Coaching a new team this year

Coaching high school girls. Very little talent/enthusiasm with the girls in regards to basketball, as well as a couple of bad attitudes. In total I’ll venture we get between 15-18 girls (JV + Varsity). Since becoming the coach, we’ve gotten the girls in the weight room and on the track 5 days a week (not allowed to hold actual basketball practices, even ball handling out of season). So this is a good start for us, the girls that show up are working hard.

My biggest concern is running the correct offense/defense to maximize the potential of the team. I’ve always been a 4 out/1 in and 5/out motion with set action out of the 1-4 high. I’m not really sure if going motion is the right way with this group. They lack skills (ball handling and shooting are well below average as a whole) and most importantly they lack BB IQ as most have only been playing for a couple of years. However, motion is the direction I would like to eventually go in. I’m considering implementing the 5/out motion with sets. We can get a lot of off ball screens this way and even run some flex out of it. My hope is this will cut down on over dribbling, and taking the girls out of situations on the floor where they would have to rely on basketball IQ, but having the 5/out would allow us to slowly develop (very slowly, but hey, progress is progress) BB IQ and decision making.

For zone offense, I think a lot of what I already have will translate fine. I think beating the zone is pretty universal, you just need to execute what you’re doing and understand the type of zone the opposition is running. It’s no easy feat, but the principles of attacking the zone would be the same regardless of the offense for me.

Defensively I’ve always been a pressure man coach (on the line, up the line). At times I had scaled it back a little bit to just being on the line but not up it, but still, I’ve always been high pressure in the HC. For the same reason I don’t think a ton of motion would work, is the same reason I don’t think this will work defensively. We don’t have a lot much skill, we will be playing predominantly freshman and sophomores so we lack experience, and I am just envisioning us being beat on off-ball baseline flex screens and backdoor cuts pretty regularly.

For this reason, I have really dug up a ton of information on the pack-line defense. One thing I’ve noticed in our league is that teams really struggle shooting from the outside. Most teams probably have one girl, maybe two who can knock it down, but they can be inconsistent and we can tailor a scouting report as needed. I think with our A.) lack of depth on varsity and B.) lack of skill and experience, that pack-line may be the way to go. I’m not expecting us to be a great pack-line team because it will take time for them to learn it as well as take time for me to really teach it well, but, I would rather us be really clogging up the lane with help defense and forcing the ball outside for long 2’s and 3’s than allowing easy shots inside which anyone can convert into points.

I will also add a 1-3-1 zone, two variations of it. Your basic 1-3-1 zone as well as an extended one to make a HC trap for additional pressure, just to maybe change pace or if we’re trailing. I’ll also have a 1-2-2 3/4 court press to try and slow down teams that want to play fast against us.

If anyone has any advice, comments or suggestions on the pack-line or anything else I mentioned, please share it.

Thank you very much.

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