Oct 22

Getting started


October 15th was always a special day for me each year. It signaled the beginning of a new college basketball season.


With the high school season just around the corner, I would love to chat about some of the ways that you guys create and develop a practice plan during the first week. What is your focus on?

Coaches - I am trying to figure out how to install my half court pressure defense but I am not sure that my players will pick up on it very well considering that we didnt pressure much last year.


Any ideas on where to start?

I would love to hear what others have to say on this. From a concept standpoint, we try to focus on the idea that "nothing is too basic" when it comes to defense.


Break things down 1 on 1 and then slowly build. It is okay to take it slow.


At the same time, make sure that your players are understanding the concept you're trying to teach, rather than simply understanding where to be when you break things down.


We would rather that the drill be sloppy and players begin learning the concepts rather than have the drill look great, but the players have no idea why they are doing what they are doing.

@Catalyst Training That makes sense!


In the past, I have started without offensive players and just used cones. I have found that the players stay less engaged doing that. Do you have any other ideas?

@Kurt Hanson A quote I love is "nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm!" Whatever you decide to do, do it with energy and the kids will follow. Mistakes will happen, especially when playing a pressure defense. Start slow to grasp concepts, but then crank up the energy and be ok with aggressive mistakes. If players are hesitant AND in the wrong position a pressure defense cannot be effective. If they are going to make mistakes (which they inevitably will) encourage them to be aggressive mistakes and scramble to recover.


As they get more comfortable, work to limit the mistakes. But always keep the energy and intensity high


Paul Eberhardt
Nov 13

Just to add from my experience is we try and teach the whole concept which is usually rough but at least gives them a foundation in which to build. Then we try and break it into pieces. So for example we will show our whole press and then work specifically on a hard trap on the first pass and making sure our other girl rotates and takes away middle coverage. It is a simple and quick breakdown but shows them the front half of our press. I would completely agree with Jared in that enthusiasm and energy from the coach rolls over to the players. This is your opportunity to get the players hyped,

I totally agree. I was just with a youth program last night and during their practice are use the “whole-part-whole” mindset. Introduce the concept...let them see it and then pull back and work on a specific piece before going back to the full thing

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