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Mavericks05

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  1. I have been coaching 3rd & 4th grade girls basketball and volleyball and am experiencing a common problem that I would appreciate input from others. We play in a YMCA league that has minimum playing time rules. The problem that we have is attendance at practices and tardiness. In basketball we had 2 out of 8 players who attended every practice, 3 missed 5/9 practices. We played 3 games with only 5 players. Now we are in volleyball we have 8 players, 1 parent came to the first practice to tell us that her child had dance class during our practice time so she wouldn't ever be at practice but she'd be at the games, another told us that her daughter would only attend every other week so long as she didn't have a softball game on those nights, it turns out she has been only at 2 practices out of 8. Of the remaining 6 players all but one has missed at least one practice and or showed up late to practices and games. The last game we had to start with 4 players, two showed up 15 minutes into the game. During basketball I consulted with the Y who stated that the playing rules still applied regardless but that I could make a decision not to play this person until the second half or so. I haven't discussed the matter with anyone at the Y w/ volleyball but it is obvious that would be much more difficult to do especially on days when you have others missing, heck we'd be playing with 3 or 4 players if I imposed that. I'm all for playing time on kids who are learning but I feel it is extremely unfair for those who attend practice to be subject to the same playing time rules as those who do not. Now I realize that it is the parents who are the ones that control this situation and I would love to be able to tell these people that they are sending a very bad message to their kids that they will always be able to "play" and that practice is some how not important. It's like telling them that they don't have to study for a test because they will probably do well enough to just get by with a passing grade rather than allow them a chance to excel. In basketball they are at an age where we can start incorporating simple plays but I cannot imagine how difficult it would be when you have people who don't bother to show up. The last two volleyball practices we have had 3 and 4 players.. can't very well simulate a game situation with 3 players on the court. As a coach I am insulted that they parents think their time is somewhat more valuable than mine, I'm sure I could come up with plenty of other ways to spend my time on Monday nights, but I am volunteering my time to give their child a rewarding experience and they do not even have the common courtesy to call to say they aren't going to be there for what ever the reason may be. If the child is involved with other activites that conflict, then they should make a choice and stick with it rather than pull this juggling act that only hurts the players who are there every week.
  2. Lost Our Last Game

    smsjr... I had to chuckle when I read your post about them forgetting about the loss in a half hour. We had an end of the season Pizza Party following that game and I totally got a kick out of one of our girls who rationalized the loss by saying " I think we all just had the party on our minds today!" It really was quite cute I need to correct myself on the scoring situation, the score wasn't displayed when they were in 2nd grade and this year in 3rd it is. We have girls who became obsessed with the score table... they would walk up and down the court staring at it rather than pay attention to what they are suppose to be doing... they made all sorts of facial expressions in accordance with what ever the score is and we had to on several occasions point out to them that they needed to play the game instead of worrying about what the score is. Before this year they had no idea who won or lost and in their minds they always won. Now they see it and have to deal with the emotions that come with it. It was a big step into reality. At 4th grade they have either a competative league which they must be selected to play on or a recreational league they can voluntarily play in, making my assesement pretty dead on. The leagues start at 5 years old , the rules change each year as players develop, it became apparent that the transistion from it's 100% fun to it's now ALSO competition is happening at this age level. It doesn't stay just for FUN for every child as they develop a love for the game and the skills to be pretty good players, their expectation of winning comes with it, is it the most important thing in the world to them or their coaches at this age???... very unlikely! I appreciate the insight from your perspective! I'm quite certain that our loss affected the coaches more than the players, you always feel that you are responsible for the loss and you feel like you let them down somehow. The quote you took from my first post pretty much defines how we feel. We believe that we could prepare the girls to play them again and this time they will prevail. That's probably how the opponent felt about PB's team. An interesting twist!
  3. Fourth Grade Girls Offense

