Learn the basic coaching points to teach your younger players a change of direction, so they can start to lose their opponent more effectively.
– Firstly, it’s important for you and your players to be able to differentiate between a change of direction and a dodge, so explain both to them. A change of direction is when a player drives in one direction, and then pushes off in another direction. A dodge is completed almost solely on the spot.
– Set out your first cone about 4-5 metres from the starting point, on roughly a 45-degree angle, and the second one a further 4-5 metres ahead, on a 45-degree angle from the first cone.
– It’s important that players practice and improve their basic change of direction to a good level before adding a pass or adding defence.
– Break the skill down into these important components for your players:
1) Drive hard towards the first cone (this can be slowed down while players initially learn the skill).
2) Plant the outside foot hard near the cone.
3) Lift the inside leg and turn the hips and shoulders towards the direction the player wants to drive next.
4) Drive hard away from the first cone towards the second cone.
– Once the players have mastered the basic movements, ask them to focus on keeping their eyes up the court, as once you add a passer they’ll need to always be ready to receive a pass.
– At this early stage, you may wish to add a player with a ball out the front (but not actually pass the ball) to give the workers a focal point to help them keep their eyes up as they complete the change of direction.
– Lastly, ensure they’re driving hard for a good distance on their final drive, and not necessarily stopping once they reach the cone.