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Contents of : Chapter 4 - The Principles of Defence

This is the first part of a trilogy outlining the principles of defence. The presentations in chapters 4, 5, and 6 span the defensive continuum from more conservative, straight-up, reactive defending to riskier proactive defending. The appropriate defence for the players and the game situation must commandeer the inside regions, defend the outside attack, and then rebound missed shots.


4.1         The Defensive Point of View

4.2         Quick Feet

4.3         Man or Zone Defences

4.4         An Overview of Man and Zone Defences

4.5         The Acceptable Level of Defensive Effectiveness

4.6         Triangle-of-players Formations

4.7         Compacting, Active, and Helping Defences

4.8         Proactive Defensive Tactics

4.9         Coaching Points – Man and Zone Defences

4.10        Customizing the Defences

4.11        Funnelling and Fanning Defensive Manoeuvres

4.12        Defending and Gaining the Initiative


4.1                 The Defensive Point of View

Developing the ability to dictate the way the game is played using the defence is an exciting challenge. Players must begin to view defending as a series of opportunities to influence the way the game develops rather than just reacting to the attack, whatever formulation it may take. All defences, regardless of their rationale or configuration, must have the ultimate objective of creating offensive disorder by pressuring the drive penetration, disrupting inside passes and any subsequent outside attack, hand-checking shots without fouling the shooter, rebounding missed shots, and helping with defensive breakdowns. These defensive actions should stifle the attacking players and, hopefully, gain the defensive rebound above all else. The attack may be disrupted further at times by abruptly changing the configuration of the man or zone defences. Disrupting the attack of the inside and then the outside is the defensive objective enacted to wrest the initiative away from the attackers by making them react to the specificity of the defence. The disruptive defence should take the attackers out of their preferred game. Playing the disruptive defensive game to gain the initiative is a matter of using sound defensive principles, a customized game plan based on the teams’ relative strengths, and a resolute and hopeful team of aggressive defenders. However, the straight-up, reactive defensive formulation can be steadfast, tough, and important in its own right at certain times in a game. Ideally, all defences disrupt in some fashion to limit the attack without being scored upon.  . . . .

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