Youth Basketball: Teaching Offense to 9/10 Year-olds

I am often asked about how to teach offense to 9 and 10 year-olds. Those asking usually fall into two categories: 1) Those in rec programs and 2) Those in competitive programs.

While the former would like to win, it isn’t their overriding motivation. They really want to know how to teach offensive skills and what kind of an offense would be appropriate for that age group.

The latter group cares more about having a winning offense and less about teaching the whole group offensive skills. They will usually verbalize something about preparing the kids to be successful high school players, but inside they really want a group of the best 9-10 year old studs/studettes they can muster. After all, winning is their real motivation for asking my ideas about what kind of an offense to run.

I have consistently stated that I think 9 and 10 year-olds don’t need offensive systems. They need to be taught fundamentals–how to move without the basketball.

When one player has the ball, the other four teammates should be moving with a purpose without the ball. This means cutting to the basket for a pass, screening away for another player or moving to balance the floor. This is continuous motion, and when the player with the ball passes, that player also joins the purposeful movement. The player with the ball is looking to pass, shoot or attack the basket. On offense, it’s an unending cycle of cuts, screens and floor balance movement. If you teach these things to a 9 or 10 year-old, with everyone moving purposefully, in unison, you have offense. Some coaches either don’t understand this or still want to have a set offense.

So, quickly, here’s my idea about how to win at 9-10 y.o. basketball—and it doesn’t require much teaching of offense. Teach aggressive zone defense, trapping the dribbler at every opportunity (because they usually don’t dribble all that well). Force the other 4 offensive players to move well, pass well and shoot well from long distance—all of which they don’t usually do well at this age. Defense trumps offense here at this level. Teach aggressive team rebounding, especially from the zone defense. Teach fast break from every opportunity, utilizing the rewards of tough zone “D” and rebounding. The fast break will become your offense, resulting in layups and saving all that practice time trying to teach more sophisticated offensive sets.

The above scenario would work better for a competitive situation where they have more practices and more games to hone their skills. It works well for coaches who just want to win and aren’t too big on teaching skills. Competition leagues usually allow for more practices, an expanded game schedule where they gain playing experience, and have no rules about substitution (so the STUDS can stay on the floor together), pressing defenses or running up the score on opponents.

The biggest drawbacks for rec programs are lack of practice time and rules of play within the program. YMCA programs …

"Youth Basketball: Teaching Offense to 9/10 Year-olds"

The Sports and Hobbies of Mozambique

Mozambicans are quite passionate about their sports; with a firm focus on soccer and to a lesser extent other sports. There are lots of opportunities for hobbies and recreational activities, but as these can be quite costly at times you will find most Mozambican's are not able to partake. As with most other facets of this beautiful country, the lack infrastructure combined with the poverty levels have had a profound effect on the development of sports and hobbies through the entire land.

As a result of this, many of the most popular sports are those that do not require much money to play.

Soccer

Soccer, sometimes known as football due to the Portuguese influence, is hugely popular in Mozambique as in other African nations. You will often come across both children and adults having an informal game whenever possible, especially on weekends. The structure for proper club soccer is not as good as in other countries due to infrastructure challenges, but there are still some professional clubs about. There is a lot of exchange between Portugal and Mozambique in soccer terms, with players and teams from each country regularly playing with and against each other.

Athletics

Athletics is a sport that is not a widely practiced as it should be, given the relative ease of getting involved. Mozambican does at times punch above its weight in this field of sport, having won a gold medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics proving that they can compete at the highest level.

Basketball

Unlike most other southern African nations, Basketball is a very popular sport in Mozambique. While being internationally recognized since 1978, the Mozambican national team has yet to win any notable championships. This of course has not dampened the enthusiasm for the sport and it is still quite widespread.

Capoeira

The martial art sport of Capoeira is starting to take off in Mozambique, with the popularity growing at a rapid pace.

Stadiums

Stadiums and sporting facilities in Mozambique are in short supply, with some world class facilities recently being constructed with foreign investment. The outlying areas tend to have little to no facilities, while the soccer clubs seem to attract all the investment. The newest and best stadium is the Estadio do Zimpeto which was opened in 2011 and is able to seat up to 42,000 people. While being touted as a multi-use stadium, it is almost exclusively used for soccer matches.

