Coaching Cues from the Network

Posted on May 01 2020

In this latest blog, we get some coaching cues from some of the coaches from around Australia. Coaches are always looking for terms, phrases or cues to make teaching more efficient, here are some terrific ones from the coaching family.

Lori Chizik, former WNBL Coach of the Year and Australian Opals assistant coach 2013 – 2016

  • On offense we are like an orchestra, everyone playing different instruments and making beautiful music. But on defence, we are like eggs, we are all the same and can’t afford any cracks.
  • Control the controllable – when talking about how to play against opposition
  • “Smash the Flash” – refers to a cut from weak side to strong side where defense meets the cutter at the split line and makes contact and forces away from where the cutter wants to go. In Juniors especially their are a lot of face cuts.

Rod Anderson – Two-time QBL Championship coach with the Townsville Heat

“A player-coached team is better than a coach-coached team,” Bob McKillop, legendary Davidson College coach.

Coach McKillop held his players accountable, but made sure his players had the platform to hold each other accountable. He gave players the platform to run drills and extended that to how to defend a team through scouting and even play calling. (Observations from the 2016 BQ Advanced Coaches Tour)

Justin Schueller – Assistant Coach, Melbourne United & Crocs Under 17 Head Coach 

  • Continue to teach the game as a game of opposites, the things we want to achieve in offence, we must try to take away in defence
    • Offence – First to free throw line each quarter controls the quarter, Use movement plays to build foul count, once 3 fouls are drawn. Use pick on plays/sets to continue to milk the foul count advantage
    • Defence – Defending the nail assists greatly in defending the three, penetration to kick out three is still the most effective 3 in the game in my opinion ; continuing to invest in push points to keep the ball out of the paint and most of all out of the nail. Locking shoulder to the push point and being the aggressor on D are keys to taking away threes in my opinion

Alan McAughtry – Director of Coaching, Diamond Valley Basketball and former Crocs and Gems assistant coach – 

  • “Name and task” – with the advent of more ball screens at junior level and the need to drive more efficient communication on the defensive end, we ask our players to call out clearly to the on-ball defender
  • Eyes through the key” on penetration (see options and make decisions accordingly)

Dee Butler – 2019 Under 19 FIBA World Championships silver medal Coach

  • “Make the defender screen conscious”– This is when reiterating making contact on screens, rather than stopping short. Contact by the screener creates a reaction from the ball defender. This allows the ball handler to make an earlier read to use the screen.
  • Talk your task” – this certainly improves learnings when putting in new plays.  However, I’ve found it most useful when screeners can give their team mate an advantage and tell them which cut to apply when using their screen. (Eg: curl, flare, straight)

Katrina Hibbert – Heach Coach, Sydney Uni Flames

  • Post Play –“Low man wins”and the “3 C’s Chin, Check and Choice”
  • Offensively – “Fake a pass to make a pass” and “Cut to create help”
  • Defensively – Early help/Early recovery and “Stay at home and stay in plays” (Sandy Brondello)

Reece Potter – Director of Coaching, Wyndham Basketball and dual AJC gold medal coach

  • “Spacing before advantage, advantage before shot” – Liam Flynn (on shot selection and offensive decision making)
  • Corner – basket – corner” – Damian Cotter (on the importance of vision of play makers / handlers)
  • The ball has eyes, if it can’t see you, it can’t get to you” – Mark Radford (on the importance of getting to receiver spots)
  • You need to play “low-wide-leverage” – Kerry Rupp (on playing in a basketball stance)
  • Defensive communication needs to be ELC that is “Early – Loud – Continuous” (help rotations, PNR D etc)
  • “Nose to chest” (defensive stance)
  • Either “sweep the floor or scrap the roof with the ball” (teaching athletes to protect the ball and keep it outside of their body)

Thanks to all our contributors and the many coaches who have shared their thoughts, knowledge and experiences in the last month.

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