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  #1  
Old 01-21-19, 11:14 AM
Sports Jock and Chad Sports Jock and Chad is offline
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The cult of the motion offense and man defense

I will preface this by saying I have been around this great game for a LONG time as a player, coach and fan (of all levels of basketball). Two things that are both fascinating and disturbing are in the title of this post. Almost every game I get to see here in SW Ohio are just 2 teams running a motion offense and help side man defense...even when one or the other is not working well for a team. My coach, back in the Stone Age, said that any competent team should be able to run 2 solid defenses (We were man and 1-3-1), 2 solid presses (1-2-2, 1-3-1) and have enough variability in the offense to keep an opposing team guessing. I read a write up of the Moeller-Lakota East game that made me smile...down 5 after half Moe came out in a 1-3-1 trapping defense and some full court pressure that stymied East, increased the tempo and allowed Moeller to pull away. I had wanted to go to all those games Sunday but it was just too damned cold. So my question is why aren't more coaches flexible enough to throw some different looks in? I see teams all the time that struggle to play man due to lack of speed and teams with solid post players catching the ball 20 feet from the basket in a naked post motion offense! Isn't it the job of a coaching staff to realistically assess the abilities and limitations of a team and get them into a position where they can compete? Kudos to Coach Kremer for adjusting to the situation...I know Moe is loaded with talent but they may have lost without the leadership and adjustments...at other programs I see : "The beatings will continue until moral improves".
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Old 01-21-19, 12:28 PM
tvsfan tvsfan is offline
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I had an uncle who coached both high school and college basketball. He preferred man to man but liked to throw different defenses at teams to surprise them. His theory was that if there are 2 evenly matched teams and you can get them confused on offense by throwing a different defensive look at them then you can get an extra turnover or two and that could be the extra possession that wins the game for you. But I have seen the same thing where
coaches stick with mtm no matter what.
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Old 01-21-19, 01:49 PM
D4fan D4fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sports Jock and Chad View Post
I will preface this by saying I have been around this great game for a LONG time as a player, coach and fan (of all levels of basketball). Two things that are both fascinating and disturbing are in the title of this post. Almost every game I get to see here in SW Ohio are just 2 teams running a motion offense and help side man defense...even when one or the other is not working well for a team. My coach, back in the Stone Age, said that any competent team should be able to run 2 solid defenses (We were man and 1-3-1), 2 solid presses (1-2-2, 1-3-1) and have enough variability in the offense to keep an opposing team guessing. I read a write up of the Moeller-Lakota East game that made me smile...down 5 after half Moe came out in a 1-3-1 trapping defense and some full court pressure that stymied East, increased the tempo and allowed Moeller to pull away. I had wanted to go to all those games Sunday but it was just too damned cold. So my question is why aren't more coaches flexible enough to throw some different looks in? I see teams all the time that struggle to play man due to lack of speed and teams with solid post players catching the ball 20 feet from the basket in a naked post motion offense! Isn't it the job of a coaching staff to realistically assess the abilities and limitations of a team and get them into a position where they can compete? Kudos to Coach Kremer for adjusting to the situation...I know Moe is loaded with talent but they may have lost without the leadership and adjustments...at other programs I see : "The beatings will continue until moral improves".
Several years ago when I was an assistant coach on a very good AAU team I asked the head coach about potentially broadening the offense to "surprise" a few teams who were figuring out our system.

He had played for very notorious coaches and said they often debated perfecting a simple offense vs aiding a simple offense with niche plays. He said they believed if you had superior talent, perfect an offense. If you have weakness, cover it up with different looks and approaches.

To me it comes down to some coaches stick to a game plan even after it is clearly not working because either they still believe it is their best option, or they have never worked on a plan B. Coaches who have the ability to game plan in the middle of a game are going to have a greater chance of getting the most out of their talent than those who can't change strategy.
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Old 01-21-19, 04:29 PM
OldSchoolPanther OldSchoolPanther is offline
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Ego.

Their system is their system. Do what coach says, regardless of outcome. There are simply too many coaches that refuse to adapt. Those that do, are often more successful.

