Coach Don Kelbick has had 27 years of coaching experience, 25 at the college level including 14 years as a head coach and 10 years as a Division I assistant including stops at Hofstra University, Marist College, Keene State College, and Florida International University. In 2 years as a high school coach, his teams produced 6 Division I players and was ranked #1 in Florida 28 out of a possible 34 weeks. In addition to coaching he has scouted for NBA teams, including the Knicks and the Hawks, and served as a general manager in the USBL.
As coaches, we take our teams to practice every day. We have our plans, we have our drills and we have our plays. Often, the process becomes the object of the practice, not the end product, playing better in games. Here are a few things that might help keep your eye on the prize as you work on the various parts of the game that are necessary to improve.
If is often said that games are won and lost on the foul line. How many more games do you think you can win if you can force your opponent to worry more about defense then they are about making the foul shot. Here is an attack off the foul shot that just might make them do just that.
I see a lot of questions regarding full court offenses and press breakers to combat full court pressure.
I don't believe that breaking pressure is a function of pattern play but rather a function of spacing and philosophy. Knowing that, here are a few things to think about that may help in executing against all types of pressure.
In basketball, you could be the best shooter in the world. You could have range beyond the moon. You can be faster than a speeding bullet. If you can't get your shot, it doesn't matter. If you can't get the ball in a place you can score from, you become a non-shooter. How do you get the shot you want?
Coaches spend hours and hours orchestrating offenses while saying that defense is mostly hard work. "Offense take s talent," goes the coaching saying, "defense takes desire." It is true; more can be accomplished with hard work over skill, on defense. But that is not to say that that coaches shouldn't teach defense as well as the teach offense. Most coaches teach defending the ball, denying the wing, playing the post, etc. I have not seen enough coaches teach defensive philosophy, tactics and situations as they do on offense.
The evolution of basketball marches on. The game is a living, breathing entity that, like a shark, must keep moving ahead or it will die. Those of us that have been watching for decades can readily see the changes. Those too young to remember the game in the 60s, 70s, 80s and even the 90s will see the changes from now forward.
When I started coaching over 30 years ago, I like most others, ascribed to the notion, “make practice like the games.” In fact, as coaches, we try to make practice harder than games.
It made sense. When practice is more challenging than games, the games become less difficult and, theoretically, the games become easier and players play better. As my belief in many situations, I think that many coaches take action without first evaluating what the results might be. This is the way they learned so this is the way they work it, whether it was effective for them as a player or not.
Your team is facing a "junk defense." Not a bad defense but a "junk defense," a term usually attached to a non-traditional defense, such as the box and 1 or triangle and 2. How do you play against it?
One of the great advantages of a motion offense is its adaptability to be able to play against any type of defense. It is a great advantage not to require your team to learn multiple offenses to be able to play against multiple defenses. The time commitment to practice several different offenses in practice is enormous. Just think of the time you take where you can't practice skill, defense or whatever your weaknesses may be.