I just spent an entire Saturday reffing AAU Basketball games. It was 8 games in all and as a former High School Basketball Coach turned official I have to post some observations over the course of the next couple of days. First and foremost I must write about the defense I see or lack there of. I don’t know what coaches are doing with their practice time but it certainly isn’t teaching help defense. So here are the top three things summer and youth coaches should start teaching their players about help defense.
Number 1: Using your arms, reaching in, and hacking someone is NOT defense. The teams I see now days at all levels don’t move their feet to stay in front of their player. Players seem to be lazy and just want to hold, hack and reach in to stop their player. It’s a foul every time and players just complain when I make the call. Coaches should start teaching players how to move their feet to stay in front of their players.
Number 2: What ever happened to players trying to take the charge? In the eight games I reffed I didn’t see one player try to take the charge. It’s one of the best help defensive moves you can make and coaches just don’t seem to know how to teach it. Players don’t want to take the contact and would rather let their opponent score. Coaches if you are teaching help defense let’s start getting these kids to know how to take a charge.
Number 3: Help Defense. I don’t think some coaches know what this is because again most kids when they try to help, reach in, hold and block their opponent when they aren’t in the right position. Players could also take a charge if they were in proper help position. Too many teams want to play zone defense (which is lazy) or the coach doesn’t know how to coach it.
And as an official, we get yelled at for calling fouls for reaching in, blocking and holding. It makes no sense to me. Coaches start utilizing practice time to teach proper help defense and your players will stay out of foul trouble.