After careful consideration and observation from our younger teams Boys 3-4th and Girls 3-5th, we have decided that that best way to handle the issues of concern over the unbalanced level of play in the divisions, which also causes some teams to be overpowered ............The new plan is this:
- "HANDS UP" defense, meaning the defense cannot steal the ball from the offense off the dribble or RIP the ball out of the ball handlers hands should they freeze up and stop dribbling.
- There will be no double teaming the ball handler. The idea here is that the ball handler learn to bring the ball up over half court and the offense gets an opportunity to get set up. The offense is able to pass the ball around outside the 3 point arch to each other which leads to improving their ball handling and passing skills. (This does not take away from teaching defensive skills
either. By keeping your hands "up and out" and using the "step and slide" technique, defense will help to keep the offense in check.) They CAN play defense outside the arch but cannot make contact with the ball. This will make the offense players have to move the ball around.
** These skills just mentioned on both offense and defense are the basic building blocks and fundamentals of basketball (bball 101). The problem is that very few kids under 10 have developed good enough ball handling skills to ward off an aggressive defense, it is much easier to steal them to protect the ball at this stage.
** By allowing the offense to be a little more free, coaches are also able to teach the kids a play or two. And when they "pull" off the play it instills SO much confidence in them kids, it is amazing.
** If they can bring the ball over half court, pass off to a guard on the side who then can get a bounce pass to a forward in the paint or at the foul line who can then make a pass to another player down low under the hoop who then shoots.....it will truly be a thing of beauty. Teaching them to get 3 or 4 passes around the court and then getting a shot off is what we should be teaching.
** On defense, while they are "hands up", once the ball gets anywhere inside the 3 point arch they can steal off the pass or feel free to steal off someone trying to dribble toward the basket and deny the other team from scoring. Regular play goes.
From what we have seen in the past is that there is not enough ball handling and passing. There are usually one or two decent ball handlers on each team, who dribble into a corner or a crowd of players, then the rest of the offense either just start yelling for the ball or they all bunch up around the ball handler.
If they are allowed to and you as coaches, can show them how to pass the ball around back and forth and look for the open player, the court will get a little more opened up and everyone gets a chance to get involved and the players look to get the ball into the middle, maybe learn how to throw a pick so the ball handler can take off toward the basket.
You are absolutely teaching defense as well, the kind you are taught and expected to play right through high school. If a defender consistently goes for the steal, once they are up against another team with ball handling and passing skills they will get burned, we are suppose to be teaching the building blocks.