Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Using a Combination Defense To Get a Player Rattled

Since I have not posted in a while, I'll throw out a two for one today. I was talking with a basketball friend last night and we were talking about using a box and 1, diamond and 1, etc to rattle a high scoring player.

This is nothing new really, using this defense to shut someone down. But most coaches don't talk about the psychological part of using this defense. If a team has a player that is used to shooting the ball and scoring a lot, they are going to get frustrated when they are not getting the touches they are used to. Some players don't mind, but it drives some players totally INSANE! This can cause them to start to force shots and force the action. So sometimes even if the box and 1, diamond and 1 etc isn't the BEST defense to run against a team, you run it simply to frustrate that type of player that demands the ball. It can lead to a breakdown in team play and good things for your squad!

The "Stick and Three"

Was visiting with a college coach the other day and he told me about a defense he played from time to time last year called the "Stick and Three". This defense was very basic, almost silly, but at the same time, it threw some of the better teams in their conference for a loop.

The basic premise of the Stick and Three is that you match up against their three best players (usually perimeter) and zone with the other two guys in a "stick" formation. The guys guarding the three guys man on man are in all out denial, they don't let them catch. If they cut backdoor, the stick is there to help hopefully. On the stick, one guy plays the top, the other plays the bottom. Ball goes to the wing, the two slide over, ball goes below the FT line extended the high guy on the stick drops to the level of the ball to protect the paint.

This is a GREAT defensive look if your opponent has a couple of players (usually posts) who simply can't shoot worth a lick from the outside and can't really handle the ball. It's also a good thing to throw at a team and make two players who aren't used to doing much carry the load in terms of handling the ball and shooting. The opponent may have a guard who's more of a defensive guy, make him bring the ball up, take some shots, and make some passes. I bet something good comes of that for you.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Taking Time for Yourself

I wrote about something similar in my "Dead Zone Time of the Year" article last year in September.

I think it's important as the summer winds down, and before the season begins that you take some time to do some other things you enjoy. For me, it's fishing, a little hunting, and spending time with the wife and friends. For you it might be different, but I think it's a healthy thing to do, find something else you like and take time for that. Basketball can be very addicting, and takes up a lot of time during the winter and summer. You see many coaches burn out as the years go on, many times because they do not take the time to do other fun things with their time. If it is all basketball, all the time, you likely will burn out at some point. Remember, a coaching career (and building/running a successful program) is a marathon, not a sprint. So take time to slow down, enjoy life, and put basketball into perspective.