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01 Июня 2010 Журнал "FIBA Assist Magazine"

Виды спорта: Баскетбол

Рубрики: Другое

Автор: Hands Lorenzo

Youth Games

Youth Games

Youth Games

Lorenzo Hands has completed his twelfth year as the Young Men's basketball head coach at Palm Beach Lakes Community. Hands began his coaching career in 1994 as an assistant coach at Florida State University. For the next three years, Hands coached middle school and junior varsity basketball. In 1998, Hands replaced Florida's Hall-of-Fame coach, Floyd Andrews, at Palm Beach Lakes CHS. Under Coach Hands' leadership, Palm Beach Lakes has won six District Championships, three State Playoff appearances, and 6A State Runner-Up. For the last ten years, he has spent the summer months as a Coach at Nike's elite youth basketball camps: Hoop Jamboree and LeBron Skills Academy, as well as Michael Jordan Flight School.


"When are we going to play games?" is the most frequently asked question by children, when participating in camps dominated by drills. While drill work does have a part to play in advanced skill development, "playtime" proves to be a smart way to build those initial skills (athleticism and basketball IQ) most elite athletes possess. Children instinctively love to play games because they are fun and filled with opportunities to grow and discover. According to research, childhood play is the central ingredient in learning. Therefore, play -rather than mere isolated drills- is the most effective means of developing skilled basketball players.

I have been coaching and training youth athletes for over 15 years. When I first started, I mainly used rote drills to develop players. I noticed two things: 1) players' overall technique improved but rarely transferred to real game situations and 2) athlete's motivation to practice decreased over time. As I thought about my own development as a basketball player, I realized that my skills were primarily cultivated through the various neighborhood games childhood provided back then - the form of deliberate play lacking in the lives of youths today. Coaches who are eager to take their athletes and practice to the next level should try to replace what is missing for so many children. Below are activities I used from Dennis Slade's "Transforming Play", Human Kinetics, (2010) as it relates to the game of basketball. I have had great success with these in my workouts. They are fun games coaches can use to bring the "play" back while simultaneously building a natural and enticing environment for young athletes to become better basketball players.

Tag game

I use tag games instead of using a series of ladder drills to improve footwork.

• Tactica problem: Creating space.

• Game focus: Using off-the-ball cuts to elude defender.

Learning objectives

Players will do the following:

• Chase.

• Dodge.

• Change pace while running.

• Maintain space.

• Close-out.

• Anticipate player movement.

• Double team.

How to play

Players are divided using a 3 offense to 1 defense ratio. The offensive players create space within the half-court. On the whistle, the defense has 20 seconds to tag as many offensive players as possible.

Offensive players who are tagged are out and must move outside the playing area. At the end of the allotted time, the tagged players are counted, and the total represents the defenders' score.


• Offensive players must remain inside the established playing area. An offensive player who runs out of the playing area to avoid a chasing defender is considered tagged and is out.

• Tripping and hard pushes are not allowed.

Offensive skills

• Change of pace (speeding up and slowing down).

• Dodging.

• Accelerating and decelerating.

• Using available space to stay as far from teammates as possible.

• V-cut and L-cut technique.

Defensive skills

• Developing a plan for tagging as many players as possible.

• Working together (i.e. double teaming).

• Executing close-out technique.

Dribble Tag Game

I use dribble tag games instead of drilling a series of dribble moves through stationary cones.

• Tactical problem: Attacking and creating space to attack.

• Game focus: Using on-the-ball dribble skills to elude defenders.

Learning objectives

Players will do the following:

• Use dribbling technique.

• Chase.

• Dodge.

• Maintain space.

• Anticipate player movement.

How to play

Players are divided using a 3 offense to 1 defense ratio. Each offensive and defensive player begins with a ball. On the whistle, the defense has 20 seconds to tag as many offensive players as possible.

Offensive players who are tagged are out and must move outside the playing area.At the end of the allotted time, the tagged players are counted, and the total represents the defenders' score.


• Same rules as Tag.

• An offensive player who loses the ball out-of-bounds while evading a defensive player is considered tagged and is out.