Be careful though, most people on here will jump your case if you second-guess coaches or refs. But your observations are extremely accurate.
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Old 01-21-19, 06:10 PM
Carol Danvers Carol Danvers is offline
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I love throwing in a zone defense. Especially if you're having trouble with guarding man to man or the pick and roll. Mixing in a blitzing half-court trap is always a good way to keep these kid vested. Some teams just do not know how to attack zones, especially if you can mix up looks. I know it may be frowned upon, but I just look at Syracuse. There are years they have no business advancing in the tournament, but stymie some lower seed with that 2-3. That point guard that can break down his man at anytime gets flustered against a zone.
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Old 01-21-19, 06:46 PM
Carl Rick Carl Rick is offline
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The 3 shot blockers with 6'9"-7' wing span the Cuse puts at the bottom of the 2-3 is something that helps.
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Old 01-21-19, 07:49 PM
petroglyph petroglyph is offline
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There is a reason some guys are high school coaches. They are usually "system"coaches. By and large I think current high school basketball is simultaneously overcoached (system) and undercoached in terms of tactical adaptablity..The best coaches are able to teach varied systems and skills in practice and employ them when needed. The best teams can adapt on-the-fly on court because they have been well taught and the coaches of these teams let them riff in real time. An opposing coach can factor in nearly everything, but the instincts of teenagers..But then again, who can?
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Old 01-21-19, 09:31 PM
Philly_Cat Philly_Cat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sports Jock and Chad View Post
I will preface this by saying I have been around this great game for a LONG time as a player, coach and fan (of all levels of basketball). Two things that are both fascinating and disturbing are in the title of this post. Almost every game I get to see here in SW Ohio are just 2 teams running a motion offense and help side man defense...even when one or the other is not working well for a team. My coach, back in the Stone Age, said that any competent team should be able to run 2 solid defenses (We were man and 1-3-1), 2 solid presses (1-2-2, 1-3-1) and have enough variability in the offense to keep an opposing team guessing. I read a write up of the Moeller-Lakota East game that made me smile...down 5 after half Moe came out in a 1-3-1 trapping defense and some full court pressure that stymied East, increased the tempo and allowed Moeller to pull away. I had wanted to go to all those games Sunday but it was just too damned cold. So my question is why aren't more coaches flexible enough to throw some different looks in? I see teams all the time that struggle to play man due to lack of speed and teams with solid post players catching the ball 20 feet from the basket in a naked post motion offense! Isn't it the job of a coaching staff to realistically assess the abilities and limitations of a team and get them into a position where they can compete? Kudos to Coach Kremer for adjusting to the situation...I know Moe is loaded with talent but they may have lost without the leadership and adjustments...at other programs I see : "The beatings will continue until moral improves".
My kids go to Lakota East, so I have been to plenty of East games over the years, including before their current coach Clint Adkins started. I've also have watched a lot of high school ball outside of East, mainly SWO D1. I've never thought about it, but you may be on to something. Looking back on what I've seen over the years, I'd say that the consistently top programs in the area all have coaches that can and will change things up at any point in a game to give opponents multiple looks on both offense and defense. Most importantly, the top coaches I've found are ones that 1) you can see a distinct adjustment to the team's game plan after halftime, and 2) consistently get a score, shutdown an offense with defense, or change the pace of a game, all after coming out of a timeout. On the flip side, teams with mediocre coaches seem to call a timeout because they know there is a problem and they need to stop the bleeding, only to come back on the floor and continue doing the same they've been doing.

Last night Kremer made two correct observations and adjusted to attempt to exploit them in the 2nd half. First was East's short bench. East came into the game after a week where they lost a player to injury and also to the transfer rule. Kremer made the assumption that East wouldn't have enough horses to hang with Moeller if they turned up the speed of the game, or if they did, the one's they'd have to use wouldn't be talented enough to keep up. Adkins apparently knew his bench wasn't talented enough to hang right then on that stage and only went with 6 players. By the 4th they were both mentally and physically completely spent and finally succumbed to Moeller.

The other observation I'm not sure Kremer saw or just stumbled upon. That was East's lack of a true point guard or reliable ball handler. Either way, the turned up pressure in the 2nd half exploited that weakness. With all that said, I'd put Adkins in that group of coaches in the area like like Kremer as well.