Hobbies

The types of hobbies available in Mozambique are generally all of the physical, outdoor variety. The more popular hobbies include:

  • Fishing: With a substantial coast line, Mozambique is well known for fishing. This takes the form of both subsistence and recreational fishing. The country is well known for game fishing and is largely unspoiled, making it a firm favorite with both local and international visitors.
  • Watersports: Any sort of sport involving the water, whether it is sailing, diving or even just swimming, is quite popular due to the warm weather and water.
  • Sand boarding: Being quite an easy
"The Sports and Hobbies of Mozambique"

Nebraska Football Helmet – A History

Since the 1960's, Nebraska has kept a very consistent football helmet design. They have always had a very conservative design; they have never had a flashy or unusual design, even for a special occasion like a Bowl Game. In 1960, Nebraska had a red helmet with a white stripe and the player's number on the side (eg 22). In 1961, apparently the powers that be felt that even that design was too colorful and action-packed and instead opted for a white helmet with black numbers on the side. This Nebraska football helmet design is about as plain as you can get for a football helmet. In 1966, the numbers changed to red and a red vertical stripe appeared on the helmet for the first time. The white background and red stripe have never left the helmet since then.

The red numbers lasted just one regular season before they were dropped altogether. Rather than have the player's number on the side of the helmet, the letters "NU", made their way to the helmet for the Sugar Bowl game in 1967 and remained for 2 full seasons. During the third season with this helmet design (1969), a "100" decal appeared on the front of the football helmet. It was football-shaped in blue with white numbers outlined in red. The "100" marked the 100 year anniversary of the chartering of University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

From 1970 to 1981, the Cornhuskers kept the exact same design. The helmet had a white background, a red vertical stripe, and the letter "N" replaced "NU". This football helmet looks very much like today's design with one exception. In 1982, the team switched from the basic gray facemask to the red facemask. For almost 30 years, that same exact design has remained. The "N" is about as plain as you can get. It has no serifs and looks like your basic Arial font uppercase "N" that you could type on any word processing program. It probably fits well into the image of the program as a hard-working, Midwestern school, where they like to run the ball up the middle. In many ways it is the antithesis of some of the flashier designs out there at schools like Oregon, Maryland, and Boise State. There is not even a catchy logo like the Texas Longhorn or the Florida State spear. Looking at this football helmet, you can start to see why the cold weather, Rust Belt schools of the Big Ten were quick to admit the Cornhuskers for full conference membership in 2010. …

"Nebraska Football Helmet – A History"

MMA Training For Those With Hiatus Hernia Symptoms

For those suffering hiatus hernia symptoms Mixed Martial Arts training can assist as part of a plan for natural treatment. However martial arts and MMA fans who have found themselves with a hiatal hernia need to be careful when and how they train to avoid triggering symptoms.

Those with acid reflux problems like GERD, acid reflux disease and hiatus hernias MMA training and diet can sometimes be a challenge. Though at the same time sufferers from these conditions can greatly benefit from martial arts training even if they never plan on jumping into the UFC octagon. Obviously the training, exercise and a healthy diet can even help prevent many other health problems from developing.

Hiatal hernia symptoms just like GERD and acid reflux include regurgitation of stomach acid and stomach contents (food and liquid), heartburn and chest pain. A large part of the battle with hiatus hernia symptoms involves diet and exercise which are also two of the biggest factors in Mixed Martial Arts training.

If you have been training heavily or have been taking part in MMA competitions and have been experiencing symptoms, you may have a hiatal hernia and not know it. Diagnosis can be performed by a doctor using an s-ay. A hiatus hernia occurs when part of the stomach and the lower esophagus slides up through the hiatus (hole) in the diaphragm. Or when part of the stomach squeezes up through the hiatus next to the oesophagus. Those with a hiatal hernia need to be careful not to do themselves further injury. But building strength in core muscle can help prevent getting a hernia and help with symptoms. The potential link between GERD and hiatus hernias means those with a hiatal hernia should spend extra time focusing on the center body and abdominal.

Part of the root cause of hiatus hernia symptoms is digestion. Exercise and training promote better digestion and a good metabolism. This will prevent food from sitting in the stomach too long and creating the potential for heartburn. This does not have to mean grueling training for hours on end, but hitting a martial arts other workout class or the gym for 30-60 minutes 3-5 times a week can go a long way towards helping hiatus hernia symptoms as well as regular walks. If you suffer from gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux or other hiatus hernia symptoms you need to be careful when you work out. Avoid working out after meals as bending over or laying down can trigger hiatus hernia symptoms.

