintain great spacing throughout the set it will make it much easier for the defense to prevent any mismatches. Great spacing also allows for other scoring opportunities outside your “big three.”

With so much focus placed on your primary scorers, the defense often will not be able to properly guard all five offensive players. With proper spacing your role players will usually find themselves in many more scoring situations than if everything is bunched up.

Tip 4: Set Good Screens

No matter which type of offense you run, whether it is motion or quick hitters, you will need to establish good screening actions. By setting good screens you can free up shooters for open shots, make it easier to reverse the ball, put defensive players in situations where they have to make instant decisions, and create mismatches for your best scorers.

Although some coaches may think of the ability to set good screens as a minor issue, I promise you it makes the world of difference when done properly and consistently.

Tip 5: Stress Execution

When utilizing a quick hitting system it can occasionally be very easy for players to get caught up in playing and completely abandon the play. While this may be acceptable in certain situations, it may be very detrimental in others.

Hold your players accountable and stress perfect execution. The players must have trust in you as their coach and allow the play to unfold before improvising or going to “Plan B.”.

Tip 6: Quick Hitter into Motion

This tip is a little more advanced than the others but can pay huge dividends! As mentioned before, many quick hitters are designed to establish mismatches and then to exploit them. If you can coach your team to transition your quick hitters smoothly into a motion type offense, the defense will have no time to adjust between the two different philosophies in order to counteract the mismatch.

Using this strategy forces opponents to not only defend the initial quick hitter but also the disciplined movement of your motion. For younger teams this is nearly impossible!

Bonus Tip: If you are coaching older players, try running a motion type offense that leads into a quick hitter. If you play with a shot clock, run motion for 1-20 seconds. Then get right into a predetermined quick hitter. (If you don’t play with a shot clock try using a set number of passes as a guideline.) This strategy will give you the best of both offensive worlds. It will keep the defense constantly off balance, and is extremely difficult to scout.


Related: Motion Offense Pros and Cons for Coaches


Resources:



  Practice Planner Live

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If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Motion Offense Pros and Cons for Coaches

Motion Offense Pros and Cons for Coaches

In basketball, a motion offense is a style of play that involves constant movement and cutting to create scoring opportunities. While it can be highly effective, it also has its drawbacks. In this blog post, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of using a motion offense and how it can impact your team’s performance on the court.

Advantages of the Motion Offense

As a basketball coach, I have found that utilizing a motion offense can be incredibly effective for our team. This is a style of play where players constantly move and cut to create open shots and scoring opportunities. It requires players to be quick on their feet, good at reading the defense, and able to make quick decisions.

One of the biggest advantages of using a motion offense is that it can be difficult for the defense to predict and defend against. With players constantly moving and cutting, it can be challenging for the defense to maintain their position and stay in front of their man. This can lead to open shots and scoring opportunities for our team.

Another benefit of this offense is that it encourages teamwork and unselfish play. With players constantly moving and cutting, it requires them to be aware of their teammates’ positions and make quick passes to create scoring opportunities. This can lead to a more cohesive team and a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Overall, I have found that a motion offense can be an effective and exciting style of play for our team. It requires hard work and dedication from our players, but the results are well worth it.

Disadvantages of the Motion Offense

As a high school basketball coach, I have seen that while a motion offense can be effective, it also has some disadvantages that should be considered. One of the main challenges with a motion offense is that it requires a lot of skill and coordination from the players. Players need to be quick, agile, and able to read the defense to effectively execute a motion offense. If the players are not skilled enough, it can result in turnovers and missed opportunities.

Another disadvantage of a motion offense is that it can be difficult to teach and learn. It requires a lot of practice and repetition for the players to master the various cuts and movements involved. This can be a challenge, especially for younger or less experienced players.

Additionally, this offense can be vulnerable to aggressive defenses. Teams that play a lot of pressure defense or have strong defenders can disrupt the flow of the offense and limit scoring opportunities.

Overall, while a motion offense can be an effective style of play, it is important to consider the skill level and experience of the players before implementing it. It also requires a lot of practice and preparation to execute effectively.


