About Coach Matt Monroe

Matt Monroe - Head Sophomore Basketball Coach - St. Patrick High School (Chicago)


The following is from Larry Dean Jackson and Coach-Jackson.com:

Overtraining is a serious concern for all athletes and coaches because of the recovery time required for over-use injuries. To avoid a situation that leaves a player out for most of the season, coaches should watch for these signs of overtraining:
• Early-onset fatigue
• Severely decreased motivation
• Complaints of chronic, but bearable, pain
• Decreased technique as a means of compensation for pain

Adequate recovery time is one of the easiest ways for coaches to protect their athletes from overtraining.

Players should not work on every skill at every practice.

This means that some days, different muscle groups will not be used, or will be used only secondarily. If players work every major muscle group at every practice, they will never have enough time to completely recover from previous workouts, which will force them to start practice in an already weakened state.

There is no hard-and-fast rule about the right amount of recovery time, but if players work one muscle group intensely during a practice, they should have two days of recovery time. During this recovery time, they should stretch and do other light movements to keep the muscles from seizing up or becoming painfully sore.

Monitoring athletes also allows coaches to recognize optimal times for training. The beginning of the season is an optimal time for training because there are fewer games and more need for specialized instruction and team-building work. As competitions pick up in the middle of the season, intense training should wind down, allowing players to focus more on running drills and mastering complex game patterns instead of conditioning or hard training.

As the season winds down, coaches can increase the level of training if they feel that their team is not already overworked. For some teams, the intensity of the competition will be too much, and increasing a training program would cause them to be over-trained.

Pay close attention to your team and their needs to create a program that keeps everyone safe and healthy.

Implementing the 1-3-1 Zone Defense

The 1-3-1 Half Court Zone Defense is a great way to disrupt opposing offenses. It can effectively be utilized as your base defense or for special situations.
Benefits of Implementing the 1-3-1 Zone:

1. Teams have to prepare for you.
The majority of coaches spend most of their time in practice working against or on man-to-man defense. Although the use of zone defense has become more popular in recent years, man-to-man is still the most common defense teams face. Even if you do see a lot of zone teams, they more commonly play variations of the 2-3 or 3-2 zone. The 1-3-1 half court zone is a defensive look that teams do not have to see on a regular basis. Because of their unfamiliarity playing against the 1-3-1, your opponents will have to spend a considerable amount of time preparing to face you, while limited the amount of work they can delegate to other facets of the game.

2. There are a limited number of ways to attack the 1-3-1 zone.
There are two major reasons why there are a limited number of ways to attack the 1-3-1: there are a limited amount of variables when it comes to defensive rotations and since coaches don’t play against it frequently, a lot less time is spent at figuring out how to break it. Since there are a lot less ways to attack the 1-3-1, you don’t have to spend as much time prepping your defense from game to game, allowing you to focus on other parts of your game plan.

3. The 1-3-1 alignment makes it easy for your team to fill your fast break lanes and run in transition.
If you run a numbered fast break (#2 and #3 run wide, #5 rim runs, etc.), the 1-3-1 allows you to get into your primary break lanes a lot quicker since you’re already in set areas within your zone defense.

4. Your rotations and alignment can be modified easily based on the strengths of your individual personnel or the scouting report of your opponent.
There are many different alignments and adjustments that you can make to your 1-3-1 to get the most out of your defense. Different alignments and rotations can be effective to maximize the strengths and hide the weaknesses of your team. Changing the look of your 1-3-1 is even better for taking away the strengths and exploiting the weaknesses of your opponent. Several ideas for adjustments to your 1-3-1 are detailed later in this article.

5. The 1-3-1 zone works especially well against:
• Teams that rely heavily on dribble penetration
• Teams that run a lot of different man-to-man offensive sets
• Teams that don’t have a lot of time to prepare to play you (travel tournaments, second game of a Friday/Saturday double header, etc.)
• Teams that have one or two great individual players (flex or trap adjustments)
• Poor shooting teams, as the 1-3-1 forces opponents to take outside shots, thus lowering shooting percentages.
• Many others

To read the full article, please CLICK HERE.

Free Throw Golf Drill

The following is from Jason Dycus, Head Girls’ Basketball Coach, Naperville North High School (IL):

Reavis FT

• There are 3 or 4 players at a basket
• Put three minutes on the clock
• Each person shoots one free throw and rotates
• Each time someone makes a free throw, one point goes in the bank
• The first person to miss add the score in the bank to their score (for example, if three people make a free throw in a row and the fourth person misses, the fourth person now adds 3 points to their score)
• The player with the lowest score wins

Memphis Closeout Drill

The following is from Chris Snyder, Head Boys’ Basketball Coach, Lakes High School (IL):

Memphis Closeouts 001

• Defender x1 starts with the ball and passes to x2.
• x2 passes to x3, x3 to offensive player 1 as x1 sprints to close out on 1.

Memphis Closeouts 002

• x2 and x3 close out on 2 and 3, respectively, as the ball is swung around the perimeter.
• On the first pass, from 1 to 2, x1 jumps to the ball.
• On the second pass, from 2 to 3, x1 sprints to mid line.

Memphis Closeouts 003

• The offense reverses the ball again, with defenders allowing the passes and working on positioning.
• x3 jumps to ball then sprints to midline, x2 jumps to ball, x1 closes out.

Memphis Closeouts 004

• Play live 3-on-3 from here with an emphasis on forcing the dribbler whichever direction your defense dictates.

4 Chair Drill I

4 Chair Drill I

• #1 starts in triple attack positions makes a move before dribbling (sweep, rip, jab, combination, etc.)
• #1 makes a dribbling move at each chair (hesitation, in/out, cross over, between the legs, behind the back, spin move)
• Once he clears the final chair, he dribbles to the chair on the opposite side of the floor (you can have them speed dribble, lateral dribble, power dribble, crab walk, etc. there)
• Once at the final chair, #1 makes a move before attacking the basket for a shot (change of direction, hesitation, retreat dribble, etc.)

Note: Mix up your dribble move combinations and finishes. For example, the first part of the drill you have the player start with a sweep and a rip, go through the chairs making cross overs, speed dribble to the last chair, go between their legs, and finish with a floater. The second time you do the drill you may change up each part of it to work on different moves and finishes.

Coach the Thrills

The following is from Larry Dean Jackson and Coach-Jackson.com:

Coach to the Thrills by Jim Murphy

Think about the things that excite you the most during a game you are coaching. Why are they so exciting? It is because they are momentum changers and things that win games.

I think you could plan every practice by writing down the 5 to 7 things that give you the biggest adrenaline rush during games and planning every practice accordingly. You would be emphasizing all the things that make the game great. Here are some of the things that would be on my list.

1. Getting a big stop at the end of the game.
2. Perfect execution of an offensive play for an easy successful shot.
3. Having all the inside positions for a defensive rebound
4. Taking a charge!!!
5. A great pass for an easy shot.
6. An inside out pass for an easy (made) 3.
7. Breaking a press for a layup.

I think that if everything we do in practice is planned to make me jump (relative term now) out of my seat during games, we will get better and better.