If you have a great defensive team, especially in the half-court, even the great offensive teams will have a hard time matching up against you. This is when they will try and create some opportunities to run on you. Most coaches don’t practice the fast break because it’s an open-court style of play and you don’t have a particular 1st, 2nd, or 3rd option. Read about how to coach a basketball team at Basketball HQ.
This makes it hard for defenders to guard the fast break. It can be very hard to stop because it is so unpredictable and because your players aren’t set. As a coach, you should always practice drills on how to play good transition defense. Here are a few tips.
1. Don’t relax when the opposing team takes possession of the ball
Keep in mind that every time the opposing team gets a rebound, there’s a tendency for them to try and run the break. To anticipate this, don’t give up easy rebounds.
Don’t think that every time your team shoots the ball; it’s always going in. Try to fight for every possession. In cases when you don’t get the rebound, you should be pressuring the opposing player that did get the rebound, so it’s difficult for them to make a quick outlet pass.
2. Anticipate the first pass
Every time the opposing player got the rebound, always looks for the possible player to receive the first pass. Try to go for a steal or make him work hard to have full control of the ball. Try to trap him on one side of the court to take away his court vision. That disrupts their plan on running the break or, even getting another possession for your team.
3. Use your body to slow down their quickness
When the opponent throws an outlet pass, the recipient is frequently the quickest player on their team. If it’s too late to anticipate the pass, just stay in front of the opponent and make it hard for him to get around you. Body up on him to make him work hard in trying to elude your defense.
4. Pay particular attention to players that love the open court
Every time a team attempts a transition play, an individual player always receives the first pass. He’s an open court type of player that loves to run the floor. He’s the first guy you need to watch out for. Just read his every move, know his favorite spots, and don’t give him much space to operate and don’t allow him to start a transition play.
5. Learn from great coaches
If you want to build a great team, it’s essential to learn from the success of others. Take it from Bob Knight, legendary college coach:
Remember, giving easy shots is giving them a chance to get their game going. Playing good transition defense helps slow down the pace of the game and prevents opposing teams establishing their rhythm.