Diet can often appear like an issue for those who are serious about their MMA training and that have hiatus hernia symptoms. It may seem like the goals you want to achieve and what it takes to avoid irritating symptoms requires two opposite diets. Because it is highly acid foods like eggs and meat that are the worst culprits for causing high production of stomach acid, but are the same foods that are favoured by those desiring to pack on …

"MMA Training For Those With Hiatus Hernia Symptoms"

5 Ways Commissioners Can Increase Fun and Focus in Fantasy Football Leagues

As the Commissioner of your fantasy football league, its your job to make sure people are playing the game fair and competitively, while having fun doing so. There are a couple scenarios that really get to me when doing fantasy and can leave me feeling sour at the end of the season. Firstly, I can not stand when people forget, or just flat out refuse, to login each week and set their starters. Easy wins are easy and to me there is no gratification in that. Another thing that bothers me as a commissioner, mostly because of heart, is seeing people who really focus, do their research, make excellent moves on the waiver wire and just come up short at the end-of-season payout.

Over the years, I've tried to make my leagues as fun as possible for a couple reasons; to attract new and interest players, and to sustain the focus from week to week. I've compiled a small list of things that I do to help keep people interested, which ultimately will keep them logging in from week to week.

1. King of The Hill (KoTH) – Side games are a great way to keep focus for your league players. KoTH is a fun game where league players choose a single game and then predict the winner of that game. So long as the player has chosen correctly, they will move on. The catch is that each player can only pick a team to win one game throughout the season. If the Patriots are playing the Broncos, and I choose the Patriots to win that game, I can not pick the Patriots again all season.

2. Weekly Challenge – This can be a wide range of topics or scenarios, its really up to your creativity as a commissioner. I like to setup challenges that are simple, but have payouts each week. A challenge idea can be as basic as "Which Kicker will score the highest fantasy points this week?" or narrow it down a tad bit and have it be "Which Kicker will kick the most field goals?".

3. Pick 'Em – Another idea for a side game is a Pick' em forum, where players submit their prediction for each games result throughout the season. Each win can be worth 1 point, and have a running total go until the end of the season. You could even choose to do a separate for play-offs as well.

4. Bounties – A great way to keep people focused and having fun is to encourage people to track bounties. A bounty is a select set of instances that can payout money or be just for fun. A bounty can be "QB with the longest touchdown pass" or "TE with the most touchdown's scored". This is different from Weekly Challenges because they are running throughout the season, not just for one week.

5. Credits / Debits – This is for the more aggressive fantasy leagues. It's a method that I like to use …

"5 Ways Commissioners Can Increase Fun and Focus in Fantasy Football Leagues"

Boxing – Much More Than Physical Exercise

If you want to improve your health and physical fitness a boxing training program may be what you are looking for. As well as building body strength and fitness it can also go a long way to improve your personal confidence. Of course, by taking part in boxing workouts you will also improve your fighting form.

People who have tried boxing as a form of exercise find it to have very positive results, arms and legs usually gain a lot of strength and become more defined in shape. However, the benefits are not all physical. People also find that they gain a greater sense of inner strength and feel more emotionally balanced.

Boxing as a form of training and exercise became part of the large fitness training arena a few years ago. Great benefits can be found from boxing workouts on muscle toning and the cardiovascular system. It was the release of many videos featuring Tae bo and kick boxing workouts that made boxing rise in popularity.

The many innovative variations on boxing such as power punches, defence and punch and kick exercises have all the components of aerobic exercise. As you progress you will find your strength will build along with your confidence as you are taught how to execute punch and kick moves more effectively for a far more intense workout.

Kicks and punches which are performed in various combinations on blocks are done with an imaginary opponent, you have no doubt seen this many times on television etc. where the participant through punches and kicks into the air. There are also training facilities where there is the necessary equipment such as punch bags and so on. In some cases there may even be a real opponent to hit, they have very good padding on their hands of course!

Cardin kick boxing gives many more benefits other than the physical factors, it is an excellent way to burn off excess calories. In just one hour of kick boxing you can expect to use in the region of between 350 and 500 calories. It is also very good for maintaining a good heart rate of somewhere between 75{64aad3a316df32ff60dab9c8534014c5cfdef308ef860a6ce60ff66eaa8cfaf6} and 85{64aad3a316df32ff60dab9c8534014c5cfdef308ef860a6ce60ff66eaa8cfaf6}. This has been proven to be the ideal rate for anyone in training or exercising.