Related: The 4 Types of Basketball Teams


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4 Key Basketball Bench Roles

4 Key Basketball Bench Roles

Basketball bench roles might not be the most glamorous, but having the right players in those spots often makes the difference between winning and losing. Fans often assume that coaches spend the majority of their time working with the starters. A team’s first five on the floor normally represent the five top players on the squad. These players usually lead the team in minutes played and produce the most. But what happens when one (or more) of these players find himself in foul trouble or suffers an injury? At that point, the coach needs to turn to the reserves for a boost.

The best basketball teams enter their season with defined bench roles for subs to play. These players might not be among the starting five, but knowing exactly what they’ll need to do when called upon helps them focus and prepare. This is an unspoken but integral element of teamwork and team building. Having the right makeup and mix of subs on a bench will elevate any team’s ceiling.

Here’s a look at four key bench roles for any successful basketball team to have.

Basketball Bench Roles

No matter how good a starting five might be, no team is complete without a deep and reliable bench. Subs can often change the trajectory and feel of a game. And when these bench players check into the basketball game with defined roles, they can excel.

The Defensive Stopper

While some squads slot their defensive stopper with the starters, having a lockdown defender among your reserves can completely throw off an opposing team’s best scoring option. Ideally, this player is someone who can stop dribble penetration, keeps a dominant post player from scoring, or denies the hot shooter touches.

If you can get some steals and generate some turnovers even better. The more of these you can do, the sooner you’ll get off the bench and the more you’ll play. Of course, if you can’t do any of these things without fouling too much you’ll be right back on the bench.

The Rebounder

Teams need offensive rebounds to gain extra possessions, get put backs, and draw fouls. A well-timed offensive board might lead to an open three or dispirit a taxed defense. On the other end, defensive rebounds end your opponent’s offensive possession and might just start a fast break break. Either way, rebounds impact the game immediately.

Building your bench with a top-flight rebounder will change the course of a quarter, if not an entire game. On my team, the leading rebounder off the bench gets to decide where we eat after the game.

The Energy Boost

Sometimes, the starters just come out flat. This may happen at the tip, or perhaps after a halftime lull. Regardless of when it happens, coaches value a sub who provides the energy boost the team needs. The stats might not appear in the box score, but everyone can see the importance of players filling basketball bench roles like this.

Taking charges, diving on loose balls, chasing down long rebounds, talking of defense, high-fiving teammates are all ways that subs can change the momentum of the game once they are on the floor. High energy is contagious and your attitude and hustle may get everyone else playing with greater intensity. Who knows how long you’ll be in the game so go full blast and leave it all on the floor.

The Microwave (Instant Offense)

The NBA’s Detroit Pistons sported a key player on their two championship teams in the late ’80s who provided an offensive spark off the bench. Vinnie Johnson earned his nickname, the Microwave, thanks to his ability to heat up quickly and score points when subbed in. Having a reliable scoring threat fill one of these pivotal basketball bench roles often leads to consistent winning.

It’s important that these players find the flow of the game quickly, instead of recklessly flinging shots while cold. But after a few trips up and down the floor, this player should look to hit that open three, or grab good position down low to a quick layup. In the open court, this player attacks with control and pressures the defense.


Related: Sacrifice: Key to Basketball Success


Resources:


Coaching Youth Hoops Podcast:

Coaching Youth Hoops podcast

Ep 1614 What a Basketball Coach Wants


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Looking for some Great Team Gifts? 

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Best Youth Basketball Finishing Drills

Best Youth Basketball Finishing Drills

One of the most important elements to designing a valuable practice plan is deciding what core basketball elements you’ll concentrate on. Many practices begin with traditional layup lines and jump shots. But how often are the players simply going through the motions of those drills? Installing the right warm up drills will vastly improve the efficiency of your practice. Adding these Youth Basketball Finishing Drills will help take your young team to the next level of its development.

Youth Basketball Finishing Drills: Star Passing with Finish

Star Passing is common one in many gyms, but this version of the drill incorporates the necessary element of finishing with a made basket. This doubles well not only as a basketball practice warm up drill, but also as a game warm up.

Basketball Practice Warm Up DrillsThe drill begins with players arrayed in a star across the half court. The ball starts with the line under the basket. There are lines in the corners, as well as on the wings.

