In youth basketball, the use of a zone defense has become more popular in recreational youth basketball leagues.  Coaches like to teach the zone because it is easier to defend a good offense, and to stop a good point guard.  We don't agree with running a zone defense in youth basketball because it takes away from teaching the fundamentals.  We think man to man is the best way to teach kids basketball, but do understand the need to compete as well.

So, if you are competing against a zone defense, what offense should you run?   We recommend using a spread offense with your two post players down on the block. Your 3 guards will play the perimeter and move the ball around.   There are three simple things to understand - attack, pass or shoot.  Basically as your players move the ball around we want to limit the dribbling they do.  The players should look to drive(attack) first, if lane is open. If not, then pass to another player. Once he/she gets the ball they should look to drive (attack), if not pass.   We want them to attack the basketball when they can, this causes two players to defend you which should provide for a man to be open.  If during the attack the defense does not defend, then drive in and shoot.  if they do defend, then drive in and pass.  The open man should then do the same. Usually after receiving the ball after the attack, the player should look to shoot first. 

So what do the post players do?  Well when the ball is on their side, they should move out toward the 3 point line and be ready to take a pass.   When the ball is on the other side, they should move to the top of the key and look to get a pass.  A good play on either side it pass it the post player and then go down and provide a screen on the defender.  The post player will then dribble around screen and look to drive if unguarded or pass back to guard if defender moves with post player.