Boxing as exercise is beneficial for the whole body. As well as increasing arm and leg strength through the repeated sparring and jogging whilst punching at the same time,it also helps increase resistance and strength whilst greatly enhancing the reflexes and flexibility of all your muscles.

The workouts involved help to greatly enhance balance and co-ordination which in turn gives you body great form and increased stability and also allows joint movements to be more flexible giving fantastic results in physical fitness.

There are many benefits to be gained from all types of boxing training, that is on top of the physical benefits. In the training process you will learn a great deal about defence skills which, in today’s world could prove to be …

"Boxing – Much More Than Physical Exercise"

Boxing Vs MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)

For the last few years, you might have thought that the sport of boxing had gone into hiding, or simply retired altogether to be replaced by MMA De La Hoya and Merryweather came along to try to breathe new life into their sport; while I can not yet say what this will mean for the future of boxing, I do know that my generation and the generations which will follow will certainly prefer MMA over boxing.

The question of the popularity of the two sports as compared to each other is largely generational. Younger generations prefer MMA, while the older set is in favor of boxing. The following generations are also going to prefer MMA – because to put it simply, it is a better sport and has more to offer the fans.

So why is MMA better than boxing? I'll explain by starting with the negatives of both sports – the negatives are actually the same for each, so it's simple.

Those who prefer boxing to MMA call MMA barbaric. This perception comes largely from not knowing about the sport and being unaware of the rules of MMA. Just like boxing, low blows, gouges, pokes and other dirty moves are disallowed. I ask you is MMA really so barbaric? Boxers punch each other in the face too – the difference is that MMA adds wrestling moves to the equation; is that really what pushes it over the edge, or is it just a matter of taste? This is specious reasoning for sure. If MMA is barbaric, then so is boxing.

Another argument made is that the promotional tactics used by MMA are ludicrous. True, there is plenty of pre-game trash talk between the fighters. Many compare these promos to those used for professional wrestling matches. However, exactly this kind of promotion is done for boxing as well. Remember Muhammad Ali? He had a trash talking game which would put any pro wrestler to shame. It's hard to make the claim that MMA is silly when boxers do just the same as MMA fighters.

Some boxing fans will also tell you that like professional wrestling, MMA matches are staged. I answer this claim with these two questions – Do you have proof that MMA matches are staged? Do you have any proof that boxing matches are not staged? These people have exactly as much proof as I do that the sport in question is a sham (none!). This argument gets no one anywhere.

Having gone over the downsides, let's move on to the positives. The positives are also easy enough to explain. As a way to illustrate the question of boxing versus MMA, consider the analogy of pizza. Someone decided to do something very smart by adding tomato sauce and cheese to bread. However, there is always someone smart enough to improve on your idea, no matter how good it may be. So someone came along later and added onions and olives to this pizza, making a good thing even …

"Boxing Vs MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)"

Building and Managing a High School Soccer Program

The following interview is with Coach Bill Bratton, who was my Soccer Coach at Cross Keys High School in Atlanta, Georgia for the school year 1989-1990. I asked him for an interview to share his thoughts on Soccer. He has been involved with Soccer for over 25 years so I wanted to pick his brain on the subject.

Stafford:

Hello Coach, you have been coaching high school soccer for over 25 years. How did you first get involved in the sport?

Coach Bill Bratton:

Hi Stafford and thank you. Well I started coaching soccer in 1982 in DeKalb County in my first year teaching at Sequoyah High. The previous coach had left and the school needed someone to coach. The principal offered me the opportunity to take over the program.

Stafford:

How was that experience for you and how did you prepare for this new role as a High School Soccer Coach?

Coach Bill Bratton:

I will admit I had never played or coached soccer before. In the off season I spent time preparing and learning by reading books and going to clinics. I will also admit that the players knew more about the skills, the formations and what it took to play the game than I did but it was the coaching organization of putting a team together to play as a team that was my strength. I really enjoyed coaching soccer once I mastered the knowledge I needed.

Stafford:

How long did you coach at Sequoyah and how did you end up at Cross Keys?

Coach Bill Bratton:

I coached Sequoyah for 4 years before DeKalb began a consolidation program and I transferred to Cross Keys in 1986. I had the privilege of coaching the Keys program for the next 20 years. I earned my Georgia class D coaching license as well as a Class C level National Coaching license from the USSF. The situation at Cross Keys was much like Sequoyah, they needed a new soccer coach and the AP who would become the principal offered me the position.