The first pass goes from under the basket to the left wing. The passer follows their pass and joins the end of that line. From there, the left wing passes to the right corner and follows. Right corner makes a baseline pass to the left corner and follows.

The final move in this initial turn through the drill involves the left corner feeding the player that cuts from the right wing. That player receives the pass and finishes the turn with a layup.

Variations of the drill can incorporate a number of additional basketball elements. Coaches can require that the ball never hits the floor. They can reverse the flow of the drill to work on left-hand layups. Coaches can have a defender waiting at the rim to challenge the finisher. The list goes on an on.

Youth Basketball Finishing Drills: DeMatha Finishing Drill

Basketball Practice Drills

This youth basketball finishing drills stands among Coach Steger’s favorite basketball practice drills. The DeMatha Finishing drill can be particularly valuable as both a practice drill and as a pregame warmup drill.

This drill pits two players against one another in a simple clash of offense and defense. It’s a high-impact, fast-paced drill where the offensive player attacks the basket and the trailing defender needs to recover. The drill features two lines and usually a coach for passing. Players can stand in for the coaches as passers if need be.

The drill itself can be situated in a number of different spots on the floor. Where the drill starts can be dictated by the coach and what the team needs are.

The drill itself is simple. The passer feeds the offensive player, who must finish at the rim from their starting point. The offensive player can try   a dunk or layup. The defender, meanwhile, must contest the shot as best they can. Physical play can be encouraged for the defense to help the offense improve finishing through contact.

Head over to the TeachHoops YouTube channel for more videos with basketball finishing drills.


Related: Running an Effective Preseason Basketball Open Gym

 



High Schoo Hoops Podcast: 

High School Hoops

Ep 14: Teaching Finishing Close To The Basket


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Setting Up a Basketball Playbook

Setting Up a Basketball Playbook

Heading into a new season, basketball coaches juggle a number of important responsibilities. Hopefully, coaches used the offseason to better themselves in preparation for the new year. But no matter what level a coach find him or herself coaching at, setting up the right basketball playbook for the team remains an integral step.

Coaches can use the offseason to accomplish several different goals, including becoming a better leader. Often times, evaluating last season’s performance comes at this point, as well as fine tuning the approach to practice planning. But setting up the team’s playbook should also be an important exercise.

Keys to a Good Basketball Playbook

A playbook crystalizes a team’s offensive and defensive approach. It helps build the team’s identity and provides a path to in-season success. Laying out the different sets and plays before hand can often help with drill selection and practice flow. Coaches seek to teach these sets and plays in order to leverage a team’s strengths, both from an individual and a collective perspective.

Any good basketball playbook relies on two relatively broad offensive categories. Those categories are: Man-to-Man Offense, Zone Offense and Specials.

  • Man-to-Man Offense: Teams execute these plays against man-to-man defenses, where each defensive player guards one offensive player. These plays aim to create opportunities for offensive players with staples such as the use of pick-and-rolls.
  • Zone Offense: Teams execute these plays against zone defenses, where defenders patrol specific areas in the half court rather than matchup one-on-one. These plays seek to leverage space, movement, and mismatches to create scoring opportunities.
  • Specials: Specials are those plays designed for specific situations in a given game. The most common offensive specials include Baseline Out of Bounds (BLOB) plays, Sideline Out of Bounds (SLOB) plays, and Press Breakers.

Fundamental Actions in a Good Basketball Playbook

Any basketball coach, no matter the level, should implement fundamental actions into their playbook. These actions often create the foundations for more complex plays and sets in a given offensive strategy. These actions should be incorporated in even the simplest youth basketball playbook.

