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GeorgeC

Pre-Game Warmup

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It seems that no matter what time that our games begin, Saturday morning, afternoon, or Wednesday evening, our kids start out slow. It's almost like they are asleep and sluggish. I usually have to spend one time out after 90 seconds into the game just to round them up and try to get remove the glazed looks. After 3-4 minutes, it seems to be OK, but effectively, we're spotting the other team 4 points or so.

We have a typical warmup with a layup drill to get them moving, plus a quick one-on-one in-your-face "have a good time, be aggressive, plant and shoot, guard the ball" speech.

I'm looking for any other suggestions from coaches here on what you do to "wake 'em up".

Thanks.

PS: 3rd grade boys

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George,

When this happens occasionally I would say there is not much you can do. Personally, I would change my starters. I would make it real clear at practice that whoever is putting forth the most effort is going to start the next game as many times what you get in the game is the way you practice.

Kids at this age like to start and like to finish games. So you can use that as a motivator to get kids to play with more energy.

Charlie

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I agree with Charlie on this, I've seen it in all the sports I've coached. It's like the kids are in slow motion. I haven't found one sure fire solution. The "who will start" might be a good motivator like Charlie suggested.

A few others:

We were the only team that did this, but I'd use the last 2 min of our pregame warm-up with a passing drill. The kids formed a circle and I was in the middle passing to them at a rapid pace. No look passes to make sure they were paying attention. It was fast paced and sometimes I'd close in on a kid throwing it back to them several times to get that intensity going.

Another thing we'd do is bring the team over to the bleachers and have the parents involved in the cheer. Seems goofy, but all those people chanting together created a lot of energy.

Last resort might be to have a pregame meeting at Starbucks.

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Starting a different set doesn't help. I've only got 8 players total. Because we've taught the team "end strong", then its just as much a motivation to play in 2Q and 4Q. I like the no-look pass drill in addition to the usual layup drill.

I've not considered Starbucks, but I have thought about donuts. Pure sugar.

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Wow 8 kids huh? That makes it kind of tough to implement my idea.

I think CRob is on to something. In your short pre-game period you have to come up with things that will get them going. With 8 kids I would also think about running a quick 3 on 2 drill with the 2 extras rotating in on defense after every possession. Play until the shot is made or defensive rebound or turnover, 10 second shot clock to speed things up.

Another idea, is the Five Corner Passing Drillto get them passing and moving.

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Here's what we did this last Saturday, and for what it's worth, seems to have helped. We started out with three kids who were there on time. For the life of me, I can't seem to get the parents to get their kids there 15-20 minutes early. No shooting drills, except that the kids that were there early did a little on-their-own shooting.

We got into a circle and started passing the ball around. As each kid arrived, they added to the circle. We just passed as fast as possible around the circle. No bounce passes. Pass-pass-pass, as fast and as correct form as possible. Really tried to pump up the adrenaline.

It seems to have worked.

Coaches Rob and Charlie, thanks for the suggestions.

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Glad the passing circle worked, it always seems to wake up my kids, especially if you're zinging the passes around. Sometimes we throw in another ball or another coach to keeping it moving.

Regarding parents showing up on time, I was running into the same problem a few years back, I asked the parents if texting worked for reminding them of game times, what color we were, etc. Everyone liked the idea, so I send a mass text the day before our game, giving them a specific time (usually 30 minutes before the game starts) to be at the gym. I do the same thing during football season.

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I agree with Charlie on this, I've seen it in all the sports I've coached. It's like the kids are in slow motion. I haven't found one sure fire solution. The "who will start" might be a good motivator like Charlie suggested.

A few others:

We were the only team that did this, but I'd use the last 2 min of our pregame warm-up with a passing drill. The kids formed a circle and I was in the middle passing to them at a rapid pace. No look passes to make sure they were paying attention. It was fast paced and sometimes I'd close in on a kid throwing it back to them several times to get that intensity going.

Another thing we'd do is bring the team over to the bleachers and have the parents involved in the cheer. Seems goofy, but all those people chanting together created a lot of energy.

Last resort might be to have a pregame meeting at Starbucks.

Haha. Would be interesting how that would turn out

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Here's how we warm up. I have the kids start a single line at the far right corner of the floor. I stand on the line even with the top of the key. I have one assistant standing at the top of the key and one assistant underneath the basket. Each girl sprints to me but breaks down in a defensive position right before they reach me. They slap my hand and sprint to the next coach and again break down, then on to the next. They do this twice then once they reach the end they start the shooting star.

1 player at the right elbow, 1 player at the left elbow, 1 player lower right block, 1 player lower left block and 1 underneath. The remaining players form a line behind the baseline. The player underneath starts it by passing a good chest pass to the left elbow then they run to where they just passed it. The player at the left elbow then passes it down to the lower right block and then follows his or her pass. The right block passes over to the left block and runs to that spot. The left block passes up to the right elbow and runs to that spot. The right elbow then shoots and follows the shot to get the rebound. We don't want them to let it touch the ground. If they miss they get their own rebound and then hand it to the next player underneath and it starts over again.

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I like the star. That get's everyone involved. Good warm up music is critical I think to. Defensive slide drills,layups from both sides,free throws and just open shooting is how we usually do but since I'm Coaching this year might change it up. Gotta get through our 1st practices 1st and put practice planners together.

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I have 3 main drills as warm-ups (along with regular lay-ups).

(I like this 8 man passing drill, gets the blood pumping, emphasizes passing, and gets their minds going)

(This four corner passing also works well)

Another warm-up. Coach is under basket w/ ball facing FT line. Form two lines on left and right of coach both sides of lane. One line as D, other is O. Coach spins. rolls, or bounces ball out short of FT line. O player hustles to get ball and take a quick shot (no dribbles allowed). D has to touch opposite block w/ one hand before closing out O player. Players switch lines when done. We emphasize the D player getting there quickly, closing out, and blocking out. The O player should get a good shot off quickly and fight through the block out.

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