The Club encourages parents, former members, senior players and older juniors to coach junior teams. Coaches are encouraged to gain accreditation through Basketball Victoria and to attend coaches’ clinics. While all the Club’s coaches are volunteers, in recognition of the commitment made, the Club grants one Membership for those conducting training and coaching in matches. All coaches over 18 years are required to obtain a Working With Children Check and to satisfy Basketball Victoria’s Coaches Screening requirements.
This article emphasises the basic reasons for teaching and using man for man defenses with young players as against zones and zone presses etc. Basically we should be setting out to teach our young players the skills they’ll need should they decide to play at higher levels in the future. That we do not know; so many serious rep ball players played their early seasons in domestic D grades. The first two areas a high level rep coach will expect mastery in will be individual offence and individual defense. It is too easy at lower levels of the game to focus on winning and judging success in terms of the ladder position. Skill development should be the real focus, skill mastery will lead to playing in higher grade levels and open up greater opportunities and success leads to real enjoyment. Suggest you Google Breakthrough Basketball. You’ll get lots of ideas.
Download full pdf version : What Defense Should You Teach Youth Players
No Zone Defences
In line with the push to increase skills Basketball Victoria banned zone defences in all under 12 representative competitions last year and has continued that regulation to include under 14 in the coming season. It is expected that the requirement to play man for man defence will filter through to the older age groups to some extent in the coming seasons.
It is widely accepted that children whose teams play zones during their formative years do not learn the defensive and offensive skills required to play at higher levels.
In practice, for our club, this means that children whose teams play zones in domestic competition and who try-out for representative programs are at a disadvantage compared with those who come from man for man teams.
I am aware that guarding the key type zones are very easy to teach and tend to solve the competitive defensive problem for beginner level teams. In the past I have used zones with domestic teams myself, partly for the simplicity in instruction, partly because zones do teach team attitudes and partly so I can focus on teaching offence. Then there are those occasions when we have the bare number of players on a hot summer afternoon.
However, now, with the increased focus on skill mastery all coaches are being asked to teach man for man, in the interests of their players development.
Preparing players for the possible demands of rep ball may seem a long way from the needs of a fun domestic team. However we have a duty to prepare our juniors as best as we can and especially, young teenagers from all levels are well known for deciding to put their hat in the rep ball ring. The present Falcons Under 18 and Under 20 teams include a number of children who played their early basketball in grades such as Under 10, 12 and 14 D Reserve.
Man for man can be played in various forms from aggressive trapping full-court defences to conservative back-court help and recover team defences. The commonality is that players have one on one responsibility as well as being taught how to help and are learning and applying the skills of individual and team defence. Those of us who see professional teams playing advanced zones know that the best zone players are those who have mastered man for man skills.
Our Club will be conducting sessions to assist our own coaches. Also, our more experienced coaches are always available to assist at training or in games.