Thursday, June 4, 2009

coaching defense philosophy

Developing Your Defensive Philosophy
If your team can’t defend, they can’t win. It’s just that simple. Many basketball coaches mistakenly focus on trying to outscore their opponent. Successfully coaching basketball requires that you develop your defensive philosophy to try to stop your opponent.

The best way to defend an offense is to take the opponent out of the offense they are trying to run. This can be done by:

Forcing the ball toward low-percentage shooters, or scoring areas by fronting or overplaying the opponent's high scorer.
Getting back quickly on defense to limit the fast-break opportunities.
Forcing shooters to alter their position, timing, release, or arc of their shot
From the above, you can see the entire purpose and strategy in regards to coaching basketball on the defensive end. Basically, you need to limit your opponent's opportunity to score by these three things.

The correct defense limits your opponent's offensive attacks. A good defensive philosophy should have the ability to incorporate the strong points of both the zone and man-to-man defenses
The primary focus in a man-to-man defense is the person and the secondary objective is the ball. With that said, you’re obviously not going to tell your kids to be on their defender like glue when the ball is on the opposite side. You still teach good help defense principles.

Conversely, zone defensive players play the ball first and the person second, but must be able to defend against the opponent with the ball on a man-to-man basis.

Back in the day, a zone player covered a specific area. It isn't that way, today. Zones of today, flex with a man-to-man attitude at the ball, attacking the player with the ball and preventing a pass into the pivot.

Whatever Defensive You Choose
Your players should never allow the offensive team to advance the ball to their point of attack without strong defensive pressure.
Have your team prepared to play multiple defenses.
Adapt to whatever defensive style is best suited to counteract the opponent's offensive moves.
Improving your team’s defense is not easy. Here are some key principles that any good defense must have:

Sound, both individually and as a team.
Flexible, adaptable to different offensive attacks
Simple, enough for your players to learn.
Complex, for the opponent's to solve.
As a coach, here are 10 Key factors that you must instill in your players:

Hard work.
Physical and mental coordination.
Defensively, you should try to change the pace of the game to your own advantage. You must surprise and confuse your opponent.

Coaching basketball using a defensive variation in the last few minutes of the first half is a good way to confuse the opposing coach. He will use much of his valuable half-time period discussing methods of attacking a defense that will not be used again in that game.

The winning team in basketball is frequently the team quickest in transition from offense to defense; therefore, it is important that your team maintains defensive balance while attacking offensively. You must always keep at least one player back in a defensive safety position so that he may hinder, or stop, the opponents from scoring an easy unopposed basket. A team should have:

Three offensive rebounders.
One person who is half offensive and half defensive, going to the ball only if certain of possession.
One player at Safety Defensive position.
Failing to Prepare Is Preparing to Fail
Defensive preparation begins from day 1. Team defensive fundamentals are essential and should be reviewed throughout the season.

Emphasize the need for a good defense by doing the following:

· Insist upon attention to detail when implementing the defensive.

· Break the defense into fundamental parts.

· Practice group defensive techniques each session.

· Develop rules for each phase of the defense.

· Spread defensive drills discriminately through daily practice. For example: at the beginning of one practice session, halfway through another, and at the end on the third day.

· Never allow improper defense by any player. Correct poor procedure immediately.

· Reward good defensive play. Give praise both public and private for outstanding defensive accomplishment.

Determining Your Team Defense
So, what’s the best defense to play? The answer to this really depends on your personnel. In general, a team will consist of one of the following groups:

Five taller than average players – With 5 taller than average players, zones really work best. Your player’s length will really help them cover a lot of ground and leave the opposing coach scratching his head.

Four tall players and one small , quick player - With this type of lineup, trapping zones are really effective.

Three tall players and two smaller players - I recommend playing a solid man-to-man aggressive defense.

Two tall players and three small players – Here, playing man-to-man defense is going to be your best option.

One tall player and four small players - I recommend a running full court traps off of made baskets, then dropping back into a man-to-man defense.

Five small players – With 5 small, quick players, I strongly suggest playing very aggressive zone defense, with an emphasis on trapping.

Coaching basketball can really be an over-whelming task. Especially in regards to forming your very own defensive philosophy. Hopefully you’ve found these pointers helpful in your quest for creating a defensive powerhouse.

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