  • Pick and Roll: The pick-and-roll remains the most recognizable offensive action at any level of basketball. In this action, an offensive player sets a screen (or pick) for the ball handler. The ball-handler reads the defense before deciding his or her next move, either driving to the basket or making a pass. The screener in this action rolls to the hoop and prepares to receive a pass, whether that pass is coming or not. This action remains a staple of any man-to-man offense.
  • Pass and Cut: Pass and cut is an offensive tactic in which a perimeter player with the ball passes to a teammate then executes a cut, typically towards the hoop. This basic action looks to draw attention from the defense and limit rotations or overplays. The pass and cut approach works for both man-to-man offenses and zone offenses.
  • Ball Reversal: The ball reversal action in basketball involves an offense working the ball via pass from one side of the court to the other. When executed properly, this action forces a defense to scramble and can create openings for cutting lanes or jump shots. This action can work against either defensive setup, but it is most effective against aggressive zone defenses.

Tips for Building a Basketball Playbook

No basketball playbook is created equal. Coaches should assess the skill level of their players before making definitive choices for their offensive approach. There’s such a wide variety of plays that coaches can certainly find something that will work for their team. But when building a playbook, youth basketball coaches should consider the following three tips.

  1. Start Simple. This is particularly true if a coach is dealing with newcomers to the sport or relatively inexperienced youth teams. Players will perform all the better as beginners when they aren’t too slowed by thinking about the next action in a play. Layering skills and actions in practice can often set up more complex plays later in the season.
  2. Embrace Space. One of the key skills young players need to develop is being able to move without the ball. Using the full court for drills and conditioning is a must for coaches, especially at the youth level. When designing a playbook, getting players to understand spacing will improve the effectiveness of each set. This is especially true against zone defenses.
  3. Add Variety. Experienced basketball coaches sport deep playbooks, pulling sets to combat specific defenses. Newer basketball coaches need to remember that incorporating a variety of plays into the playbook will help keep players engaged and prevent opponents from keying on tendencies. Avoid becoming predictable at all costs.

Click HERE for a TeachHoops Playbook Template. 


 


Related: 3 Effective Full Court Basketball Drills


Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast: 

Youth Player Development

Ep 1356 10 Keys to A Good Zone Offense

Ep 1318 Picking an Offense and Full Court Pressure Discussion


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3 Simple Plays to Run in Youth Basketball

3 Simple Plays to Run in Youth Basketball

Picking the right offense for a youth basketball team can be one of the most difficult decisions for any coach. After evaluating the skill level of a team, coaches must emphasize the sets and skills that will put his team on track for success. But when dealing with newcomers to the sport, sometimes having simple basketball plays to start with is the way to go.

Youth coaches often spend a great deal of time practice planning and developing the right mix of drills to incorporate with their young players. When it comes down to designing an offensive set, being able to score in the half court often dictates success in games. Add these three simple basketball plays that are easy to run to your basketball playbook.

Simple Basketball Plays: Basic Pick and Roll

One of the simple basketball plays even coach should incorporate is the basic pick and roll. This play works well against man-to-man defenses and remains a staple of the game in the professional ranks. Youth basketball offenses can repeat this action over and over until a good look opens up. This play can start in several different alignments.

Using a 4-out, 1-in alignment, the point guard dribbles to the wing, with three players on the opposite perimeter. Player 5 comes up from the low post to set a screen for the point guard on the wing. The ball handler drives off the screen toward the basket while player 5 rolls into the lane. The driver decides to either take a shot or make a pass to the roller. If neither option is available, the driver can kick the ball out to a teammate on the perimeter.

The beauty of this simple basketball play remains the free-flowing nature of the action. The ball handler gets to read and react to the defense. The screen also gets to decide how to move based on the defense’s alignment. Screeners can roll to the hoop or pop to a open spot on the perimeter for a jump shot.

Coaches can layer off-ball actions for the other players as well. This will help keep the weak side defenders occupied and hesitant to help. Basic pick and roll action can be implemented effectively in end-of-game situations and even in transition.

Simple Basketball Plays: Short Corner Jump Shot

Naming the sets can vary from team to team, but this simple basketball play aims to get a open look for a jump shot at the short corner along the baseline.

The play begins with a 3-out, 2-in alignment, with the big men occupying the blocks. The point guard dribbles up and initiates the play with a pass to either wing. The big man on the ball-side of the play comes up to set a screen at the elbow for the point guard after the pass.

The point guard uses the screen and runs a J-shaped cut toward the baseline. The player on the wing looks to pass the ball to the baseline if the point guard is open for a jump shot. If not, the player can dribble to the top of the key and reset the play.