    I was reading back over some of my posts and noticed on this topic I had made a typing error when I was referring to my team as 5-0.. we were actually 5-1 at the time! My apologies for this error! At any rate I wanted to share that we had tried to introduce a play at practice this week in preparation for our tournament. After severall attempts they were able to run it... without anyone playing defense on them that is, we are not going to bank on it as our winning ticket for the tournament but we are going to have them try to run it a couple of times in the tournament to see how they do. I'd be proud just to see them get set up to run it. It was really funny when we started scrimmaging at the end of practice, you would have never known what we just practiced! I still believe our focus on the fundamentals has been incredibly beneficial for them. I'll be back to share how they did!
  4. Lost Our Last Game

    Having lost our last game knowing how far we had come and how they were mentally beat down by the physical game is what was painful to see. We had a lot of fun "learning" and for our girls to use what they learned in practice to win a game made it even more fun for them. To see them beam with a smile when you pointed out all the things they did right as opposed to bringing up all they did wrong is probably the single greatest feeling as a coach. We are never short on pointing out how proud of them we were whether they were winning or losing, as I had mentioned we did lose that game by 4 and I couldn't have been more proud of the girls for not emulating the behavior they were exposed to and for not giving up even when we were down by 10 points.. THEY didn't want to get beat and THEY worked really hard to come back within 4 pts.... it was all heart. We went 4-3 our first season but at the end it didn't feel that way because in every game we played our hearts out, we felt like winners. Let's face it, how much fun could these kids possibly be having when they lose every game? After 2 or 3 losses in a row, there is the mental toll that these kids feel, you can "pump" them up all you want but you cannot change how they feel when they feel they work hard in the game and you tell them they are working hard and doing things right but they keep losing. This is the age where mentally the loss become tougher and tougher for them. At 3rd grade the score was not shown, in 4th grade there is now a score being shown, there is a reason for it... at this age they are being introduced to what the "game" is really like at the competative level, this is where the kids and parents will decide if going on to play competatively is for them or whether or not they will stay at the recreational level. .. sausgussoftball said it about how the kids feel about W's and L's, and that's just it... they do feel that way within themselves, it's not the coaches feelings about wins or losses, we never yelled at them because they were losing, we spoke to them about doing the things they'd remembered from practice and as long as they did those things they could reflect on the game knowing that they played how they were suppose to and that sometimes you will fall short... it's part of the game. It's part of life, it's reality.. you cannot sugar coat it because they'll feel it anyway.
  5. Lost Our Last Game

    PB... I feel your pain we didn't end our season with a great last game either as you saw from my TOO AGRESSIVE post. We drew a bye the first week, lost our 2nd, won the next 5 and then lost the last one in that battle. It was a really tough loss for us because we knew we were better than that team and should have beat them. We self destructed defensively and our shots just were not falling. Compund that with the mental anguish from getting beat up by the one girl and it was easy to see why we lost. I felt responsible because we just couldn't put anything in motion to get our girls' heads back in the game. We tried Ray J's suggestion from that other post but our girls just were not into it. Our frustration with the officiating also got the best of us and I think our girls fed off of it. You better believe that in our tournament we will remember this game and if we come up against that team again they will not beat us... At least I pray our girls can go into it against them again without the memory of the game in the back of their minds, we'll see!
  6. Too Aggressive

