Everybody knows turnovers are huge offensive efficiency killers and live turnovers put your defense at a big time disadvantage. Turnovers for lay ups or the pick six can be really tough to overcome and are demoralizing for your team. These issues can be easy to chart and recognize but the key becomes in identifying, diagnosing, and improving the situation.
If turnovers are an issue for your team it can be helpful to have an assistant coach or trusted parent identify and chart the type of turnovers occurring and by whom. Common turnovers include traveling, passing, footwork, post entry, or driving single gap errors. If a trend is found this can then be addressed in your upcoming practice sessions.
As an example, our team’s most common turnovers are: 1. Driving the ball into a single gap and turning the ball over off a deflection or steal by the other team. 2. Being soft with ball against ball pressure and making poor passes versus pressure. To address this we have a 10-15 minute practice segment working on decision making and ball toughness when driving the ball and overloading the passer versus pressure. Sample drills and rules to correct are noted below of which could change pending the specific concerns with your team.
Penetration and decision making drills and rules for correction:
Passing versus pressure decision making drills and rules for correction:
At the youth level playing through mistakes and not looking over your shoulder are very important. The bench can be a great teacher to correct a player who is having significant turnover issues, however, this would be a last resort. It is important to follow your association playing time guidelines. For ages 13 and above it would probably be the time to let the bench teach for certain players.
Lastly, another way to bring value to taking care of the ball is to scrimmage to 3 points but if a team turns the ball over that is instantly a loss for that team. You will hear your players coaching themselves in these situations by saying things like make sure passes, value the ball, and make the simple play. We hope this article has given you one or two things to help your team take care of the ball better this year and be a more efficient team.