This play works well at the youth level because it involves the basic action of pass and cut. The big man sets a high screen and either roll to the basket or flare for a shot. Having a simple basketball play that can easily reset allows the team to feel more comfortable.

Simple Basketball Plays: Double Screen Curl

The next simple basketball play looks to get another open jump shot. This play uses a 4-out, 1-in alignment to start, though the order along the perimeter doesn’t really matter. For this play, coaches should set the shooter to start in the corner.

The play begins with the point guard dribbling up and making a pass to the 3 on the wing. That player immediately swings the ball to the 4 in the corner. Once the ball ends up in the corner, the point guard and player 3 set a double screen for the shooter, who’s coming up from the opposite corner.

Player 4 looks first to the shooter coming around the double screen. If that option isn’t there, player 4 can then look to player 5, who’s on the low block. 5 mirrors the movement of the ball along the perimeter with each pass, going from elbow to elbow, then to the low block.

This play works well at the youth level because it involves basic movement along the perimeter. The interior player follows a simple run for this basketball play, mirroring the ball with each pass. Should the defense cover both the shooter and the low post, this play can easily be run again in the opposite direction.

Click HERE for a TeachHoops Playbook Template. 


 


Related: Basketball Combination Defenses


Resources:


High School Hoops Podcast

High School Hoops

Ep: 153. Picking an Offense for you Team


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Basketball Team Shooting Drills

Basketball Team Shooting Drills

Incorporating the right basketball drills for a team makes all the difference for coaches at the youth level. Coaches need to gauge the skill and talent they’re working with, instituting a practice plan to maximize the growth of these young players. Developing specific basketball skills early sets both the player and the team up for success, so picking the best basic shooting drills for kids can be a good place to start.

One of the most important parts of any coach’s practice plan is the incorporation of basketball shooting drills. These drills are valuable no matter the level of the team or the talent of the individual player. Shooting remains a key aspect of the game, and only through repetition and focus can a player improve.

For coaches, finding the right drills for your team can be frustrating. Depending on the team’s level and the talents of the gathered players, coaches sift through dozens of drills, searching for the right series. It’s important for a coach to understand their team’s ability and continuously push them to improve.

When developing shooting drills, a good coach must consider what types of shots they want to focus on. Drills should reinforce the skills that will help the players perform within the context of a game. So shooting drills should be designed around shots that would normally result from a team’s offensive actions. The best basketball shooting drills are representative of a team’s base offense.

Basketball Team Spot Shooting Drill

Basketball Shooting DrillsTeam Spot Shooting is one of the most valuable basketball shooting drills. This practice sequence emphasizes form shooting and positioning, all within the framework of a team competition.

This drill involves a set number of players progressing through a series of shots on the floor. The group might start at the short corner, then move to the elbow, free throw, opposite elbow and opposite short corner.

In order to progress to the next spot, the group needs to make a designated number of shots in a row. Once the group has made three from the short corner, for example, they move to the elbow. But if they miss at the elbow, a coach can signal either that the team runs or returns to the previous spot.

This drill can be redesigned as a practice game as well.

 

3-2-1 Basketball Shooting Drill

Basketball Shooting DrillsThe 3-2-1 basketball team shooting drill involves at least two players and is a high-volume, high-repetition practice. Over the course of one or two minutes, non-stop, a single shooter progresses through a series of jump shots. The other player rebounds and feeds the shooter from near the hoop.

The shooter begins behind the three-point line for their first shot. From there, the shooter moves into the midrange for their second shot. The last shot in the sequence is a layup (which is worth one point). The rebounder keeps track of the shooter’s score as their teammate progresses through the drill. After the time is up, the players switch roles.

This shooting drill provides valuable practice for any shooter, regardless of talent-level. The shooter must move, set their feet and find a repeatable release. Even the other player gets reps at securing rebounds and making solid passes.

This drill can incorporate internal competition as well. The two partnered players can compete with one another, or with another pair at another hoop.

