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How to improve team communication on court?

i have begun to coach an under 11's team and they don't talk to each other or work as a team and i was wondering if there was any good tips to get them to do so?

its very hard to teach kids this age to not swarm the ball and work as a team.  if you want them to just be calling for the ball you can get them to do this every time you do drills.  if they want the pass they have to call for it.  it doesnt feel natural at first, but after a short time they get use to their own voices and call for it naturally.  true communication on court, like calling for the ball to cross the court, talk between the defence players ect wont come until they have a much deeper understanding of the game.

team work happens when they have learnt to spread out, and realise that you dont need 5 options everytime a ball is coming down the court.  so do a lot of work at having them spread out, dont let the WA go any further on the court than the center line, and the GA on the transverse, so that only the defence players have room to bring the ball down the court, and then they let the attack players get it to the circle.  its a long process, but they will get it.

if the team hasnt bonded (ie all like and respect each other) that also affects team work. so you might want to do some team bonding exercises, that are fun and get them to realise they all have strength and weaknesses, and that each and everyone of them are needed within the team.

hope that helps.

I agree - the bonding at this age is very important. In training, during warm up - ask each girl what their favourite song is. If another girl likes the song this gives them an instant connection. 

Set up drills where players are in pairs. They will automatically choose "their friend" . Then get one from that pair to rotate so they are suddenly with the "girl who can't catch". Continue to rotate until each girl has performed the drill with each team mate.

Give them their "own" space on the court that applies for each position. They are not allowed to interfere with another position (team mate's) space. This forces them to be positionally spaced out. Encourage them to only signal/talk "YES"  to receive the ball... otherwise they are talking about Monster High and how pretty their mum is !!!

thank you i think your comments will help alot

The best way to get kids not to bunch is to lay out cones in the channels of the court and make them play a whole match in their channels, this will some become a habit. Make sure that they know that if they are needed elsewhere they are allowed to go there.
Answered using Sportplan on Mobile

Hi Courtney, the girls I coach, at the start of the year were so quiet and shy when it came to calling for the ball. What worked for me really well and it took about 3 weeks for their calling to start becoming natural in training and then in the game was to play a tag game at the start of training. I would use half a third of a court, i.e make a square. (make the square smaller if needed) All the girls stand in the square. I select two girls who must pass the ball to each other and tag any one of the remaining girls with the ball. When one of the girls is tagged they then help the other two initial girls tag the remaining girls until they are all in. You can jump in and help as well with the tagging to get them started and build their confidence. At "every pass" the players "must call for the ball". If they don't call you initially stop the game and remind them to do so and proceed with the game again. After a while they should get the hang of it and you only need to call out and remind them rather than stop the game to remind them. I found because they were so shy with each other it took a little bit of effort to get the game going but now there is alot of laughter with this game and they really enjoy it, especially when they team up and make a plan to specifically tag someone. Hope it helps.

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