How many of you have ever heard your coach yell, “TALK” on defense? Well, they are onto something because communication is the single most important factor to any successful defense.
Here is where the ball gets dropped. The players, being the good little soldiers that they are, fail to ask a few very important questions.
“HOW should we talk?
“WHAT should we say?”
You see, many teams talk but that doesn’t mean they know HOW or WHAT!
If your coach cannot answer your questions, then we would be willing to bet that your team struggles with its communication.
So….. here is the deal.
The HOW is SIMPLE…….
- CLEAR AND CONCISE- Being LOUD isn’t necessarily correct if you cannot articulate clearly so the surrounding players can understand.
- ACTION AND LOCATION- Yelling “help” actually doesn’t help anyone. It may cause confusion as to where the help is located. Players need to identify location quickly along with the action they see. Example: “Screen Left or BackScreen” include both the action and location.
- EARLY AND OFTEN- The best communicators aren’t “reactive” but “proactive”. No player wants to hear “Screen Left” as they are getting decked by a Seven footer in their ear hole. Early and often states that the communicator can quickly deliver the message multiple times, if possible. “Screen Left, Screen Left, Screen Left” should do the trick.
The WHAT depends on philosophy and vernacular. Some teams may switch everything. Some may play straight man. Some may hedge ball screens, others may ice. The key is that everyone on the team understands what they are trying to accomplish. Being on the same page is obviously crucial. This is learned through constant reps and game planning depending upon teams and personnel.
The moral of the story? YOU Should be asking questions to your coach. If you want to be the best defensive team, the HOW and WHAT are extremely important to your success.