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Basketball Strategies – October 2010

HoopTactics Newsletter

Pre-season Practice Planning
Pre-season Conditioning
Feature Play: Early Offense

Coaching Strategies – Pre-Season Build Your Defense First

You can add offense at any time. However, pre-season training is the only time during the season that provides ample time to build a fundamentally sound defense. Once the season starts, it is very difficult or impossible to install a solid defense.

In installing your defense first, it also provides offensive benefits since you want to practice against good defense. Practicing against poor or “dummy” defense will not adequately prepare players for games. To be successful, players need to practice against good, hard nose defense. Your offense will most likely struggle at first. However, players will soon learn to adjust to creating good leads, making crisp, accurate passes, etc.

Coaching Tip: When working offensively, have the defense switch to offense only after making 5 or 6 defensive stops (combination of defensive rebounds and turnovers). Requiring 5 or 6 defensive stops, will encourage and motivate the defense to play harder. As a result it will definitely help the offense better prepare for actual games.

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Advanced Basketball Defense – Click Here

Coaching Strategies: Physical Conditioning

Superior conditioning does not just happen nor is it acquired quickly. It is the result of a well planned and executed program of exercise, rest, and diet with rest and diet being just as important as exercise. Condition with the ball. As the late coach John Wooden said, “You are not coaching cross country.” Use your fast break drills and early offense for conditioning. This will accomplish two things: It will build your transition game and, at the same time, condition the players. You definitely want to be able to handle the ball at high speeds when tired. Learn more  about Physical Training & Conditioning.

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Featured Play: Early Offense

Early offense is composed of three phases: The initial early push, a continuous flow into an early set, and concluding with a continuity pattern as the shot clock winds down.

Early Push When the offense is able to PUSH the ball into the offensive operating area within 3 to 5 seconds, it prevents or hinders any pre-planned defensive disruption scenarios. Most often the defenders are spread out creating space where good 1-on-1 creativity has a chance to produce a high percentage field goal attempt. In addition, getting the ball  down the court before the defense can establish proper player match ups creates severe mismatches. Early push depends on wide lane releases, quick outlet or inbound passes, and pass advance to reach the offensive operating areas before all of the defenders can retreat.

When the early push does not create a good shot or advantage, it is important to move right into the offensive FLOW without allowing the defense to set up and become organized. Early flow actions are actually half court offenses executed without having to back the ball out to initiate a set play. If a coach chooses to call off or slow down early pushes, because of fatigue or personnel reasons, then the early flow actions become the teams half court set offenses.

The third and final phase of the early offense involves flowing into a CONTINUITY style of play. Flowing directly into a continuity without hesitation continues to prevent the defense to get organized. Continuity will also eliminates any panic or rushed shots as the shot clock winds down while allowing for the ball to get into the best player’s hands. Continuity, also, maintains court balance with good offensive rebounding position and 2nd efforts to taking place. Learn more about the need for an early offense:

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