It all seems to come back to fundamentals. I took an hour today and went to see the local high school girls team play and was surprised, but happy to hear the head coach really focusing on the fundamentals.
More than once, I heard him tell his girls to “box out” and to get their arms into the right shooting position. The team played a very simple man-man, highly aggressive defense all game and used one particular very athletic player to create problems for the other team. I also really liked how he yelled “ball” and “open” to simply indicate that someone needed to cover the ball or pass to the open girl. I’ll steal those calls straightaway for myself!
On offense, they used a pretty good looking motion offense and did a good job of setting screens again and again. It payed off and they won going away.
At our 5/6th grade game tonight, we again focused heavily on defensive basics and continued to work on the core elements of the motion offense. We struggled a bit, but because we’re a big, athletic team we won easily although that wasn’t what really mattered. Our biggest problem actually, is lack of focused practice time to hammer home these concepts.
I think the girls are starting to respond to the repititions however (getting set up, moving around and triple threat) although they still dribble way too much. It got so bad at the end of the 2nd quarter, we made them play an offensive set with no dribbling allowed, just like a drill we use during practice. That calmed them down a little which was good.
Part of what we’ll be working on going forward is spacing, motion and more passing with lots less dribbling.