Building Your Conversion Defence

Posted on Oct 28 2019

The first element of any defensive system is the ability to convert quickly from offence to defence. This ability and efficiency will lay the platform for your team defence and is a crucial area to teach and define. Below are some thoughts from a recent coach development clinic hosted by BNSW in Penrith.

Introduction –

  • Team defence starts with your ability to convert quickly from offence to defence
  • How many players do you want to go to the glass?
  • How many (and who) are back? What does “back” look like?
  • What are the accountabilities in your defensive transition? – “You can’t correct what you have defined.”
  • Important to define the “geography” of your defensive transition – who goes where and does what?

Offensive rebounding as part of your defensive conversion –

  • Making a contest on the glass can be a valuable part of your conversion defence
  • Put a value on offensive rebounding as an element of your defensive transition
  • Rebound contest is as important as rebound statistics – get people in the contest, challenge the box out
  • Concept of “tagging up” becoming more prevalent– five to the offensive glass, create a rebounding “scrum”, second shots, immediate match-up

“Tagging Up” – the first element

  • Contest all shots – everything over a hand
  • Use of “walling up” on the interior
  • Foul discipline
  • On the rise of the shot – attack high shoulder to contest rebounds – “scrum” concept
  • Navigate the box out – knock arms up, slice hips
  • Play with hands above shoulders – common theme for great rebounders in history

Below is a clinic from 2017 presented by Basketball Queensland, with then Cairns Taipans head coach Aaron Fearne defining his rules around “tagging up”.

What next –

  • The player boxing you out is your immediate match-up
  • Establish 5 v 5 as soon as possible
  • Pressure on the ball – ability to establish, maintain and move in a stance
  • Plugger – immediate support for the defender on the handler – be a visible presence
  • Nothing down the line – deny the direct kick ahead
  • Flood the middle of the floor
  • TALK, TALK, TALK – communication is loud, early and often

The non-negotiables –

  • Quick conversion from offence to defence – discipline around the concept
  • Attack the high shoulder on the rebound contest
  • “Tag-up” immediately – establish 5 v 5 as quickly as possible
  • Contain the ball – on-ball defender and “plugger” a key in this
  • No kick aheads
  • Run with the “run out” – often man defending the shooter will “leak”, must go with that

Aspects to consider –

  • Teaching time
  • Need for high level conditioning
  • How it fits your overall defensive system and philosophy
  • “It is not what you teach, it is what you prioritise”

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