• A defensive player must maintain possession of the ball while tagging a player. If the defense does not maintain possession, then the offensive player is not out.

Offensive skills

• Change of pace dribble.

• Cross-over dribble.

• Speed dribble.

Pass tag game

Use pass tag game instead of 2-on-0 partner passing.

• Tactical problem: Maintaining possession of the ball.

• Game focus: Creating passing lane by using on-the-ball skill execution and off-the-ball movement.

Learning objectives

• Players will do the following:

• Catch, pass, and cut

• Present target hand to show passer where to pass

• Receive ball in triple threat

• Perform ball fake before passing

• Make lead pass just ahead of the target hand

How to play

Three of the six offensive players will have a ball against two defenders. On the whistle, the defense has 20 seconds to tag as many players without a ball as possible.

Offensive players with balls must pass to teammates without balls to avoid tags, and then cut themselves to avoid being tagged. Defensive players can only tag offensive players without a ball. Defense keeps count of the number of times they tag players.


• If a player has a ball, the defense cannot tag them.

• Tagged players remain in the game.

Offensive skills

• Use body language to indicate where the ball should be thrown.

• Quick inter passing.

• Passing into open space.

• Fundamentals of the chest pass.

Defensive skills

• Anticipate likely passes.

• Positioning oneself close to off-the-ball player.

Corner tag game

Use corner tag game instead of drilling 2-on-0 Full-court passing drills or partner passing.

• Tactical problem: Maintaining possession of the ball.

• Game focus: Creating passing lane while off-the-ball.

Learning objectives

Player will do the following:

• Catch and throw in congested space.

• Provide off-the-ball attacking support.

• Pivot and pass.

• Anticipate player movement.

• Communicate strategies.

How to play

A player from Team 1 shoots a free-throw for a bonus point. If the free-throw is made, Team 1 receives one point and the ball. If the shot is missed, possession goes to Team 2.

Players are allowed to take one step or pivot, but no running or dribbling. Team members pass the ball among themselves in order to corner an opposing player so they can tag him/her with the ball. A tagger must hold on to the ball while making a tag. If the ball is dropped, no point is awarded and possession goes to the opposition. A tag is worth two points. After a tag, the game restarts with the person who made the tag shooting a free-throw. While playing, possession changes if a player on the passing team drops or throws a pass out-of-bounds.

Offensive skills

• Positioning.

• Pivoting.

• Anticipating player movement.

• Avoiding coffin corners.

Defensive skills

• Changing direction with quick dodging movement.

Zone defense game

Instead of skeleton 2-1-2 or 3-2 zone movement, then 5-on-5 scrimmaging.

• Tactical problem: Defending space.

• Game focus: Executing proper defensive positioning on and off-the-ball.

Learning objectives

Players will do the following:

• Learn concepts associated with zone defense.

• Adjust playing positions in relation to the ball.

• Execute jump stop technique.

How to play

Players move up the court by passing the ball and then trying to score a goal by throwing the ball at the cones. A goal is scored if a cone is struck or knocked over.

Defensive players try to block or intercept passes and throws at cones while staying one step away from player with the ball. Play is continuous unless a goal is scored or a ball goes out-of-bounds.



• Running, walking, or dribbling not allowed.

• May take one step or pivot with the ball.


• Must be one step away from offensive player with the ball.

• Can block shots, but can not strike ball with feet or kicking motion.

• Can not stand inside the hoop surrounding cones.

Offensive skills

• Maintaining possession.

• Jump stop technique.

• Fundamentals of skip pass.

• Fundamentals of chest pass.

• Moving without the ball.

Defensive skills

• Sliding footwork.

• Communication.


In essence, deliberate play can provide the perfect platform for youths to become great basketball players - intellectually and athletically.

The benefits are two-fold: 1) participants have fun and are motivated to practice, and 2) coaches get players who possess keen basketball sense and who can apply learned skills in actual game situations.

Thus, if coaches want to develop elite athletes, games must be the primary method of instruction. Play is fun, but, most importantly, it provides the opportunity for natural discovery on the part of the athletes. In other words, the game becomes the teacher - a coach's dream.

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