We put together 20 basic plays for youth basketball teams that are simple for coaches to teach and easy for players to execute. Download to your FastDraw library today!
Coaching youth basketball can be extremely enjoyable, and it can be a true test of one’s patience. To all those coaching at the youth level, we see you and we want to help. That’s why we’ve put together this handy article with the best basic plays for youth basketball teams, coaches and players. These sets are both simple for players to learn in practice and easy to execute on game day.
Overall, youth basketball should be all about having fun. Next, the focus should be on teaching players simple concepts and actions rather than full plays.
Ideas for Youth Basketball Offense
Let’s be honest, it’s unlikely that any youth team – from junior high down on to the elementary school level – is going to execute a basketball play perfectly. But if a coach can teach their team basic actions, then players will be set up for success. A few of the most common basic actions are: pick and rolls (top/high or side), down screen, cross screen, hand off, UCLA cut, flare screen and stagger screen. These form the basis of even the most complicated of basketball offfenses.
One or two quick actions – a down screen into a ball screen, for example – is probably going to be more than enough to get a decent shot off at the youth level, not to mention be plenty for players of that age to handle.
Turn Actions Into Plays
Once players handle these concepts, then you can build upon them by adding “plays” that essentially are multiple actions back to back. The key is to keep things simple so players can find a scoring opportunity from three or less actions. After that, shots will be there for the taking.
This list of basic plays for youth basketball teams is organized into categories of transition, half court offense, baseline and sideline out of bounds, plus a bonus jump ball set.
So bottom line, have fun and don’t overcomplicate things. Check out these basic plays for youth basketball teams and begin to implement them with you team this fall. Click on a diagram to view frame descriptions, as well as download it to your FastDraw library.
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Transition Offense for Youth Basketball
Early Push Roles & Concepts
Double Drag Screen
Simple Half Court Plays for Youth Basketball
High Pick & Roll
Side Pick & Roll
Horns to Ball Screen
Horns to Side PNR
1-4 High to Side PNR
1-4 Low Shooter
Great set to give a playmaker the ball to create a shot for themselves or a teammate with several options.
Elevator aka “America’s Play“
Baseline Out of Bounds Sets for Youth Basketball
Box Pin In
Box is a very common baseline out of bounds alignment, simply because there are so many option out of it. It’s also very simple for youth players to understand.
Box Back Screen to Down Screen
Great set to file under “need a 3” from a BLOB situation.
Box Screen the Screener (STS)
Run any variation you want from this alignment. Again, a simple concept and term for younger players to remember.
Sideline Out of Bounds Sets for Youth Basketball
A simple zipper cut to get the ball indounds, then floppy action: a choice for 3 to come off either a single or double down screen for a shot.
Box Post Up
Diamond to PNR
Jump Ball Play
Want more basic youth basketball plays? Visit the Playbank!
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