While the method of teaching basketball through small-sided games has become more and more popular recently, the idea of using a "games approach" is oftentimes misunderstood. The use of small-sided games can be a great way to build the players skills, teach them "how to play" and install your base offensive actions, but they will only be as effective as the practice environment that they are used in. I believe that the use of small-sided games is best put into practice when it is joined with small bursts of coaching and questioning. Below you will see examples of this as we installed part of our offense this past season:
Phase 1: Teaching
In this phase we will quickly go over the basics of what the action is, the reads, and how we will maintain spacing during and after the action takes place. We want to spend as little time here as possible. Once the players grasp a basic understanding of what we are working towards, we will move on.
Phase 2: Learning - Playing In A Small-Sided Game
In this phase we will add live defenders to the mix in order to let the players make the appropriate read/play. While mistakes will occur within this segment, it creates a great context to coach within.
Phase 3: Competing
The final step in all of this is to play 5v5 in the full court. Below you will see in game examples of this action in use.
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