I received this suggestion on basketball plays for kids from David, one of my readers. It’s a basketball coaching tip that will pay huge dividends with your team.
This year, I coached a team of 5th graders in a 5th and 6th grade basketball league. The league allowed a full time full court press which was giving our team a lot of trouble. Our lack of athleticism and team speed prevented us from returning the favor. We worked and worked but every time we tried a full court press we ended up giving up too many easy lay-ups.
What did work for us was a 3/2 half court trap. I had one kid who was fast enough to cover sideline to sideline, so as soon as the other team crossed mid court we would force them to one of the half court corners and trap. We kept one kid under to protect the basket and used the two who were not trapping to fill the most likely passing lanes. If they beat the trap we immediately fell back into our 2/3 zone.
My kids were not as spread out, so we did not give up the easy lay-ups. This was a new look to the other teams we played (everyone else in our league used a full court press) so it was confusing. Best of all, we tripled our fast breaks and points off turnovers.
We lost our first 4 games by large margins, but when we went to the half court trap we won 4 of our last 6 and our other two losses were by very slim margins.