October 24, 2003, Newsletter Issue #133: YOUTH LEAGUES - WINNING vs. GOOD BASKETBALL

Tip of the Week

Youth league coaches should spend most of their time teaching players how to play, rather than just teaching them plays. It is far more important to teach proper spacing and movement, footwork, stance, passing the ball to the first open player, catching the ball with two hands, and the fundamentals of dribbling and shooting.
Many coaches will have their teams play a pressure defense, for the purpose of forcing the other team into a turnover. I would advocate a "no press" rule that teaches players to play solid, position oriented defense against an opponnent that is now able to function offensively.
Dean Smith (legendary coach at North Carolina) once said, "a successful youth defense would be to send 3 players at the ball and tell th eother 2 to do the best they can." This would force turnovers and help a team "win" a game, but it may not really be teaching either team anything.
There actually are some youth leagues that play games - and they don`t keep score! Maybe they are the ones that have it right.

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