Newsletter #275

September 27, 2023


Today's Quote:   "Failure to prepare is preparing to fail." - John Wooden

Today's Theme... Preparing for a New Season

Coaches should have a broad overall season plan.  Plan your preseason conditioning program.  What offense should you use? What defense?  Are you going to press?  You'll need a press offense to attack presses. You'll need a few quick-hitter plays, and a few baseline and sideline out-of-bounds plays, and maybe a last second desperation play. Finally, you must plan your practices and choose your drills.

Offense - you'll need a man-to-man offense... motion, dribble-drive, read and react, ball-screen, triangle, flex, horns, hawk, shuffle, blocker-mover, Michigan-style, UCLA, Princeton, Swing... lots to consider and to choose from.  See Basketball Offenses.  Simplify, pick one and get good at it.  Choose an offense that fits your team personnel and will get your best players good shots.

You'll also need a zone offense (or two), especially for attacking the 2-3 zone (the most common zone you will see).

Defense - do you like pressure man-to-man defense (Dick Bennett style) or zone defense (Jim Boeheim style)?  The packline defense is great for stopping dribble-penetration, clogging the paint, and forcing outside shots.  Also consider Bob Kloppenburg's SOS pressure defense system.

Are you going to press? - If your team is a quick, deep pressing team, select a press defense. Over the years, we have effectively used the matchup press defense, but it takes awhile to learn. A zone press or simple full-court man-to-man defense, or a half-court trap ("Viking press") might work well for your team.

You need a press offense - a plan for attacking presses. There are a number of good press attacks. We have used the "80-60-40" system for attacking pretty much anything we see. I also like the 3-Up Press Breaker. Our high school varsity teams have always used a secondary break to get the ball up the floor quickly.

Select plays - after you have installed your half-court and full-court offenses and defenses, put in a few plays.  But save a couple good plays for the post-season.  Select plays that get your best scorers good shots.  Pick a few man-to-man plays, and a couple zone plays.

You'll also need a couple baseline man-to-man out-of-bounds plays, and a play or two for attacking the 2-3 zone on the inbounds. Also put in a sideline play or two, and maybe a "buzzer-beater".

Use the right drills - There are many drills listed on Coach's Clipboard Drills page that drill individual player fundamentals, as well as team concepts for offense, defense, pressing, transition, etc.  Selecting practice drills depends on what you are trying to accomplish.  Keep things simple and just select things that will help your team, and then get good at those things! 

See:  How to Plan for a New SeasonHow to Plan Good Basketball Practices 

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Put in a new offense or defense this season.
Run a special inbounds or buzzer-beater play and look like a genius!
Use a special defense to shutdown a star player.
Teach your team how to break a press.

Email your comments or suggestions.

Coach's Clipboard, US copyright, 2023, James A. Gels

Coach's Clipboard, Box 126, Charlevoix, MI 49720

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