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3rd & 4th Grade Basketball Plays - Help


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#1 Coach Chadwick

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 08:19 PM

So, I had my first game of the season (12/5) coaching my sons 3rd and 4th Grade Basketball Team. I am a first year coach, as a lot of us are, and I haven't worked on any plays yet at practice. We have worked mostly on the fundamentals with some game type scrimages as well to get them use to the flow of the game. I got to the games early to watch some of the other teams playing before us. It seemed liked every team had set plays calling out a 1, or 2 play or maybe a closed fist or open hand for another play. I am not sure if I am so far behind coaching my kids already or what, but my team got beat 36 to 17. We did manage a slight comeback as it was 23 to 5 at half. The other team kept running there 2 & 3 positions down to pick the 4 and 5 positions. Then their PG would drive around, either pass it to a player or take it to the hoop. We also need to work on a little more man to man defense switching with picks and proper body position. As you can probably imagine, some of my kids were quite down because of the score but I kept building them up telling them that the score doesn't matter and to keep playing tough and working together as a team. The comeback helped put some smiles on there face as we eventually had two kids doing a good pick and roll.

Now my questions is... What basketball plays are best for kids this age? Again, this is my first year coach and I wasn't on a b-ball team to learn plays when I was a kid. I want to develop a set a plays that are easy to teach to the kids as well as easy for them to learn. They are a great bright group of kids and I want to get some type of team chemistry going and a few plays would help. I have two practices this coming week and a game this coming Friday 12/12 so it would be great to get some ideas to implement at practice. Please help. Thanks...
"Never Give Up... Do Your Best... and the rest will fall in place"

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#2 cgh

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 08:40 PM

Not 100% how to describe this one but here goes:

Less dribbling more passing!

Offense:
Have them spread out evenly around the 3pt line 10ft apart. PG calls sweep right or left. the 2 post players cross under the basket as close to rubbing shoulders as possible (if 2 defensive players follow try and cause them to bump into each other ) as soon as they are in the position that the other player had:

Options

1. have the right or left pivot and go in for a layup the PG or right side guard will have to feed them the ball as they come in.
2. Get the pass and take a shot, they other post player charges in for the rebound.
3. If the defensive players collide with each other PG goes in for the layup.
a. If stopped back pass to the right or left guard.
b. If defensive player is playing close to the PG pump fake them then go around them or bump them while laying up and draw the foul while they are in the air.

Reset and try again.

Chris

#3 Coach Rob

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 04:22 PM

Now my questions is... What basketball plays are best for kids this age? Again, this is my first year coach and I wasn't on a b-ball team to learn plays when I was a kid. I want to develop a set a plays that are easy to teach to the kids as well as easy for them to learn. They are a great bright group of kids and I want to get some type of team chemistry going and a few plays would help.

I also coach a 3rd/4th grade basketball team; we’ve had the same core group of kids together since kindergarten. We’re currently in our 10th season together. The reason I bring this up is it took several seasons during our 1st/2nd grade years of losing some games because we focused on passing and ball movement in game situations. Didn’t care about the score, we celebrated the number of good passes and ball movement.

Fast forward to the present, my kids are passing fanatics! Passing 60-80 times in a game is normal for them. Spreading out, setting up in positions and looking for the easy shot under the basket. It’s not perfect, but let me tell you something, it really looks like basketball when they start cooking with the ball movement thing.

Plays: I’ve come across a few teams running plays at this age group. I watched a team a few weeks ago that had every single play called by the coach. The team would bring down the ball and call a pick for the PG or something down low. It became quite predictable and the opposing team shut them down. Nothing wrong with running a few plays, just not every single time you come down the court.

The problem I have with running too many plays is only a few kids are involved, leaving others out for ball touches. It also takes away from the dynamics of basketball, having to get open, helping out and the fun of just playing without having to always run a play. I don’t feel your offensive strategy should be about “running plays”, especially at this age. We have a few plays in our arsenal, but our kids seem to flow better with quick passes and understanding “triple threat” when they get the ball.

We run a few simple plays where our #1 (PG) calls out the name of our #2 or #3 player. They set a pick on the PG’s defender; the PG drives to the basket and dumps the ball off if the #4 or #5 defender picks him up. We also run plays from the #2 and #3 positions. They call out the name of the #4 or #5 player who sets a screen for their teammate, allowing them to cut across under the basket. The screen is set opposite of the ball side. Ultimately you want your kids setting picks and screens without someone calling out a play.

You’ll need some inbound plays like stacking your players and having them go different directions when the ball is slapped or some variation on that theme.

Couple of final suggestions:

1) Run a 10 min scrimmage in your next practice where the kids can’t dribble, pass only. This is a great way to teach them about helping out/getting open and making good passes.

2) This one takes some guts; pick a total number of passes you think your kids can make in a game (maybe 40-50 to start). Offer a prize (we usually do bags of skittles or something similar) to the entire team if they hit the goal. Probably best to tell the parents what you’re doing so they don’t freak out if Jimmy isn’t shooting every time he gets the ball.

3) Have a few parents track stats for your kids each game. Passes, rebounds, loose balls, steals, attempted shots/made shots. We use those for coaching purposes only; it helps to see if you have a player only passing it 2 times while taking 15 shots.

If you focus on the fundamentals and not so much on the score, it pays off down the road.

Good luck!

CRob
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#4 Orange

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 01:41 PM

I'm not a big basketball coach but I have coached my son in the past, and he now plays in a competitive 10 & under league. His team mostly runs a 2-3 zone defense which seems to be very effective. I think it's the same in flag football, zone being easier to run than man-to-man.

#5 cgh

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 05:28 PM

I agree with Orange, I've run 2-3 zone and the triangle 2 variant when faced with strong guards. Must be able to run an agressive man-to-man periodically.