Attacking A Zone With 10 Year Olds?
Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:29 AM
Is the best strategy just to work a lot on jump shots?
Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:03 PM
You can have some success with swinging the ball and overloading a side or if you can hit a few early jumpers from outside you will probably creat some space but with teams at this age group I usually focused on good defense and fast breaks. I would push the ball the whole game. I think you can get a whole lot more offense on transition and fast breaks than in a set half-court offense.
Just my two cents.
Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:24 PM
Charlie is correct, one of the best ways to beat a zone defense is not let them set up. We teach our kids there's no hesitation on a rebound, they look for the outlet and push it. On made shots, they grab it out of the net and get the ball inbounds ASAP, same deal with pushing it down the court quickly. The difficulty with 10 yr olds is that it can quickly turn into a ping pong match with out of control dribbles and steals going both ways. Not a big fan of that style of play at any age.
Teach your kids to go for offensive rebounds and put it back up. Nothing takes the air out of a zone defense like offensive rebounds. On paper, zone defenses are not supposed to give up rebounds, but at the younger levels most teams don't block out like they should, thinking because they're playing a zone, the rebounds just happen. Not true, especially against a team that's been coached to crash the boards.
Another idea is using pennies and dimes on a mock court to show your players the gaps. You play defense and have them point at where the ball was passed and act accordingly on defense, moving your coins. This is assuming the teams you play actually move on the ball and play a true zone vs all five just sitting in the paint. It's almost like a chess game and you can ask the kids who they think is open at any given point. It really helped my kids see the "gaps" in zone defenses.
Remind your kids there's no shot clock. When I coached at the 4th/5th grade levels and ran across a team playing zone, we passed it around a lot. They weren't sloppy passes, they weren't passes just to pass, but good solid passes hoping to move the zone. You could see the coach on the other team getting frustrated and parents would groan because we could go for 2-3 minutes without taking a shot. Honestly? I didn't care. If you're going to play a zone defense at that age, then you pay the price. I'm not going to throw up bad shots because the other team chooses to play a zone defense.
Maybe using part of your practice to play against a zone. Practicing fastbreaks, crashing the boards, and passing the ball around. Bummer that you'd have to waste part of your practice teaching the kids how to beat a zone at this age level.
Edited by Coach Rob, 29 February 2012 - 12:41 PM.