    Ray J, I see your point... we too have a couple of girls who can be a little too aggressive on defensive, the main difference with us is that when we see it we are ususally the ones pointing it out to them and the referees clearly hear us doing so & will typically go with us on it because they realized we are addressing it. We were not exempt from fouls being called either, if the same girl started to do the same things repeatedly despite our coaching they'd call fouls on her I suspect as a way to drive our point home and I applaud the ref's for that. Our girls are normally very strong defenders using man-to-man, we beat our previous two opponents pretty bad because our defense had really been on, it wasn't because we are strong shooting team either we have maybe 2 above average shooters, most of our points came from fast breaks because of the defense! In this game though I did notice us self destructing on defense, the girls would complain it was because of how rough the other team was and we immediately pointed out that our defense is what was costing us the game and not how much we were getting beat up. My assistant suggested in our game that we stack the one side as well to draw that girl away from the action but by that time our girls were out of it and they just weren't receptive to the change. This girl was also defending our point guard who is our best all around player and if we tried to change to someone else bringing it up she'd switch to them, it was clearly strategy on the opponent coaching part but, our PG did take her to the hole while being abused on several occasions it just wasn't enough to get us back in the game. The main problem with this player was that no matter who had the ball, if it was passed to them or what she'd go double team & lay down the hammer, shove them or whatever she needed to do to create the turnover, this is what became disturbing and out of control. She wasn't really that great of a ball player in any other respect, she couldn't shoot to save her life and we only lost by 4. We joked that she couldn't even stand up by herself without leaning on our players... (she literally had fallen over on several occasions when our PG broke away from her.. it was funny). The child's behavior I could understand, it was the coaches behavior and the lack of officiating that was unimaginable. We play in a tournament in two weeks, I would love to come up against that team again!
  7. Too Aggressive

    Yesterday we played against a team who had a girl that was just a beast on defensive. I don't mean she was a good defender in the right sense of the word, I mean she was literally beating up our girls. She played so aggressive that in a fairly ref'd game she should have fouled out by the start of the second quarter, I mean it was awful to watch. She was on our girls' backs, grabbing the jersey's, arms, shoving the smaller girls down etc. Yet only managed to have 4 fouls called on her the whole game. What made the situtaion worse was the assistant coach who would cheer each time she fouled telling her it was OK never once correcting the behavior! It was sickening! The situation was so out of control that it was a struggle for my assistant and I to keep quiet about it. Our league has strict rules about saying anything to the referees. What I don't understand is how the ref's can let a situation like that get out of hand. I know that girls this age,8-9 year olds who are required to play man to man defense will foul. We do not encourage our girls to blatantly foul as these other coaches seemed to do, if we see it in the game we tell our girls to back off or point out that they cannot do certain things. I believe that the ref's were to blame because they failed to call this girl out and talk to the coaches about her. I believe that because they continue to allow this girl to play like that it has become her standard of play. I feel it's a ref's job to control the situtation and these two obviously did not this allows those two coaches to continue to encourage this girl and get away with it. It really is quite unfortunate that other teams have to be subject to this kind of stuff and I'm wondering how some of you would have handled this situation. We got our verbal comments in here and there but they went completely unnoticed. We even encouraged our girls to let her come hammer them just so that we could hopefully get the ref to call her for her final foul in the 3rd quarter but that didn't work. Mind you I'm pretty sure she was the coaches kid and played the nearly the whole game these coaches knew what they were doing and were so smug about it.
  8. Full Court Press

    HELP! My 3rd grade girls are playing in a tournament in a few weeks . We've been told by other coaches that many of the teams in this tournament run a full court press on defense. We would like to be able to "practice" this with our girls to help them overcome the obstacle and not become overwhelmed in the game situation. We have only 3 practices to prepare for this and I am looking for some advise on the best course of action to take. The regular league doesn't allow it at all so we've never been exposed to it. I'm confident that 3 of our players including the point guard will probably learn how to beat it pretty quick but know that on turn over situations the others will struggle tremendously. Our PG is really quick and can handle the ball with both her right and left like no other 3rd grader I've seen yet. There is maybe 2 other players that have average dribbling skills and the rest just haven't developed that aspect well enough. How do we best teach them to overcome this?
  9. Fourth Grade Girls Offense