 


Related: Keys to Coaching Youth Basketball

Resources:


High School Hoops Podcast

High School Hoops

Ep: 120. Basketball Shooting Drills for Any Level


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Best Basic Shooting Drills for Kids

Best Basic Shooting Drills for Kids

Incorporating the right basketball drills for kids makes all the difference for coaches at the youth level. Coaches need to gauge the skill and talent they’re working with, instituting a practice plan to maximize the growth of these young players. Developing specific basketball skills early sets both the player and the team up for success, so picking the best basic shooting drills for kids can be a good place to start.

Finding the right balance for your practice is key. You want your players to practice hard, hone their skills, and become better basketball players. But you also want them to have fun. Coaching at the youth level takes plenty of patience and positivity. You’ll need to incorporate a fast pace and keep your players occupied and engaged, especially during potentially monotonous skill development drills. Developing focus and fun at practice remains an integral effort for coaches at the youth level of the game.

While there’s no magic formula for practice planning or picking drills, leaning on your experience as a head coach often shows the right path for your players. Here’s a look a some of the best basic passing drills for kids.

Proper Shooting Form

It’s important for young players to learn the proper shooting form early so as to not develop bad habits that can be hard to break. Although the kids will want to start shooting immediately, coaches must make them understand chucking the ball does more harm than good. And becoming a great shooter isn’t an easy thing to do!

A good approach to teaching shooting form involves the nemonic “BEEF.” Beef stands for Balance, Elbow, Eyes, Follow Through.

Balance often refers to a shooter’s stance. While there’s no specific stance to teach, generally the feet should be about shoulder-width apart, turned slightly, with the lead foot forward a bit and knees bent. For Eyes, shooters should look in the direction of the rim. While there’s no one spot that must be taught, players can focus on the rim.

The shooter’s elbow remains the key to a shot’s accuracy. Players should try to set the shooting eye, the shooting hand and elbow, and the rim all on the same line. The shooting motion involves the hand and elbow getting under the ball, making an up and out motion. Make sure the elbow doesn’t flare out. Once set, the wrist should hinge at an angle with the forearm.

Follow Through is the release. The shooter should snap their wrist as the ball is released at the same time the elbow is fully extended. The ball should roll off the index and middle fingers to produce a backspin. Shooters should keep their arm extended and not let the off-hand push the ball at an angle on release.

Remember, this shooting method is designed to simplify the approach for inexperience players and kids just coming to the game. It’s not something to teach to more experienced players since it doesn’t address the nuances of great shooting.

Basic Shooting Drills for Kids

Teaching the proper shooting fundamentals remains integral for coaches at the youth level of basketball. Here are some of the best basic shooting drills for kids to help in that process.

Form Shooting

To practice the basic shooting form, kids can participate in this drill with a partner or a group of three. Form shooting allows the players to practice not only the right way to shoot, but also develop concentration. This drill remains ideal for coaches in a station setting.

Shooters begin at a given spot on the floor, depending on their strength, ability, and perhaps position. The shooter should assume the proper stance (hands up, knees bent, feet set) and await a pass. The player catches the pass and comes up shooting. Each player should take 10 shots before progressing to another spot. After another 10 attempts, the player moves to a third spot.

This drill works as a good warm-up before practice, or as part of a larger station rotation for coaches. Stress to each player the need to use the proper form, practicing each element to develop that muscle memory.

Step-Back Shooting

Another one of the valuable basic drills for kids is step-back shooting. This exercise helps players develop and improve their shooting touch with each repetition.

Shooters begin directly in front of the rim for this drill. Players should start low with the ball and arc the shot up over the rim, finishing high with the release. Shooters need to hold their form until the ball passes through the net, taking five shots in total. After the last make, the shooter should step back one and make another five shots. The shooter continues until they reach the foul line.

This drill provides direct reinforcement of the basic shooting form kids should learn. Coaches should stress hand and finger placement, as well as the motion of the elbow, as part of their instruction.

Knockout

A fun competitive game to incorporate into your practices is knockout. This enjoyable shooting drill provides kids the opportunity to learn proper form while under pressure and with a heightened sense of urgency.