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Old 01-22-19, 12:31 AM
CedarBuck92 CedarBuck92 is offline
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In my personal experience, it is usually due to the coach being stuck in their ways.
I have heard it said that good coaches change players for a system, great coaches change a system for players.
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Old 01-22-19, 09:25 AM
Carl Rick Carl Rick is offline
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System coaches are not just HS coaches. Phil Jackson was very steadfast in his system. (Thank you MJ, Kobe, and Shaq) John Wooden was the ultimate system coach, please add Dean Smith, Bob Knight, Bill Self, Krzyzewski, Boeheim, etc. etc. Same examples at the HS level. Yes, at the HS level you better be able to adapt to your talent and your system should allow for that. The consistent themes of anyone's "system" is the execution of offensive and defensive fundamentals. As for those in game adjustments at the high school level. An outsiders view of that can be very unrealistic. Adjustments a coach makes must be items that have already been practiced. High school players are not able to do something new after a time out or change the entire defense after 5 minutes in the locker room. Yes, you have to make adjustments, more important your team must have prepared long ago before that adjustment is made during the heat of a game.
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Old 01-22-19, 10:58 AM
Sports Jock and Chad Sports Jock and Chad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Rick View Post
System coaches are not just HS coaches. Phil Jackson was very steadfast in his system. (Thank you MJ, Kobe, and Shaq) John Wooden was the ultimate system coach, please add Dean Smith, Bob Knight, Bill Self, Krzyzewski, Boeheim, etc. etc. Same examples at the HS level. Yes, at the HS level you better be able to adapt to your talent and your system should allow for that. The consistent themes of anyone's "system" is the execution of offensive and defensive fundamentals. As for those in game adjustments at the high school level. An outsiders view of that can be very unrealistic. Adjustments a coach makes must be items that have already been practiced. High school players are not able to do something new after a time out or change the entire defense after 5 minutes in the locker room. Yes, you have to make adjustments, more important your team must have prepared long ago before that adjustment is made during the heat of a game.
Most of these examples are guys who succeeded a long time ago...Jackson was a disaster at the Knicks...and Coach K has been adapting every season to his talent...he may have been a system guy years ago but he isn't as much now...Boeheim has under acheived with the talent he has had over the years..These high school teams practice constantly and you are saying a coach can't have a few changes up his sleeve? Or look at the team and play defenses (PLURAL) and offensive sets (PLURAL) that match the abilities of the team? I was at a coaches clinic recently and heard a well known and highly respected coach give a talk about how the 3 line and the accuracy from it have (or should if coaches are paying attention) totally changed the concepts of man defense...as an analogy...some guys are cutting a path thru the jungle with a machette.... most are limping behind at various distances.
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Old 01-22-19, 11:01 AM
Sports Jock and Chad Sports Jock and Chad is offline
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As an addendum...I always sit behind team benches at high school basketball games...seeing if there is anything I can glean from a coach..how he handles situations and what the outcomes are
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Old 01-22-19, 11:35 AM
yakyak yakyak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchoolPanther View Post
Ego.

Their system is their system. Do what coach says, regardless of outcome. There are simply too many coaches that refuse to adapt. Those that do, are often more successful.

Be careful though, most people on here will jump your case if you second-guess coaches or refs. But your observations are extremely accurate.
That is the bad side. The side that is less clear is only teaching stuff you can teach well. Do you have support to switch systems to something your not as skilled to teach? If you can teach a philosophy very well and know all the small details needed, do you have the time to train on the job a new approach?

Coaches only get two weeks in the summer and 3 weeks starting the year really to teach systems. The first few times you do it, you as a coach will improve the "teaching" aspect of it. It is not easy (If your goal is to be super successful.)

There are very few coaches at the high school level that can teach very deeply all the various systems out there at a level to be successful.

That is why its better to teach kids who to play the game vs. how to run a system. Big/huge difference.
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Old 01-22-19, 11:57 AM
Carl Rick Carl Rick is offline
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Do you think Moeller practiced the 1-3-1 before the East game?
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Old 01-22-19, 12:17 PM
Carl Rick Carl Rick is offline
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Evolving with the game and making changes doesn't = no system. Calipari, Self, Holtmann, Beilein, Izzo, Donovan, Pitino, Stevens, Kerr, Popovich, etc. they run a system. That system allows evolving and adjusting to talent. The fundamentals are the same.
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Old 01-22-19, 02:03 PM
yakyak yakyak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Rick View Post
Do you think Moeller practiced the 1-3-1 before the East game?
Of course they did. Teaching core fundamentals of the program vs. using something as a change up during the game are two completely different concepts. If is difficult to be a team that has masterly level competency of man principals and zone principals. While surprisingly there are more similarities than people realize, I feel its just to hard to master both. IF you do want to master both man and zone defenses, great. Your offense execution will suffer. Which could be a completely viable option for a program.

I would argue no team in HS can reach master efficiency of multiple high level defense systems and then also master all the stuff needed with offense. I have never seen a team I would call that.

I agree with OP that coaches should definitely put whatever system fits the team, their league etc. But I would hesitant to call a coach stubborn that sticks with his methods.

