“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”
MCS Phoenix basketball player: Coach, we’re going to play full court, man-to-man defense?
Me: Yes Sir.
Player: The whole game?
Player: But no other team in the league plays that type of defense, Coach.
A few weeks ago, our MCS Phoenix Middle School boys’ basketball team completed the season with a 20-point victory over a tough Bishop Baumgartner squad to finish with 9 wins and a single loss. Last year’s Phoenix team also experienced a winning season of 8-2.
A large percentage of the credit for MCS’ winning resurgence –the Phoenix boys’ b-ball team hadn’t amassed more than 5 wins in a season in over a decade– should definitely go to the hard work, talents and camaraderie of our MCS players. But in my opinion, the turnaround can greatly be attributed to playing man press coverage for all 84 feet of court. Our basketball program is focused on “teaching basketball for life” versus “reaching for the win today”.
In fact, Coach Mike Phillips and I had discussed that the best defense to play against the mighty St. Paul Warriors who handed MCS our only loss of the season would be zone.
The problem is, I despise zone defense, hate playing zone and loathe teaching younger basketball prospects zone even more than playing it. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate its effectiveness but zone will never compare to a ball-denying, predatory, trapping defense. EVER!
So allowing young impressionable pre-teens (many of whom are playing organized basketball for the first time in their lives) to play this style of defense which I believe will not help them become better basketball players in the future was not worth it, even if it might’ve resulted in a win.
Read the next issue of Mt. Carmel School’s “The Court’s in Session: To 3 or not to 3” where I will talk about preaching high percentage shot selection to our team versus shooting 3s which most youngsters prefer to do these days.
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