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Infront for a pass instead of dropping back.

Whats a good drill to help with coming infront of their partners instead of the immediate thought of dropping back for a pass?

I have been working on this with my 12 yr olds for the last week or so. They were being quite lazy and relying on the overhead pass which was being intercepted too often. I started with reinforcing a couple of getting free techniques such as the dodge, front cut and change of pace. I then had about 5 players space out down the court passing the ball from one to the other encouraging them to run forward onto the pass or running out to the side to receive pass. I then added a defender to each player and they had to do the same thing but had a defender to get around and in front of. I made it into a game so if the ball was intercepted or they passed overhead the defenders got a point, and if they made it to the end of court following the rules they got a point. I finished off with a half court game with normal rules but added the overhead pass as a penalty as well. They did alot better at the game this week, I could see them all working really hard to find space, get around their player and come forward. Hope this helps. :)

A routine you could practice is setting up 5 players spaced evenly down the length of the court with end players at the goal post who also lead/cut. Ball to be passed down the line with an angled short forward dummy lead out to the side and then cut to the middle to receive a quick pass. This practices the "front cut to the ball" and adding in defenders can increase the competition and add more relevance to a game situation - as the defender follows the side dummy lead, attacker changes direction pushing off outside foot and executes a fast cut towards ball leaving defender behind (hopefully). End to end passing routines down the middle & each side of the court with cuts, rolls, clears, splits(pairs) and quick passing improves timing, footwork, prelim moves, energy and demonstrates how to move the ball down the court. 

The "Running the Gauntlet" routine is also good for practising getting free under pressure in a small space and can improve footwork and creativity while having fun.  Simple version is setting up pairs of cones about 2m apart in a third - 4 to 6 pairs randomly spaced. Place a defender between each cone pair, each worker has to move through each pair to receive/return a pass from thrower(s) on side of third using quick short footwork, defenders have to strongly block movement between the cones. Encourages getting up close and personal and being on their toes to execute the footwork. Worker should be focused on getting to the ball on the other side(eyes up) and on creating an opening to slide through the body block rather than reacting to the defender or trying to push through. 

While frustratingly watching my 17yo daughter's team recently (top division with reasonable individual skills) I observed how much running away from the opposition and the ball poorly impacted on their game and contributed to their big loss. Discussed with coach about introducing some strategies which were used against them in the game e.g. lead away/cut towards, defending the defender, dictating/setting up the play rather than reacting to opposition, strict positional play, breaking down zone defence, clearing for space. Hope her coach gets some help &  these things work their way into next season's training programme. 

One reason I find that girls want the over headpass is that when the ball is elsewhere on the court they arent thinking about getting into their position up court in order to have the space to make a forward movement for the ball. 9 out of 10 times they are standing and watching the game infront of them, rather than moving up court to get ready. 

personall i think that they do it because they have a weak shoulder pass and think that the over head 2 handed pass is stronger and more reliable.  its not at these younger ages.  i have 2 players i am trying to stop from using them and it has been a battle.  in a game they just get into their game head space and forget about what we have been working on in training.

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