It is not always a ride in the park when you are saddled with responsibility of coaching basketball play for middle school. You will be faced will have to deal with teens of varying talent, experience and skill level. All that some of these kids have to offer is passion with little of no experience while some on the other hand are good to go already having notched well over 100 of games under their belt. Your job as a coach then is to blend the different categories of players at your disposal into a formidable team.
So in this post, I’ll do well to walk you through virtually all you need to successfully coach a middle school basketball team.
Basketball play for Middle School Teams
In this section, I have put together 10 drills that’s suitable for middle school team, before you decide on which drill to choose, you should first ensure it compliments your coaching philosophy, strength and skill level of your players. For example if you are an offense oriented coach, then you should stick to drills that simulate motion movements such as cuts and screens.
So find below a list of 10 drills suitable for your middle school basketball team. You can easily run these drills with your team, to improve individual skills such as shooting, passing and rebounding.
- jump Stop Drill
- Steve Nash Passing Series
- The Multi-Purpose Offense and Shooting Drill
- Fast Break Drill
- Defensive Challenge
- Full Court Press Breaker Drill
- Defense Drill – 1,2,3 Progression
- Chair Changes
- Middle Man Passing
- Reaction Rebounding
Advice for Middle School Basketball Coaches
Keep things fun!
great attribute of successful middle school basketball coaches is that they
have the ability to make training sessions fun and enjoyable for their players
while still getting the job done. Young people usually just want to enjoy what
they do and have fun with it, so it is important that you do not pull off all
the pressure to win on them but rather keep things simple.
Plan drills and practice sessions that keeps them on the move, plan quick challenge that makes them want to give their all to the team. This way these young fellas would look forward to practice every day.
Allow your players to be successful!
As a coach it is your duty to motivate these youngsters in your care. Celebrate them when they achieve little things as little has mastering a skill or performing a drill correctly. These things have a huge impact on their morale and confidence. Occasionally give rewards for outstanding players and promise greater reward for anyone who could surpass the feat.
Don’t neglect the inexperienced kids
It is very easy to forget the rest of the team especially the inexperienced ones once you get a handful of them that’s plays quite well. But as a coach you shouldn’t thread that path because you’ll end up destroying the little confidence these young fellas have. Asides from encouraging these ones, you should give them a chance to prove themselves as well, and you’ll be surprised at how much they’ll improve and step up their game. You’d be surprised how good some players can become if they just get a chance.
Make sure your players have a solid foundation!
Your role as a middle school basketball coach is to ensure a solid foundation for your players. Whatever habits they learn here will determine if they would have a great impact on their basketball careers. Be deliberate about giving teaching them professional ethics and conducts of the game. Teach them the basic skills that will be useful to them wherever they find themselves in the future.
Fix shooting form NOW!
Peradventure you have players on your team whose shooting form is bad, then you should take it upon yourself to help them fix it because there is no better time than now to fix that form. It is not exactly an easy task to do but you wouldn’t be proud to have coached a player whose shooting was bad and still remained the same.
Ensure that when fixing these shooting forms, you do not let the player practice with a basket but rather let them practice with marked area of a wall or a floor and then when it looks like he has mastered the new form you can now allow him practice with the basket.
Focus on the fundamentals.
Do not be in haste to take these young players
through too many pro skills and drills, at this level that they are, their
focus should be on mastering the basic and execute them brilliantly.
Work with your high school coach
basketball system used in middle school should complement that of the high
school team, because it makes it easy for these young lads to integrate into
the system when they finally get there. It would a total waste of energy and
resources having to make these young players learn a new system every year just
because you don’t like the high school team coach.
Set up meetings with the high school team coach and also take your team to your high school team matches and let them have a feel of what it feels like playing in the high school team.
Top 10 Offenses & Plays for Middle School Coaches
- 5 Out Motion Offense – Cutters – This drill is efficient to delay offense, primary offense, and can be used at any level. One good thing about this play is that it can be learnt in a day.
- Michigan – Man Offense – This is a continuous offensive play that has very simple motion.
- Yo Yo – Zone Offense – This is a very simple zone offense that can be used at any level. It works best against a 2-3 zone.
- Overload – Zone Play – Although very simple, but it has proven to be very effective against all forms of zone defenses.
- Double – Zone Play – This play is effective against teams playing any form of zone defense but it is most effective against the 2-3 zone.
- Pitt – Zone Play – This play is effective against any team and can be deployed against at any level provided you have a point guard whose decision making skills are top notch.
- Quick Hitter Against 1-3-1 Zone – This play can easily open up layup opportunities for your team against a traditional 1-3-1 zone defense.
- Wide Open Spaces – Inbounds Play – This is an effective inbound play that helps you force the hands of your opposition defense as it allows them react rather than act. This play opens up great shooting opportunities for your team.
- Slice – Sideline Inbounds Play – When you find yourself in dire need of a point, you should employ this play as it is able to get your best shooter into a position where he can take a wide open jump shot.
- Line – Press Breaker – This press breaker is extremely effective against oppositions that pressure the inbounds pass.
I believe strongly that I have been able to do justice to the topic in this post and that you have learnt one or two things that will be valuable to your coaching career and also help improve your team. Go ahead and implement these techniques and play and see your players explode in the coming season while taking basketball play for middle school.