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Youth Basketball Offense:
Fundamental Offensive Movements to use with the Passing Play

One of the best youth basketball offenses to run is The Passing Game. Why? Because it provides players the opportunity to become better, smarter players by reading the defense and reacting accordingly. And because it focuses on using basic, fundamental offensive movements. And while this is a great way to run an offense with youth, it is a great offense to run with players of all ages. When your players can do this well, they'll be ready to handle even the toughest basketball defense.

This basketball offense is very free flowing, with very few set movements assigned. Because of that, players may have difficulty adjusting to it at first, as they have to figure out what to do on their own - there are no exact set of movements to follow - but once they get it, it will be a very difficult play to defend against since it will be very unpredictable.

Movements to Use with this Youth Basketball Offense

We generally want the play to start with a pass from the point to the wing.

If the wing is guarded, and so the straight pass to the wing is unavailable, here is a couple of options you can use to get things going:

  • The wing fakes a cut to the ball, and then flashes to the hoop

  • At the same time, the post player on the ball side fakes toward the hoop and then flashes to the space vacated by the wing

  • It may be possible to get the backdoor pass to the wing cutting to the basket; otherwise, the post cutting to the wing is likely to be open
Youth Basketball Offense - switch

Hand Off
  • The point guard dribbles to the wing

  • The wing fakes a cut inside and then flashes outside, past the point guard and taking the ball off him as he passes by - to do this, both players must ensure there is no room in between them for a defensive player to get a hand in

  • The point guard immediately cuts to the hoop, looking for a possible give and go
Youth Basketball Offense - hand off

Other Offensive Moves to use with this Youth Basketball Offense

Backdoor Cut

This is a good move to use when the defender is overplaying the wing

  • The wing fakes a cut to the point guard and then flashes to the hoop

  • Point guard looks to pass to the wing as he cuts to the hoop

  • Note that it is good practice for the wing to have some signal - perhaps call a certain word - to indicate to the point guard that he is going to keep cutting hard to the hoop

Youth Basketball Offense - backdoor

Give n Go
  • Point guard passes to the wing

  • Point guard fakes a cut to the opposite wing, then immediately flashes to the hoop - and remind him not to slow down looking for a pass

  • The wing looks to pass the ball to the point guard as he is cutting to the hoop
Offense Basketball Plays - give n go

Flash Cut to High Post
  • This is a straight-forward flash cut by the weak side low post to the strong side high post

  • Note that any flash cut should begin with a fake in another direction to throw the defense off - in this case, the post player can fake to the basket or to the opposite low post before flashing up to the high post

  • With the ball at the high post, the post player can shoot, drive, or look to pass to either the other forward (#4) or the weak side wing (#3), who should have cut hard to the hoop the moment they saw the high post get the ball
Youth Basketball Offense - high post flash

Pick n Roll

A very effective, fundamental offensive move that is part of most youth basketball offenses, and can be utilized from almost any position - for this example, we'll use the wing

  • With the ball on the wing, the post player steps up and sets a strong pick on the wing player's man

  • The wing player drives hard off the pick

One of two shots should open:

  • The wing's man is stopped by the pick and the post's defender stays with the post - the wing has a clear drive to the hoop

  • The post's defender steps up to pick up the wing, and so the post can easily roll out to the hoop, receive the pass from the wing, and the post scores
Youth Basketball Offense - pick n roll

The Dish Off
  • This is similar to the pick n roll, except that there hasn't been a pick - the ball carrier has beaten his man, either by driving by him straight-up, or as a consequence of another move (e.g., screen) outside the key

  • As the ball carrier drives to the hoop, the post's defender comes out to pick him up

  • The ball carrier immediately passes off to the now-open post, who can score
Youth Basketball Offense - dish off

Youth basketball offenses really should be as open-ended as possible - youth players will be relatively inexperienced, and the experience they need to gather will be in using fundamental moves. Once players are able to confidently execute these moves, they will be able to handle any offense thrown at them, at any level - they'll be better players.

For more information and drills to develop the fundamental basketball moves so important to running a solid youth basketball offense, check out the pages on fundamental offensive movements.

View more options for running a Youth Basketball Offense here

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