Sunday, September 20, 2009
Condensing Your System
It's my personal belief that players win games, schemes do not. As a coach I want to introduce some concepts and ideas on offense and defense to help my players be successful, but at the end of the day I'm more interested in developing players than developing offenses and defenses. My philosophy is run a few things and run them well instead of running 7000 things.
As a high schooler I went to two high schools and played for two different varsity football coaches. The first man I played for ran 3 formations, and we probably only had 15 or so plays, but boy we ran them well. The second coach I played for had 120 plays and 16 formations in our playbook, we were constantly confused about what was going on.
The first coach I mentioned has made many, many trips to the state football tournament, is in the Minnesota Football Coaches Hall of Fame I believe, and everyone regards as a living legend. The second coach was out of football after two years as a head coach and has not coached again. Both coaches had roughly the same amount of talent, but the first spent more time developing it than the first.
This is why I'm a firm believer in running a few things and running them well, having offenses and defenses that are multidimensional instead of having a different offense or defense for every situation. A coach and I on a message board had this philosophical disagreement, I am not saying my way is right, but it's probably my firmest belief as a coach. He liked the idea of running a different defense and offense for every situation, I personally would rather run a few things with wrinkles to address different situations.
Instead of needing a different offense for half court man, half court zone, half court man pressure, half court zone traps, etc, I like to think I've built a half court offense that can simply/easily adapt to what the defense throws at us (I can see having two half court offenses for man vs zone, but anymore than that is unneeded in my opinion). Instead of having 3-4 BLOB sets, have 1 with a bunch of counters to take advantage of what the defense does. Same thing with defenses, instead of teaching 2-3 different kinds of full court presses, teach one full court press with options and then get good at that one press. Make that one press able to counter a few different pressbreaks. Same goes for half court defense, I believe in a staple defense and a simple backup you add later in the year. The more things you can combined and have multiple looks from the better. For instance, this year I've taken my break and added a simple wrinkle that turns it into a 3 across pressbreak in case we can't get the ball in and run. So that cuts down teaching time for a pressbreak and a fastbreak.
Anyway, as a coach, look at your system and figure out if there are anyways you can condense them down to cut down on teaching. Any way you can take your man to man offense and streamline it to be able to be used against zones - some can, some can't. I just think the more efficient you become the better you can teach what you do, if your pressbreak come from your fastbreak the players will have a better context on which to learn the pressbreak and it will flow much better. Anyway, it's just my opinion.