Players line up in single-file at the free throw line. The first two players in line have a ball and the drill begins with the first shot attempt. If the first shooter makes his free throw, he retrieves the ball and passes to the next person in line. Then he joins the back of the line. If he missed his shot, he must grab the rebound and make a layup before the next shooter makes their attempt. Should the first shooter can make a layup before the second player scores, he’s still in the game. If the second shooter makes a shot before, the first player is eliminated.

Each time a player takes and misses a shot, the next player in line shoots to try to knock them out. Hence the name of the game. The drill continues until only one player remains, the winner.

There are several points of emphasis for this drill. Each player should maintain proper mechanics and form when shooting. Keep your head up and be aware of other players. Coaches can also stress form with layup attempts and return passes.


Related: Best Basic Passing Drills for Kids

More: Best Youth Basketball Finishing Drills


Resources:


Coaching Youth Hoops Podcast Episodes


Coaching Youth Hoops podcast5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Coaching Youth Hoops

The Skills Needed for K-2 Players

Thoughts on Running A Youth Basketball Camp

Basketball Skills for Grades 3-5

 

If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

5-Out Motion for the Rule of 3 Basketball Offense

5-Out Motion for the Rule of 3 Basketball Offense

The Rule of 3 basketball offense provides coaches with a concise offensive set up to help your team succeed. This offensive approach works against man and zone defenses and makes operating on that side of the floor easier. Some continuity offenses can be difficult to digest, but the Rule of Three basketball offense remains clear with straightforward principles. A key point of emphasis for this basketball offense is 5-Out Motion

What the Rule of 3 offense does for a basketball coach is provide a pared down approach that highlights the strengths of a given team. The key to any good offense is finding the openings, and this does just that. This offense remains predicated on ball movement, player movement, and spacing to create scoring opportunities.

Rule of 3 basketball


5-Out Motion for the Rule of 3 Basketball Offense


5-Out motionFor the Rule of 3 basketball offense, using 5-Out motion often provides the most space for your team.

The term “5-Out” references the fact that all offensive players on the floor are starting outside the three-point line. Typically, the setup features one player at the top, two on the wings, and two in the corners.

The 5 Out alignment is the base for the Rule of 3 offense. All five positions are interchangeable but can be set up to match locations with player skills.

This “position-less” offense relies on floor spacing and a set of basic movement that assist players to determine actions.

The basic concept for 5-Out Motion features an easy-to-understand set up: cut and replace. Each of the five spaces along the perimeter should be occupied by an offensive player.

When one player cuts, his teammates shift along the perimeter in corresponding fashion. If too many players end up on one side, the coach could call to “balance the floor” from the sideline.

5-out motion

A good way to start teaching 5-Out Motion on a pass is to have the passer cut to the basket with everyone rotating to replace the open slot. The only exception to this rule is a pass from the corner.


5-Out Motion: Pass and Cut Drill


5-out motion provides basketball teams at any level a key structure. This is especially true for youth basketball teams. This set up forces players to make decisions by reading the play of their teammates and defenders. It remains a great tool for teaching players how to play basketball.

One drill to teach basic 5-Out motion to your basketball team is a simple pass-and-cut drill.

5-out motion

This drill begins with Player 1 making a pass to the wing. From there, that player cuts to the basket. When that cut occurs, everyone behind the pass rotates to fill the open space along the perimeter. Player 1 takes the open space in the corner after his cut.

Next, the ball is passed to the right again and the passer cuts to the basket. Once again, the weak side players rotate to fill all open spots. The only exception to this rule is a pass from the corner. A pass from the corner results in a short cut and retreat. A pass up from the wing to the top results in the corner player rotating up to fill on the wing, making sure all five players participate in station movement.

Stress to your players the key concept of great spacing. If they’re in the right positions at the right time, the offense should be wide open. This approach opens driving lanes and minimizes quick help from opposing defenders. 

Coaches can teach 5-Out Motion in progressions to avoid their players getting overwhelmed learning an entire offense all at once.


Get started with the Rule of 3 Offense Course HERE!


Related: What’s the Mesh Point in Rule of 3 Basketball?


Resources:


The Coach Unplugged Podcast

Cover for Basketball Coach Unplugged ( A Basketball Coaching Podcast)

Ep 1465 Rule of 3 Offense