The most important phase of 4th grade basketball is transition. The team that plays the best transition defense and makes the most transition lay-ups will often win.
For transition offense, players need to possess the basic fundamental skills. The following is a teaching progression that hopefully will help players become a more successful team.
Full Court Lay-ups: This is a simple full court lay-up drill. Set up two lines at the the opposite end of the floor. Each line should be directly underneath the basket. There are 3 – 4 balls in the drill. Players will dribble full-court, take a good angle, and shoot a lay-up. The next player in line will get the ball out of the basket and dribble full speed in the other direction. After the players takes a lay-up he will go to the end of the line. Since most transition baskets in the 4th grade involve one player dribbling coast to coast, this is an extremely important drill to master. Record how many baskets can be made in 1:30 seconds.
Heads Up Lay-ups: This drill adds a second player to the transition. The drill is a two line drill with lines at each baseline. Each player has a ball and dribbles in line with WEAK hand until it is his turn. When the player reaches the front of the line, he will dribble the ball down court. When he reaches half court the player will pass the ball to one of the coaches standing at Free Throw Line extended. The player will continue to the basket. The coach will give a bounce pass to the player who will take a lay-up.
- Dribble with the head up.
- Safe short passes: DO NOT PASS THE BALL in the backcourt, dribble to half court. (We want to eliminate Free throw line to free throw line turnovers.)
- Receiving a pass on the run.