The debate really is should a coach keep a system he can get his team to an A in, or change to a more relevant style that he can only teach up to a C+ or B-? Interesting.
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Old 01-22-19, 02:14 PM
yakyak yakyak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Rick View Post
Evolving with the game and making changes doesn't = no system. Calipari, Self, Holtmann, Beilein, Izzo, Donovan, Pitino, Stevens, Kerr, Popovich, etc. they run a system. That system allows evolving and adjusting to talent. The fundamentals are the same.
I do not think you can compare the systems of teaching ability of the best coaches in the history of the game, who have tons of more time with their teams and have assistance who are amazing, to what happens in the high school gyms from 300 to 500 every day. That is just crazy talk.
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Old 01-22-19, 02:49 PM
D4fan D4fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yakyak View Post

I agree with OP that coaches should definitely put whatever system fits the team, their league etc. But I would hesitant to call a coach stubborn that sticks with his methods.
.
Real game situation where I was sitting behind the bench of a girls team that was just getting dominated by the defense who was clearly fully aware of how their opponent ran their offense.

The coach started calling time outs early, mid way in first quarter, and kept telling the girls they were not running the offense correctly, but to keep working at it "Just like we practiced". This was a regional semi final by the way, both teams had 20 plus wins on the season.

A few more empty possessions and nothing changed. I thought good, halftime is here, changes will be made, and we will see a better game second half.

Well, they ran the same offense again, were shut down again, and the game quickly slipped out of control. That is the epitome of saying I come with a plan and will not deviate from it. I don't think it is arrogance as much as misplaced confidence.
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Old 01-22-19, 04:12 PM
Sports Jock and Chad Sports Jock and Chad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yakyak View Post
Of course they did. Teaching core fundamentals of the program vs. using something as a change up during the game are two completely different concepts. If is difficult to be a team that has masterly level competency of man principals and zone principals. While surprisingly there are more similarities than people realize, I feel its just to hard to master both. IF you do want to master both man and zone defenses, great. Your offense execution will suffer. Which could be a completely viable option for a program.

I would argue no team in HS can reach master efficiency of multiple high level defense systems and then also master all the stuff needed with offense. I have never seen a team I would call that.

I agree with OP that coaches should definitely put whatever system fits the team, their league etc. But I would hesitant to call a coach stubborn that sticks with his methods.

The debate really is should a coach keep a system he can get his team to an A in, or change to a more relevant style that he can only teach up to a C+ or B-? Interesting.
Totally disagree...my team learned 2 defenses well in the 1970's and it wasn't even a stretch...and we had no summer ball and no AAU...If your team can't play 2 defenses and learn some offense then what the horse hockey are you doing everyday for 2.5 hours? Goodness...we learned defense, offense, inbounds plays and still spent 30 minutes a day on skill work and free throws...of course we also walked uphill in the snow both ways to school
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Old 01-22-19, 05:31 PM
trojandave trojandave is offline
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The 3 point shot has modified a lot of coaches philosophies because I hardly ever see a team that doesn't use it to their benefit. It seems like more and more that basketball has become a perimeter game, and if your team doesn't have it, opposing coaches will have a easier time coming up with a defensive game plan.

At Portsmouth, we have 1 perimeter shooter, Matthew Fraulini, a 6-2 junior. He averages around 20 PPG, but in quite a few games opposing coaches have face guarded Fraulini, knowing that he is the only perimeter threat. The end result is that many of these coaches have chosen to go box and one on the Trojans. Portsmouth then becomes a offensively challenged team, since the Trojans have no dominant player in the post.
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Old 01-23-19, 01:11 AM
1 time 1 time is offline
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Relax people. Can’t compare the great college coaches and their talented teams to above average high school teams. The good high school teams and coaches adapt to every game and situation well. The stubborn guys guys in high school eventually disappoint.
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Old 01-23-19, 06:52 AM
eastisbest eastisbest is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchoolPanther View Post
Ego.

Their system is their system. Do what coach says, regardless of outcome. There are simply too many coaches that refuse to adapt. Those that do, are often more successful.

Be careful though, most people on here will jump your case if you second-guess coaches or refs. But your observations are extremely accurate.
"Extremely accurate" by whose measure? Yours? And you started off your post with "Ego?" Doesn't jive.

It's easy to have imaginings in one's own head as to someone else's motivation and call it "accurate." But one coach might be doing it because that is what the coach has judged the students in front of him can learn to a reasonable level. Another might feel it is the best match-up had against their schedule, regardless his players can execute it. Many possible reasons and motivations.

