Basketball Queensland recently conducted their annual New Year’s Coaches Clinic in conjunction with the 2021 Under 18 State Classic. As part of this valuable clinic, Gold Coast Suns AFL assistant coach Josh Drummond presented on defensive schemes and philosophy.
Coach Drummond spoke about the importance of player “buy-in” and investing in people over tactics. Thanks to Basketball Queensland for this tremendous coach development activity.
Learning from other sports is valuable and provides insights and concepts that can be adopted to basketball. Here are some notes and observations from the presentation.
- When first started coaching, focused on the tactics of the game. As career has evolved, priorities changed and more about the players and relationships
- What do you start with as you plan the season?
- The players
- Attitude and intent
- What you feel you can get the players to buy into
- There is no right or wrong in coaching, different approaches will all work with the right planning and communication to the playing group
- “No defensive system will stand up if players don’t have the intent and attitude”
- Coaches should search for “elite buy-in”, rather than focus on an “elite game plan” or tactics
- “Offence wins memberships, defence wins premierships”
- Start with the why of the defensive plan when “selling” to players
- Teach the game plan and tactics with great clarity and focus on the buy-in – the players will be the ones that need to carry it out, so they need to believe in and understand it
- In the AFL, every team wants to turn the ball over as high up the ground as possible – strong focus on “getting the ball back as quickly as possible”
- Gold Coast Suns have a “trademark player” each week, voted by the playing group – this player is the one that demonstrates the values of the group and does the team things at a high level, especially defensively
- Important to demonstrate to the players that the coaches place a high value and defence and then reward the behaviours – celebrate the small wins consistently
- Create drills that incentivise defence – GCFC have a drill where the defence gets a score every time they “win the ball back” within 15 seconds of losing possession
- Ensure drills or tactics allow players to develop decision making ability
- AFL does not have time-outs, it is 25 minutes before a coach can get access to the players each quarter, so the onus needs to be on the players
- Create drills that require decision making and reward elite decisions
- Richmond has been the benchmark of the competition for the last five years and uses the theme – “Big paddock, strong fences”
- The theme is about providing “space” for players to be creative and make positive decisions without too many constraints. The “strong fences” is about everyone knowing the boundaries and committing to team – clarity of rules and team themes
- The GCFC coaches encourage players to “bring their one wood each week” – focus on playing to the individual strengths of the player with a “clear mind” – if a player is an elite long kick, bring that each week and build on that skill