Defence Around the Circle Edge

| Posted inWeekly Blog

Defence approaching the circle and around the circle edge is an ongoing coaching topic at training.

Turnover is the name of the game.  More ball for your team, more opportunity for the shooters.  If you have asked your team for a one on one defence then each player should be responsible for their own.  This means tight defence from the moment that ball starts to come down the court whether it be from a centre pass or just on it’s way down.
Pressure over the ball is important and every ball should have a set of hands over it.  The decision whether to allow your players to go for unachievable intercepts versus hands on the ball then sticking with them to keep them out of the next phase of play is a coaches call. [member] Tight defence up to and on the circle wears an attacking team down.  It limits their options and starves ball being fed to the shooters.  Continual pressure creates turnover and only comes if every defensive player is doing their job.
When the ball has entered the circle where do you ask your wing defence and centre to stand.  To the left or right of the player?  Between the ball and the player?  Maybe standing directly behind?
An idea is to stand behind, giving the defender the ability to go either left or right using their away hand for tips or intercepts.  It also enables the defender to keep the attacker on the circle edge and stop them from coming off the circle and looking for another drive onto the circle.
When practicing defence around the circle edge encourage your defence players to talk and have them tipping to each other so their hard work isn’t a waste of time.  Training players to tip to another is as good as an intercept.  Uncontrolled defence can sometimes put your team in a more vulnerable position and make it easier for the opposition to feed the circle.
A major no no is offside.  The centre and wing defence need to be aware not to go offside.  It’s very disappointing when a defender gets an intercept or tip to have the ball taken off you because a player went offside.
Practice efficient defence around the circle edge and have the four defenders understanding what they are doing, who are they going to tip it to and who is driving for the outlet pass once the ball has been turned over.
This should be a stat on your stat sheet – defence around the circle edge.
Written by Melissa O’Brien