The following notes are from the FIBA U14 Get Together held in Belgium, on the topic of Defensive Decision Making presented by Pascal Meurs. Currently, Pascal is active as head coach for T71 Dudelange in the Total League in Luxembourg & acts as an analyst for Eleven Sports Network on Belgian TV.
His articulation of the “why” for each drill is brilliant, and these drills are appropriate for any level. I will definitely be stealing some of these! The full length video is at the bottom of the page, which might provide a greater picture of the drills. There is also a link to Pascal’s website which has some excellent resources, also I highly recommend following Pascal on Twitter.
Old school drills such as zig zag slides = they replicate nothing.
I do not do no pre-programmed drills — — A to B to C.
The game is too complex for us as coaches to take away decisions.
Maybe if you want to make all the decisions buy a PlayStation instead.
1v1 Ruck Drill
Coach slams/rolls/throws the ball between the players or somewhere on court, play 1v1 to basket.
Must avoid “street ball 1v1” check it, shake and bake, play.
U14 basketball is a full court game
1v1 Hot Feet
Players “pitter patter” or “foot fire” while facing the basket.
Coach rolls or throws the ball out in front of them, play 1v1.
Same drill, can go full court or 3/4 court.
Full Court 2v1 Transition
11 man 3v2 drill, this never happens in a game.
Play 2v1, non shooter sprints back to defence and says “I’m back.”
Maybe our players don’t talk on defence because we don’t tell them what to say and in which situations.
Full Court 3v2 Transition
Now the defence has a different situation every time
2 non shooters sprint back
First rule: protect basket.
Full Court 3v3
Cover the basket
Cover the top of the key
Slow the ball and keep it “no middle”
Offence transitions back to defence, plays new team coming in from the baseline.
Outlet player must dribble up the sideline, then quick swing if no penetration.
Top has first pass, everybody else get below the line of the ball.
Full Court 4v4
Teams on the court play full court until a score.
After a score, the team waiting takes the ball out of the net and plays the other way vs the team who has just scored.
Team that was scored upon repositions themselves where the new offensive team was standing (baselines, sidelines).
1 on 1 Full Court
(a) Players will run in a straight line passing the ball up the court, on the third pass play live 1v1 to the rim.
First job = get in between the ball and the basket. Pick up the ball as early as possible.
Second job = no middle.
(b) 1v2 Full Court
Same drill, add second defender underneath the basket.
If you get middle there is no help coming.
If you get beat baseline, the defence steps up early and commits to help.
2v2 Half Court
Play 2v2, offence must transition to become the next defensive team.
Outlet goes to the corner up the sideline to the new offensive team.
Use your length as much as possible to close the middle.
Off ball = be on the basket line.
Must figure out CLEARLY who’s going to the ball and who isn’t, are we in rotation?
2v2 Organising Help Defence
Sometimes in help, you are responsible for the first pass whether it is your man or not. Example = X’ing Out
No fixed match ups, defence will rotate in a circle and close out on the pass.
“Ball” angled close out no middle and “Deny”
When do we yell ball? As soon as the ball is in flight and we see it. Not when we get there.
3v3 Half Court Closeout
Rotate in a circle and talk and match up on the coaches pass.
Yell it when we make the decision.
So loud that its a POINT OF NO RETURN
Whoever talks first is right. Must teach talk from a very young age.
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