Stafford:

How was the situation at Cross Keys, and what did it take to build the program?

Coach Bill Bratton:

It took hard work and discipline to build the program. My job involved rebuilding a program. It had lost its organization, discipline was amuck, and the program wasn’t winning, just 2 years from finishing 3rd in the state. I had to incorporate discipline into the program and to teach players what playing on a school competitive team meant and was needed to win. This progress was going to take many years to complete.

Players would tell me “Coach we just want to play”. Cross Keys was a highly transient school. It was a constant rebuilding progress every year. They had no understanding of playing as a team, that they had to come to practice, to commit, and to be successful they had to play as a team. As I look back that took 2-3 years to get across. …

"Building and Managing a High School Soccer Program"

How To Pick the Best Figure Skates for Your Foot

Trying to purchase a pair of figure skates for the first time can be a daunting task. The usual question is: What brand do you choose? However, choosing the figure skate that's best for you depends on several factors and each of those factors are important.

The first thing to consider when choosing figure skates is your skate size. The best way to determine the skate size is to measure the length and width of your foot. There are several pro-shops that will measure your foot for you. However, if your rink does not have a pro-shop, there are several good websites out there that have specific instructions for how to measure your foot to determine what size skate you need.

Once your size has been determined then it is important to consider which brand of skate to purchase. Each brand of fits differently and the most popular brand of figure skate may not be the one that best fits your foot. Some brands fit more narrow like a ladies dress shoe and some brands have a wider fit like a tennis shoe. Some of the most common brands for beginner figure skaters are Risport, Riedell and Jackson. If you have a foot that is very narrow, you may want to consider a Risport. This brand has a very narrow fit. If you have a medium to wide foot then you may want to consider a Jackson as they have a wider fit.

Each brand of ice skates has several models to choose from and they can range in price from $ 80 – $ 600 USD or more. When you have selected the brand that fits your foot, it is time to find out which model of figure skates would be best for you. The first question to ask would be: Are you going to only skate a few times a year or are you going to skate several times a week? If you are only skating a few times a year, then a recreational skate would be a good choice. The if you are On skating Several times a week, take classes, or skate Competitively, then the best model would be Discerned by vBulletin® your skate level. Tripadvisor Tripadvisor your skate level to the different brands of figure skates with the help of your figure skating coach color : as your weight and size may influence whether a lightweight boot or an extremely stiff boot should be purchased.

Ice skating can be a very enjoyable sport, but if you do not have the right type of skates for your feet it can be very painful. Do some research and weigh your options before making your final decision. More importantly ask questions! It is difficult to make a wise choice if you do not have all the information available to you. …

"How To Pick the Best Figure Skates for Your Foot"

Sports in the 1960s – Mirroring American History

Sports have touched and have reached out to every facet of American life. We have seen dramatic wins, losses, championships, great plays, and not so great plays. Americans love sports and the athletics that play them and love to share and talk about these great moments.

The 1960s was a period of evolution and change in the sporting world. American sports certainly mirrored what was going on in American history. The 1960s was a decade full of emotional rebellion among the younger generation. The labor struggles, race relations, social innovations and commercialism that were evident daily in American society can be traced back to events that occurred in the sporting world.

Athletics began wanting to get highly paid for their sporting talent and get rich by playing their specific sport. This was similar to the attitude of the younger generation reflected in the lifestyles in the 1960s. Athletes began invading the world of commercialism by selling their products through their sponsors and making even more money. This made amateur athletics want to turn professional even earlier. And for the first time in the 1968 Olympics, amateur and professional athletes competed together.

Union labor struggles were evident in the sporting world with athletes hiring union leaders to represent them in their team dealings. Also, racial issues were evident where black athletes would use their fame to express their views against racism. We also saw the hiring of Bill Russell as the first black head basketball coach of the Boston Celtics as they won their 8th consecutive championship.

However, despite all the struggles and commercialism evident in the sporting world as well as in American History, the 1960s saw some great sports performances and created some great memories. Athletes like Wilma Rudolph, Jack Nicklaus, and Wilt Chamberlain – amongst others – were at the top of their respective sport. We also saw great teams such as the Boston Celtics and Green Bay Packers. Sports – bringing all of this together.…

"Sports in the 1960s – Mirroring American History"