Sunday, August 31, 2008

Thoughts on the Dribble Drive Motion

The more I study and look at the dribble drive motion, the more I like the IDEA itself. I do not think, however, as a high school coach that you can run it as your system. I just don't think you are going to have the athletes every year to make it your only offense - unless you have phenominal talent every year like Oak Hill Acad. (MD) has from year to year. I also feel it's easier to run in college because you can recruit players to fit the system - as you can with most college offenses. You will get beat by quicker, faster, more athletic teams. I also think it gets easier to defend if you have a player on your team that can not shoot the three.

I do like the idea of incorporating the drive and kick as PART of your overall system and emphasizing the drive and kick more when you have the talent and less when you don't. I've ALWAYS encouraged players I have coached to look to attack the rim every time they catch the ball. Last year I coached a frosh squad and in order to spend practice time on fundamentals I just ran a 4 out look where we passed, cut, and spaced out as well as looked to drive to the rim when we had the chance. Wasn't trying to run a DDM, but it sort of turned out that way.

As many of you know, I LOVE the 4 Out 1 In Motion Offense. As I read more about and watch videos on the dribble drive motion, I've started to figure out ways to incorporate the drive and kick into the 4 out sceme. I think you can definitely do it. It does take some coaching to define roles however, but you have to do that in a big way with motion offense in general anyway.

I also differ with some of the principles of "true" dribble drive offense. First of all, I don't think you have to ALWAYS drive middle. I think you should drive middle if you have the chance, and should be your first look, but if they take away the middle you should drive to the block. I don't like driving BASELINE, but if the player can drive and get to the block he should. If he gets pushed baseline however he should stop and look for the kick out. I also think that players can change direction when attacking the rim if overplayed. If the defender cuts you off on a drive and you can easily beat him with a direction change, why not? Lastly, I don't mind the pull up jumper from time to time on the drive, as long as the player is a good shooter.

Anyway, those are some of my random thoughts on the dribble drive motion.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Recycling of Ideas

I find it amusing how so many "new" things in basketball are actually recycled ideas from years gone by. I was recently watching "Running to Extemes" by David Arseneault. In that DvD he talks about their drive and kick action. I thought it was interesting because Coach Arseneault's tape came out in the 1990s. It isn't like this new wave of "dribble drive motion" has never been seen before. I believe the DDM is also similar to the dribble weave ran by the Boston Celtics in the 1960s. So when someone claims something is "revolutionary" I usually take it with a grain of salt. So while this Dribble Drive Motion seems to be all the rage right now, it really is just a new take on an old idea.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Taking Notes

I feel I've done very well taking notes on basketball in the past. I took notes on absolutely EVERYTHING: my practices, games I was watching in person and on TV, basketball videos, and any random thoughts I was having. But today I realized that I'd gotten away from taking good notes as of late. When I talk with a coach about basketball I still take notes, but I don't do it nearly as much as I should otherwise. Note taking is something I am going to make the commitment to again. I'm returning to keeping a little pocket notebook with me at all times so anything I see, hear, or think of can be written down.

I would encourage all coaches to take as many notes as they possibly can, whenever they can. I think it's a great way to remember little tidbits that can be very important to your success down the road. What do you take notes on?? Anything and everything. From something as big as an offense you see on TV that you like from something as small as a different way to teach screening that you thought of. You can record notes on your team as well.

I find that it's very beneficial to have my notes organized. Then when I need to look something up I can find it! I have a small notebook that I write all of my personal thoughts in. I have a mini library of those notebooks - each notebook is dated from when the first note was taken to the last day I wrote in it. I also have a big notebook that I write all of my conversations with coaches in as well as notes on videos and games that I watch. When I write something in the big notebook, I take out the notes and organize them by coach. Each coach I talk to or watch has their own folder where all the notes from them go. I used to organize all my notes by category (offense, defense, drills, etc), but I found that most times when I talk with other coaches I get notes on a wide variety of topics and that made it hard to group them by topic. I also watched a tape by Northern State's coach Don Meyer where he says to keep notes by coach so that you have the coaches PHILSOPHY. I think that's a great point and now I organize my notes as such.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Coaching Materials

For the basketball coaches that visit this site....I have created a few basketball handouts on various offensive and defensive stuff. It's something I really enjoy doing and like to share the little knowledge I have with others. There is a link on this blog to my Media Fire site that contains all the handouts. Please feel free to look through it and steal whatever you want. Nothing in there is new or earthshattering, I'm not going to claim it is. But I hope some of it can be of use to you!

