Saturday, April 23, 2011

Systems vs. Sets for Player Development

I am coaching an 8th grade group this year in AAU and loving it. They are a good group of guys who work hard and are talented enough to play at the next level if they choose to. One thing we are struggling with right now is running a "system" offense. We run a modified read and react/motion offense that stresses pass and cut and back cut against pressure with the rules "fill to the ball on the perimeter" and "fill the open corner when inside the three". We also emphasize driving the ball and relocating after the drive. If our guys progress we will add pass and screen away, dribble over Euro screens, etc. But right now are guys are struggling to get the basic concept.
Our guys are having an issue right now with moving and reacting to what is going on. They are used to continuity and set play offenses that stress go from A to B to C and back to A or reset. It's a totally different idea than a motion/concept based offense. They have to use different parts of their brain to react to what is going on and be able to read the defense.
Using this type of offense in youth basketball is a MUST to me. Players need to learn how to play the game make plays on their own. They need to learn how to read situations in a system and learn how to handle them. When they get to the varsity and college level they are going to have to run a concept based offense or they will run a set play/continuity offense that they must make a play after the offense breaks down. If we don't foster those skills at an early age, when are they going to learn them? Playing a concept/motion based offense also comes with another skill: learning how to score/create in the flow of the offense. This is a critical skill for every player and something they need to learn.
I've seen progress in our group already, and I expect to see more as we go. It's fun to watch them improve and grow.

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