Play your own Game or Counteract the Oppositions

| Posted inWeekly Blog

Coaching my team to win involves many strategies.  The question of playing my own style of game or coaching my players to counteract the opposition’s style of play is such an important coaching skill.
Firstly, I stick with my game plan performing strategies and skills that I have been drilling into my players from the beginning.  As the season progresses the players are slowly starting to react automatically also beginning to read the game.  As a situation occurs on court I want my players to react and implement our strategies and following our ‘game plan’
Secondly, I do study my opposition.  I also ask my players to study their opponents eg which hand do they release from, where do they drive to, do they have a pattern to their court work, do they have players they prefer to throw to etc.  There are many areas of an opposition’s game that can be important to my game plan.
Very rough teams can be unsettling and in this instance I like to throw on a zone.  Whether it is a circle defence zone, full court zone or a mid court press I try to get the opposition off my players.
I also like the opposition to try to counteract my game plan.  This means for the first quarter I might ask the players to play a tight one on one game, putting hands on pressure over every ball and blocking the drive for the next phase of play.  Asking everyone to be responsible for their own player and only make a switch if the opposition cross sides of the court.
Second quarter I may ask the girls to put on a centre court press when the opposition either turn it over in their defence circle or from their back line throw-in.
Third quarter I might go back to one on one as their coach has just finished a team talk on combating the centre court press and then to really confuse them I might put on a full court zone in the last quarter.
Not only do the players on court need to perform at their best and follow the game plan but also me as a coach is required to out think and out wit the opposition’s coach and make them continue to change their game plan.
Coaching can be so much fun when your team is skilled up and the girls can do any strategy you ask.  Implementing attacking and defensive strategies is such an important part of coaching and has many rewards.
Written By Melissa O’Brien