    The league we play in requires teams to play man to man defense. We've considered adding simple plays to our offense including the the pick and roll etc., the challenge with this is that the way the other teams play defense and the way that even our own girls approach offense would make this incredibly difficult. By this I mean, that defensively the other teams are literally glued to us, they are in their face, bear hugging them, choking them over the shoulders etc. It's actually quite painful to watch because it is just so bad. On offense our girls crowd the ball, chase the ball handler around and hang over them screaming for the ball and at the same time dragging their defender into the mix, making it impossible to pass the ball. There is also a rule about "double-teaming" outside of the lane that is rarely followed, meaning that even though they have a person to defend they gravitate to the ball and essentially gang up on that one person. Offensively our girls forget that they don't need to care what the defender is doing, they do it well in practice but come game time they forget everything and go back to arm wrestling the defender for position rather than "move around" to get open for a pass. They crowd the ball which allows the defense to create stress on who ever has the ball and as a result a " good pass" is rare! We've been teaching them to "clear out" when ever their teammate is headed towards the basket or when ever they start to bunch up and then teach how to get position over the defender to get the rebound, but again in the game all that was taught and practiced is out the window. That's our offensive struggle, our girls are spectacular on defense and are praised by other coaches and parents. I guess we need to find out how to get it across that offense and defense are two different games so that we can consider running plays. Truthfully, how reasonable is it to expect 3rd & 4th grade girls to execute plays? People have said they do and it works but I just don't by it. By the way we are 5-0 and have beat our opponents by an average of over 10 points per game so I have to believe that there is more to be said for the focus on the fundamentals over plays. We've wated other teams fail miserably with silly plays and I just don't see the point. Of our 9 players, 4 had never played the game before this season, 4 played with us in the fall for the first time and our daughter is in her 2nd year of organzied play. With the exception of a couple of players our girls have learned a lot and while they do not perfectly execute each skill in the game situation, after all they are only 8 years old. I do have to say that it is pure joy to see them do something in a game that we've learned in practice, it's better than any W on the score books!
  10. Girls Basketball

    I would have to say that the approach to how the situation should have been handled would depend on if the players are playing in a recreational league or a competative league. If it's recreational then I feel that the "fun" aspect should be emphazied. If the team is playing in a competative league then the situation becomes two-fold. Yes they need to have fun but not at the expense of the other players who are there because they are "serious" about the sport and hope to continue playing it as they get older. My daughter is 8 and is really quite a good ball player for her age. She went to summer camp at one of the local colleges and left there with the dream of going to school there and playing basketball. We wanted to encourage her to keep that dream alive but had to explain to her that the reality was it was a VERY expensive college to attend and it wouldn't be a possible without the help of a scholarship. Of course she was told that academics were most important and to solidify her chances she had to work really hard on the court to even be considered for an athletic scholarship. Believe it or not teaching a child the value of hard work at a young age can be very rewarding for them. They have to know that there is a time and a place for "fun" and if you are compromising the hard work by goofing off you are also compromising the goals they have set for themselves. Bottom line is that no matter what the age or level of play kids need to know the boundaries and what the consequences will be if they go outside of them, it's a life lesson they'll take with them and they'll thank you for.
  11. Fourth Grade Girls Offense

    Coach7 couldn't have said it better. My husband and I coach my daughter's 3rd grade girls Y team and we played a team yesterday that by appearances should have really been tough for us. The team towered over our girls by several inches and I mean every player on that team. They were running a simple pick and roll play at the top of the key all day long and it was never executed correctly. The girls despite their height and obvious strength did not shoot well at all. Our girls dominated on every aspect of the game and we don't even attempt to teach a play because not everyone on the team has the same skill level. I do see where it could be beneficial in teaching the girls to spread out and get out of that habit of crowding the ball but at this age group, especially if you have girls that play soccer, they will gravitate to the ball no matter what. We do have the same problem as the original poster in that our point guard usually dribbles and shoots and does so quite effectively, however it has been a great challenge to get her to pass the ball and I would love to hear some feedback on how 1) We can get the rest of the girls to move around and be able to receive a pass (as they like to think they are still on defense and end up arm wrestling with the other team) 2) How we can get the point guard to read her teammates and get passes off quicker (she hesistates way to long and what open pass was there quickly fades). We practice this often and we know she is capable of it yet in a game it's like she is in her own world.
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