Thursday, December 1, 2011

Who Is Teaching Young Players To Play Defense?

One of the greatest challenges for players making the transition from Puerto Rico to both prep school and college seems to be their inability or unwillingness to play defense. Local coaches do a wonderful job developing fundamentals in young players but defense seems to be the "forgotten fundamental". When talking to stateside coaches the complaint we seem to hear over and over again is how far behind players from Puerto Rico are when it comes to understanding defensive principles. Puerto Rico has earned a reputation of producing undersized fiery PGs and bal pressure on the defensive end is critical to disrupting an opponents offense. Part of this is a result of how local leagues prevent some of the younger age groups from pressing full court along with almost all youthcoaches playing zone defense exclsuviely. It should also be noted that FIBA's influence is ever present thus zone defense is the preferred discipline. We are not suggesting that there is anything wrong with playing zne defense. We take the position that it is impossible to play zone if players have not been taught and understand "ball, you, man", "help and recover" and basic rotations. Players must be taught that playing defense can help them make the team, increase playing time and is the key component in winning championships. Nike has produced a series of videos which should help coaches introduce that defense is cool. Reward players who make defensive plays. Chart deflections, charges and defensive rebounds. See link below and remember, Defense Never Sleeps!