30 second time outs

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Diagonals" Pressbreak

It's good to have a organized Pressbreak that is consistent with how you attack after any made basket. This should be a set that flows directly from your transition game or early offense. There may be times when the opponent springs a press after a score, and you don't want to be disorganized or have to call a time-out to set up your pressbreak.

In this set after a made basket, 3 would inbound the ball quickly, preferably to 1 around the FT line. 2 would run the right lane for a possible over the top pass, 4 would run the left lane and 5 would sprint to the rim.

When a press is recognized the team enters the pressbreak seamlessly. 2 would come back to the ball and has the entire right lane to get open from the lane-line extended to the sidelines. 1 needs to get open in the box from that same lane-line to the opposite sideline and below the top of the key. 4 can begin cut to the top of the key and look for an open spot in the middle of the press. 5 continues to the rime to stretch the defense.

If the ball is entered to 1 or 2, the 4 man will diagonal cut toward half-court on the side the ball is entered - looking for a pass leading him to the sideline. This limits the chance for a defender to make the steal. If 4 does get a pass the opposite guard (1 or 2) can sprint the middle for a return pass and attack with numbers. After the ball is inbounded 3 needs to step in quickly and get out from under the basket in order to provide a safety return pass.

When one guard gets the inbound pass the opposite guard can drift up the floor a bit, but stay wide, in order to provide a diagonal pass. At all times in the pressbreak the player with the ball should have (in order of progression) a 1) straight ahead pass, 2) a diagonal pass, and 3) a safety pass. If the player is double teamed - and all of those are covered... then the 5 man stretching the defense deep must be open. If it everyone is matched-up man-to-man. The ballhandler should advance the ball via the controlled dribble until they feel pressure. If everyone stays spaced and it remains 1 on 1, this alone could break the press.

If the player feels pressure they should look at the progression 1) straight ahead 2) diagonal and 3) safety.
Now many coaches want someone "in the middle" of the press, as that is a great place to attack. I agree, however I think a bit differently. I think when you just place some one there, or alternate flashing a player, the defense can "get the rhythm" of your pressbreak. I like to CUT players through that middle and try to get them on the move so they can attack.

So if , for example, 2 reverses the ball to 3 they would immediately cut diagonally through the open space in the middle of the press. The inbounder, 3, would immediately look for the "give & go" if the defender happens to relax (that's why Give & Go's work). If it is not there immediately 3 should swing the ball to the opposite guard, who in turn should look at the diagonal cutter. 2 eventually becomes the straight ahead, 4 becomes the diagonal, and 1 should advance the ball up the floor until they feel pressure.

At that point, 3 is still a safety. 1 can reverse to 3, make a diagonal cut through the press, while 4 goes deep. When 1 vacates the lane, 2 can step up and fill that spot (I have never seen this player not open if we've been patient enough to get this far).If nothing has been open they've probably followed cutters and it should be a 1 on 1 situation.

At worse... the ball is now in the hands of what is normally one of your better players, who needs to make a play.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Little Fellow Follows Me

A careful man I must always be;
A little fellow follows me.
I know I dare not go astray
For fear he'll go the self same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes,
Whate'er he sees me do, he tries.
Like me he says he's going to be;
The little chap who follows me.

He thinks that I am good and fine,
Believes in every word of mine.
The base in me he must not see;
The little chap who follows me.

I must be careful as I go
Through summer's sun and winter's snow,
Because I'm building for the years to be;
This little chap who follows me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Motivating youth athletes to listen and play hard

It's important to teach sports in the proper progression. Have reasonable expectations of your level of play and teach to their ability through setting achievable goals for the players. Stretch each player to improve and try not to leave anyone behind by challenging them with drills and activities that measure their improvement over a previous standard or a competition against others. Encourage kids to ask questions by providing sincere answers to all of them. As hard as it is sometimes - it develops a growth mindset they'll appreciate forever.

Your entire team (coaches, players and parents) should strive to achieve the Magic Ratio of 5 positive experiences for every correction/critiscism or negative experience. Consider everything verbal and non-verbal. A great rule of thumb is to Relentlessly Reward Desired Effort! Think about that statement. It means you're always trying, you're attempting to be more positive by recognizing achievements, it means they're learning what you want by doing what's desired and they're giving a good effort. The reward can come through praise (truthful and specific), symbolic rewards (stickers, game balls, etc) and/or playing time.

When organizing practice and dividing playing time, try to provide the maximum number of repetitions and opportunities to be active as possible. Kids get sluggish and discouraged when there is a lot of standing around waiting for their turn. A slow paced practice does not teach kids to hustle. You can't cruise through practice and expect hustle in a game. Players need to learn what it means to give 100%. Create those opportunities in practice and then let them know when they did well. Ask kids if they gave their best and find out if they have more to give (only they really know). Make hustle fun.. then reward it.

Quite possibly the most important thing is for you to have fun. If you're having a great time, players tend to follow the coaches lead and feed off that. Set the tone when they arrive at practice and send them off on a positive not.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Message to a new coach

Be yourself.
Have a plan.
Be decisive.
Do what you know is right.
Communicate with everybody - about everything.
Build trust among the group - that might be most important.
Fix "broken windows" immediately - otherwise there'll be more before you know it.
Take kids where they want to go - after you sell them on your vision of where that should be.

Lok's Ledger