Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Offensive Line-up

I was talking with one of my players yesterday about what was needed to have a successful offense. At the time he was of the mind-set that you need to have your "best" seven players on the field for offense (even if some of them are prone to turn-overs). This led to a conversation of what people do you need on the field to have a successful offense. We didn't really get to a conclusion before we had to head our separate ways, but I spent some more time thinking about it and I came up with the following:

For our game at Paideia (lets of working the disc with a few hucks here and there) I feel like on an offensive point we need 2 dominant under cutters, 2 excellent handles/resets, 1 dominant deep threat and 2 people to fill the gaps. Those fills are the people that know what to do when the opponent starts to poach and can do the things needed to keep the offense going.
Too many cutters lead to clogged lanes, too many handles leaves the cutting lanes barren. Too many deep threats means fewer under cuts and if we don't have those fills then the small things never get done.

I would imagine as you go from team to team and level to level the composition changes, but it remains important for a coach to think about what he or she needs on the field to score. Most of the people reading this have probably already gone through these thoughts, but it was a valuable coaching experience for our young player who had never really thought about that element of strategy.

Kyle deserves most of the credit for the conversation between my player and I, because it was something I told him about the way Kyle calls subs that really started the ball rolling for this conversation.

Friday, March 27, 2009

High School Coaching

I've spend the past few months being an assistant coach to the Paideia High School men's team (Gruel) and the women's team (Groove). It has been an interesting and rewarding experience for many reasons, not the least of which is that I am assisting my former head coach Michael Baccarini.

Much of my time has been spent holding a clipboard, finding times to talk strategy and technique with players on the side. The set-up at Paideia is very different than I had at Emory. Much more responsibility falls on the shoulders of the players, including subbing and strategy. The pros and cons of that system are pretty obvious, we have less control of what is going on, but the players develop their knowledge of the game which is valuable down the road.

It is also strange attending tournaments where we know we are at a huge disadvantage. We have attended 1 high school tournament (Deep Freeze) which was the week after try-outs. Ever since then we have been going to college tournaments (Southern and a B-team tournaments) where we know we are at a huge size/speed disadvantage. Fortunately we typically have as many years of playing experience (if not more) than our opponents, but it is tough telling a 5'4" freshman to go guard a 5'11" college junior and protect the open side.

It seems like the athletic discrepancy would force us to improve our strategy, which it does on some level, but the main mode of thought is "go our there and play better." Being a strategy junkie I find myself craving more time to go over the minutia of our offense or slight alterations we can make to our trap zone to capitalize on a players weakness. That leads me to my question for the panel:

What type of coach are you? Are you the micro-managing coach who calls every line and then tells everyone who to guard? Are you the coach that teaches at practice then sees if your babies can swim at tournaments? Lastly, is there a better/worse method of coaching depending on the level you are coaching at? I guess I'll go answer first.