For all three age groups this week the coaching teams all ran similar defensive drills , among others to teach the positioning and different types of defensive technique that make up a good solid defence.
On-Ball defence is the type of defence any player will use when directly facing a player with the ball in their hands . Positioning themselves between the player and the basket, in a stance straight onto the attacker , and ensuring the attacker does not progress .
For the players who are defending the attackers that are in a position marking the players who are closest to the ball this requires Denial defence . Where the defenders take up a position slightly to the side of the attacker with arm outstretched to stop any potential pass whilst also ensuring that the attacker can’t sneak through thee “back door ” and run into the key and be free to take a pass unmarked . The object is not to steal the pass but ensuring that the attacker with the ball cannot get the pass off to your player .
In any attack this may leave two or three defenders on another side of the court to position themselves in the best possible position to be able to react to what’s happening . This is generally called “Help Defence” . The art of help defence is putting yourself in a position where you can see the man you are marking and the ball , not too close to the man you are marking to close the backdoor route and also in a position where if one the attackers beat your team mate you can prioritise the attacking player who has got into the key .
The players performed really well in the drills and really took on the three different types of defence . Any coach should review the training delivered and see what went well , what went wrong in order to improve their skills and the team’s performance .Some drills that any coach runs require passive defence where you simply ask players to be in the right position without full on defence and not to try and steal the ball or intercept the pass , and as the key to the training was simply to ensure that players were in the right position before going on to full effort putting the training into action . As well as passive defence , the attacking players were simply asked to pass the ball around the 5 attackers and back again . No Lay ups, No 3 Point shots , No screens , No rip, jab or shot fakes to get past their defenders just simply passing the ball between the 5 players and the defenders moving to the right position depending on where the ball was .
So from a coaching perspective what didn’t go right . Well in all 3 age groups whether a player was 10, 13 or 16 despite the coaches instructions the players couldn’t help themselves and would try and steal the ball, look for an opportunity for a good offensive move and turn what was meant to be a passive demo into a full on 5 v 5 half court game .
As coaches this can be frustrating as the real objective was to install the required skills to set a good defence but in reality this is a good problem to have . It shows that the players doing the drills have the desire to play basketball, attack the ball and ultimately put that ball in the basket . It is that energy that keep’s players coming back ,working hard , working for their team mates and ultimately enjoying themselves. Would we have been happier if the players had simply performed the drill as instructed passively and correctly . Maybe but they would have missed something .
To all the junior players this week who didn’t quite do as they were told and defended and attacked with more energy and passion that they had been asked . WE SALUTE YOU . That energy and enthusiasm is what makes you basketball players and a pleasure to coach .