Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Visit with Coach Rod Briggs

Photo Courtesy of
Chris Neal - The Capitol Journal
Coach Rod Briggs (@RodBriggs3) is the head coach at Lansing High School in Kansas where he's had many successful teams including a 24-0 state championship. He's done a great job of developing the Lansing program and also developed a few other programs as his time as a head high school coach. Last week I was lucky enough to be able to spend THREE HOURS with Coach Briggs. I noticed that he was posting pics at the Mall of America on Twitter, so naturally I hit him up for some hoop talk. Below are some highlights of our conversation. 

General Odds and Ends
  • When taking over a job, seek out the basketball junkies in the program and get them into the gym as much as possible. 
  • When taking over a job, start building around your youth. Find the best lower level groups and really support them. 
  • Get the right guys coaching in your travel program - not parents if possible. Find people who will teach skills. 
  • The weight room is very important to a program. 
  • Having a culture of "time investors" and "gym rats" is important. 
  • Being able to understand a parent's point of view will help you with them. 

Small Sided Games
Race Car
Race care is a small sided game Coach Briggs shared that is pretty similar to Ping Pong. It'd be a nice mix up if you've played a lot of ping pong in practice and want to do something a little bit different. I also think that it would be a better way to teach fast breaking because unlike in ping pong the defense is not set. 

The game starts with 4-5 teams and 3-5 players per team depending on your numbers. In the diagram we have four teams - regular, black dot, X, and fractions. One team (regular) starts with the ball and takes it down against the fractions team. They play until a stop or score. 

If the offense gets a score, they take it out and transition the other way immediately. The other team (black dots) must touch inside the half court circle and then get down on defense. Those two teams play. 

If the defense gets a stop, they take the ball and immediately transition to the other end. The next team up must touch center court and then transition down to the opposite end.

You can play to a set number of scores. 

Wide Cone 1 on 1
In this game you put two cones wide, you can put them higher than shown depending on what you want out of the game. There is a line in front of each cone, one offense with the ball and one defense without. The offense and defense must sprint around the cones - the offense then tries to attack the rim.
Xs and Os
Gator is part of the Kansas Secondary Break. It's a great set for a stud point guard, especially a bigger one who can post up some. Also the 3 in this diagram should be your shooter. 

The secondary starts in typical Kansas fashion. The wings are deep, the post is on the block, and the 4 is trailing. The 1 reverses it to the 4, who swings it to the 2 filling up from the deep wing. The 5 sets a back screen for the 1 who cuts to the block and posts up. 

 As the 1 clears to the block, the 4 and 5 set a double screen for the player in the opposite corner. The corner (3) comes off the double and catches a pass from the 2. As 3 catches, 4 and 5 turn and set a double for the point guard (1) who cuts out to the wing.

Stack is a simple zone set that gets your athletic player open for an inside layup. The set starts with your 3 (athlete) and 4 stacked on one side and your 2 (shooter) and 5 stacked on the other. The point dribbles to one side to shift the defense. He then comes back across, as he does the shooter (2) cuts out to the wing in the direction that the point is dribbling. The point must attack the guard on the side you are running the play to so he can't take the wing. As the 2 cuts out, the 4 screens the middle defender in the zone. As 2 catches the ball the 3 shapes to the ball and should be wide open for a score.

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