Coaching youth basketball is just as important as coaching in the NBA. Whether for junior high school or high school varsity teams, coaches are committed to excellence in helping players excel on the court. Clubs also learn vital life skills from coaches, as well as fostering team unity and competitive — but fair — play and sportsmanlike conduct. For any coach, the ultimate goal is to help teammates learn respect for each other and their opponents. However, the name of the game is still to win and have a great and memorable season. With this in mind, here are some essential tips and keys to playing your offense fast and effective.
Taking the Most “Best” Shots Wins
Winning basketball games are not necessarily based on quantity of shots — but quality. While coaching youth basketball has many different philosophies, there are some constants that can lead a coach and his/her team to a winning season. For one, a good or “best” shot is one that can be taken uncontested –and as close to the basket as possible. However, players must also be coached to determine if other teammates are open for easier shots. This helps unite the players in a common goal of scoring baskets, while preventing frustration due to ball hogging and/or showing off. Here are some key elements to keep in mind when coaching your youth team:
– Emphasize the importance to players about throwing the ball at the goal — rather than out of bounds. In other words, if they do not have a clear shot and no teammates are open for passes, players should aim for the net to speed up offense.
– Successful creation of open shots also means advancing the ball via the past as fast as possible. This helps improve the chances of finding teammates uncontested near or at the basket to score.
– Teams must avoid any turnovers since they limit the total number of shots taken.
– Be fair — but it’s okay to outsmart opponents by sometimes slowing down the pace of the ball. This should be done without exhausting the shot clock — and the ball should still be in continuous passing or dribbling mode.
– Speed up the offense and prepare to take the shot if it’s open. However, always looks for easier ways to pass and assist teammates — if they are open — to take easier baskets.
A Proper Conditioned Team is Superior on the Court
This is a myth that most coaches tend to follow. However, having a team that is in better condition does not necessarily mean you will win. Remember, you have an opposing team that may not be conditioned better than your squad — but may still have better skills and learned techniques. With this in mind, teach your players to consider and respect all their opponents. This gives them the incentive to sprint the court on every offensive possession, while advancing the ball quickly via passing. They should only dribble primarily for rim attacking, and they will never take opponents for granted as well.
Essentials for a Fast Offense
Based on coaching philosophies and ideologies, players with the ball have an imaginary direct line to the basket. The person with the ball can dribble a bit but his or her aim is to advance to the basket. This means that if nobody directly step in the way — then the player attacks the rim. However, should an opponent obstruct the clear lane to the basket — the player with the ball must pass to the next open teammate and keep the offense moving fast. If all teammates are being blocked, the player with the ball has to position him or herself to take the shot. Remember, it is better to go for the net than violate the shot clock or accidentally throw the basketball out of bounds.
This is the basic rule for a fast break system, which is utilized in the NCAA, NBA and other amateur or professional leagues across the world.
The Most Important Aspect of the Fast Break
The most important aspect of the fast break is simply ball advancement. The player with the ball must rely on his or her players as a comprehensive and cohesive unit to score the basket. For coaches, keep the following in mind when it comes to speeding up the offense down the lane:
– The initial outlet pass must be good enough to advance the receiving player down the court.
– It is equally important for players to rapidly secure the ball from the net after a made shot or foul shot. This is only for the opposing team — but the scoring team can use the same philosophy for missed board shots and rebounds.
– Coaches must designate one specific player in their team to jump and snatch the ball out of the net. Again, this speeds up the counter-offense or offense and the player should never wait for the ball to fall into his or her hands.
These are some guidelines that can help your team improve its speed and overall offense. Remember, the most important aspect of any basketball game is still playing your best and having great sportsmanship from start to finish.