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Youth Basketball Plays: Coaching Strong Possession Of The Ball
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Many youth basketball players, especially under the age of 11, have difficulty maintaining possession of the basketball for their team. They tend to rush their passes and make high, soft passes which are easy for the defense to intercept. They tend to pass into a crowd so that defensive players can easily get their hands on the basketball.This article describes ways to remedy this, so that your team is able to minimize turnovers and maintain possession of the basketball for makeable shots.

It is good to teach our youth players that the basketball is a valuable item, like a piece of gold. Their goal is to protect that item and then pass to the first teammate who is wide open. It is good to remind our youth players that they have five seconds to make the pass so that their is no need to rush, but they do want to be quick when they have sighted an open teammate. The very successful Coach John Wooden used to say, "Be quick but don't hurry." I think that this applies well to all age groups of basketball players.

While looking to make the next pass, it is important that the ball possessor protect the ball from the defender. This is done by quickly moving the ball away from the defender right after catching the ball. Then it is good to be aware of keeping one's body between the ball and the defender. This is done by pivoting away from the defender. It helps to keep one's elbows up and the ball under one's chin. This makes it  much more difficult for the defender to knock the ball out of the ball possessor's hands.

Using pass fakes is a good way to keep the defense guessing as to where the ball is going. When ready to make a pass, an effective way to do it is to throw the ball right past the defender's ear. In this location , it is hard for the defender to get his/her hands in position to deflect the ball.

Teammates of the ball possessor should be aware to keep moving to opens spaces on the basketball court where passes can be completed. If all else fails, a handoff to a teammate and then moving away from that teammate is a good strategy to maintain possession of the ball for another 5-second count.

This article has given you some youth basketball plays which allow your players to gain confidence in possessing the ball. Completing passes consistently is a good team goal because it eventually gives your team more shot opportunities and lessens shot opportunites for your opponent from turnovers. Will you consider incorportating ball possession as a priority in your practice plans this season?


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