courtesy of “Words on the Bounce,” a great new Blog by Kyle Gilreath (@kylegilreath)
Ask any basketball coach in the world what they think is one of the most important factors to having a GREAT defensive team, and I would bet they will mention “Communication” somewhere in their explanation. While knowing your rotations, knowing personnel, and playing solid fundamental defense are truly key components; Communication is vital in order to become a great defensive Team.
I have been fortunate to coach at all levels of basketball (except professionally) in my young career, and at every level it seems one of the hardest things to teach is the importance of communication on defense. Now I know this is partly due to the fact that young players don’t think it’s “cool” to communicate on defense. However, I also feel that this is due to the lack of habits being formed at young ages.
Websters Dictionary defines habits: an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. If coaches began preaching the importance of communication to grade school players and everyone began to do it, would it then become “cool” by the time they reached middle or high school and then college?
Constant communication is enforced at the highest levels of basketball. One of those enforcers is the new head coach at the University of Wyoming, Larry Shyatt. For those very few of you who do not know Coach Shyatt, he is an absolute Defensive Guru (He is the Tom Thibodeau of college basketball). During his time at the University of Florida, he introduced a three letter acronym that was preached almost on a daily basis: E.L.C. This stood for Early, Loud, & Continuous.
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