Throwing people under the bus that I think we can all agree, are generally low paid for the time put in, doesn't have a win in my opinion. If it's important to know motivations, you ask. If that person responds "ego," well then you have it.
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Old 01-23-19, 07:39 AM
Sports Jock and Chad Sports Jock and Chad is offline
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Ego? That's laughable...if ego is admitting that one is old? My point was and remains that I have been around the game for over 40 years...pre 3 point line...when defense could destroy a cutter etc...I was simply asking/wondering why most of the games I attend all feature the same things and praising some for thinking outside the box...Did anyone else feel the same?...ego...that's funny.
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Old 01-23-19, 08:58 AM
Carl Rick Carl Rick is offline
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Yes, Moeller has the 1-3-1 in their system this season. It is one of the defenses in their total package to make adjustments.
Some good responses. My point is this, you have to have a "system" doesn't matter what level. Your system cannot be one dimensional or lack change ups. When it comes time to adjust these must be defensive or offensive items your players have already been prepared for and practiced.
Don't know or think Sports jock was suggesting the old coach drew up an offense or defense at halftime?? My thoughts there are that HS players won't be able to learn, digest, and execute something grabbed out of a hat. It really isn't what the coach knows, it's what the players are capable of doing.
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Old 01-23-19, 09:07 AM
OldSchoolPanther OldSchoolPanther is offline
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There have literally been dozens of posts in this thread about coaches not changing their ways over the course of games, seasons, or years, regardless of the outcome. They refuse to change their system.

And then you call out a post about ego? What do you think prohibits them from changing?
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Old 01-23-19, 09:12 AM
eastisbest eastisbest is offline
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Originally Posted by oldschoolpanther View Post
there have literally been dozens of posts in this thread about coaches not changing their ways over the course of games, seasons, or years, regardless of the outcome. They refuse to change their system.

And then you call out a post about ego? What do you think prohibits them from changing?

r.i.f.
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Old 01-23-19, 09:17 AM
OldSchoolPanther OldSchoolPanther is offline
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No clue what that means.
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Old 01-23-19, 09:45 AM
yakyak yakyak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchoolPanther View Post
There have literally been dozens of posts in this thread about coaches not changing their ways over the course of games, seasons, or years, regardless of the outcome. They refuse to change their system.

And then you call out a post about ego? What do you think prohibits them from changing?
I have said it twice now. Ability to TEACH whatever system is desired. If your a veteran, you know the level of detail and skills needed to teach up the correct system. For example, if you posted a syllabus of how to teach something like a 2-3 zone, it would be many many pages of teaching elements. I would say at least 5 pages. I think a good coach knows he has many gaps in his knowledge and would put the kids in a bad spot.

Bad coaches dont know what they dont know, install whatever, and hence their team is bad. Or they are saved by just athleticism and overall player skill. If we are honest, we all know who those teams are.
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Old 01-23-19, 10:03 AM
AllSports12 AllSports12 is offline
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It's easy to coach from the stands or on a message board....

- Your opinion on who makes the team, what offenses, defenses, and special sets to be implemented are always right.
- You get to set your dream schedule.
- When things go wrong on the floor, the way you think things should be handled is automatically justified.
- When you coach from the stands or on message board you can mock people without jeopardy of personal ridicule.
- When you coach from the stands or on a message board you can call out specific teenagers without reprisal.
- When you coach from a message board, you can change your "identity" (your screen name changes, but your true character is magnified) to take the heat off you. Something that you criticize others for allegedly not being able to handle.
- When you coach from the stands or a message board, you don't have to exhibit the intestinal fortitude to express your ideas to those you criticize face to face.
- When you coach from the stands or a message board, your record remains undefeated.

Jeez...... With those credentials, I wonder why nobody with "coached from the stands/message board" listed on their resume has ever been hired as a head coach in a HS or Collegiate Program?
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Old 01-23-19, 10:48 AM
sehs sehs is offline
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Originally Posted by CedarBuck92 View Post
In my personal experience, it is usually due to the coach being stuck in their ways.
I have heard it said that good coaches change players for a system, great coaches change a system for players.
This is a great point. Flannery has done this well at St. Ed's. His 2011-2012 Final Four team was made up of mostly guards and shooters, they may have had one player over 6'2 but that was it. They pressed and tried to run teams out of the gym with turnovers, three point shooting and fast breaks. They beat a very good Columbus Northland team doing this and as I said went all the way to the Final Four where I believe they lost to Massillon Jackson in the semi-final. (A key player got into early foul trouble and the shots were not falling, always a danger)

His 2002 Final Four team grinded out wins. They had a scrappy point guard, some football player posts, a three point shooter and one slasher in their starting 5. They would work for the tough baskets and build a lead off of defense. Upset a great Toledo St. John's team in the Regional Final on a buzzer beater and took Columbus Brookhaven to OT in the semifinal. Just two examples of having a system that adapts to players and not the other way around.
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