About Me...

So I suppose I should start this thing by giving a little background on myself. As I've said in my introduction and "about me", I'm 23 years old and I LOVE basketball and coaching. It's what I've wanted to do my entire life and feel blessed to be able to do it! I'm a "super senior" at Bemidji State University and will graduate this fall. I am getting a degree in Science Education with a Lifescience Emphasis. I'll be student teaching in Bagley this fall and then moving to the Twin Cities area to coach, teach, and live. Ever since grade school I have wanted to coach at a St. Paul or Minneapolis public school, and will finially get my chance to pursue that dream this season.

I was born and raised on Minnesota's Iron Range. I played basketball, fished, and hunted during those years and had a blast doing it. Some of my earliest memories however, were going to my father's high school practices and going to basketball games with him. My favorite times were when sub-section play rolled around and I got to go to games at the Miner's Memorial building - talk about atmosphere. It was a hockey arena (go figure) that for a few weeks a year was transformed into the site for the sub-section tournament. I remember watching teams like Chisholm, Cook, Orr, Tower-Soudan, Babbit-Embarass, International Falls, Cotton and others fight for the sub-section title. I got a first hand view of some coaching legends such as Coach McDonald from Chisholm and Coach King from Orr. Watching their teams was absolute poetry in motion - to use the tired cliche. That building and those winter nights were where my fire for basketball was lit.

I've coached at three different high schools: LaCrosse Central (WI), Bemidji (MN), and Bagley (MN). At the first two I was an assistant freshmen coach and I was the head freshmen coach at the third. I learned something at each stop and am glad I got to have those different experiences. I was lucky enough to spend my first year of coaching at Central under a great varsity coach in Todd Fergot. I think that Coach Fergot is one of the best coaches in the state of Wisconsin and is very underrated. He takes what he's given every year and gets absolutely everything he can out of his players. I also spent three summers in LaCrosse working with their summer improvement program and that was a great experience in terms of working with the players and learning from one of the best. I got a lot of my philsophies on offense and defense from Coach Fergot and his staff...I will be forever greatful to them.

Deciding to leave UW-LaCrosse to return to Bemidji State was not a hard decision. What was a hard decision however was to make the decision to leave Central. I felt like I was leaving a part of my family, but the decision had to be made. I needed to finish my education and get my teaching degree! I was lucky enough to land with another solid coach in Coach Brown at Bemidji High School. Coach Fergot was a motion offense and man to man defense guy for the most part, but Coach Brown liked to mix things up a little more and I picked some things up from him in terms of Xs and Os and dealig with players. He was another guy who may not have had the raw talent that some of the teams in his section did, but did the best with what he had.

After my season at Bemidji the AD from Bagley contacted me about an opening for the head freshmen coach and I jumped at the chance! I wanted to be able to run practices and do some things how I wanted. I was ready to take the reins! I was under a varsity coach in Todd Fore who has won many, many games and made a couple of state tournament appearances. The year before I arrived there he had went 28-1 with a great squad and bowed out in the first round of state to the eventual state champion Holy Family. Being next to him on the bench was a treat (first time I got to sit the varsity bench) and I learned a lot about game adjustments and how to work those officials! :) It was in a unique situation, as I only had 5 players and one basket for practice (borrowed a few JV players to play games). I really learned how to adapt and overcome. We finished with only 6 wins on the year but ended up winning 5 of our last 6 games and all 6 wins happened the second half of the year. The highlight however was our first win when the players got to shave my head - the deal I gave them a handful of games in when we weren't winning and our morale was slipping. Overall I was very impressed with our improvement over the course of the year - despite the below .500 record I considered our season a success. This team really improved their fundamental skills and that was fun to see. Also, they may have been some of the toughest kids I'd worked with, boy would they play hard. I really enjoyed my season in Bagley and felt like I really matured as a coach. It's going to be sad to leave, but my dream was to coach in the cities and I feel like that dream is worth pursuing right now.

Well, that's me up to this current point in time....