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Handling Defensive Pressure

Handling Defensive Pressure

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with Will Rey, Northridge Prep (IL) Head Coach; 2010 IBCA District 4 Coach-of-the-Year; led Northridge Prep to 3 straight IHSA `Class AA' Regional Championships in 08, 09, 10 (IL); Five-Star Basketball Camp Hall of Fame

All programs are not created equal and as such it is the responsibility of each coach to ensure that they maximize the abilities of their players through hard work, dedication and consistent development.

Will Rey has taken his player development skills all over the country. In this on-court presentation, Coach Rey discusses his philosophy on individual player development. Rey discusses player development in three distinct categories:

Physical and athletic performance

Basketball-specific skills (dribbling, shooting, passing, footwork, etc.)

Mental attitude and fortitude

Coach Rey has players perform the skills and drills he uses with his team on a daily basis to improve their game and to "own their space."

Controlling the Neutral Zone

The "neutral zone" is the zone between the offensive and defensive player that belongs to neither individual. Whether you're on offense or on defense, to control the game you must control the neutral space. If your players learn to gain the advantage in the neutral zone, they instantly become much more effective one-on-one offensive players. To teach this concept, Rey emphasizes:

Being in a low, athletic stance

Moving the basketball from side to side using the `U' concept

Moving your feet faster than your opponent by pivoting

Passing `through' the defense by attack 1 of the 5 passing zones

Staying `close to the floor' when being trapped in the neutral zone

Building on the principles outlined, Coach Rey introduces his drill, Lions in the Cage, whereby four offensive players work the ball around the key versus two defenders. The goal of this drill is to develop control of the neutral zone, while working on defensive communication. He shows how to be the aggressor and how to dribble into a pass, allowing you to get the ball to your best shooter. In addition, Coach Rey demonstrates a series of 2-on-1 trapping drills to help players deal with ball pressure.

Progression Drills

These full-court drills incorporate a variety of skills to maximize time efficiency and to maintain intensity throughout the drill.

To start the progression, the offense is placed at a disadvantage with one offensive player playing against two defenders; then, two offensive players play against one defender, placing the defense at a disadvantage. The drill progresses from 1-on-2 to 2-on-1 into 2-on-3 to 3-on-2 and so on up to 5-on-4.

The major teaching point in this segment is positioning and spacing on the floor, how to defend and attack advantages and disadvantages, making cuts to get ahead of a trap situation, and how to emphasize moving the ball forward instead of backward when facing defensive pressure.

In addition to the concepts in this DVD, Coach Rey offers advice on how to create healthy competition in player development drills. Also, he alludes to the fact that all drills should only be performed for short, intense bursts to encourage all-out effort and focus.

If you've had enough of watching your team lose their space and get overwhelmed by pressure, then this DVD is for you. After exploring these drills and techniques you will find your team beating pressure and causing problems for opponents by controlling the neutral space zone. 63 minutes. 2013. DVD.

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