The Zone Defense Myth

I am not a zone-defense coach, but I have defended zone defense several times (here, here, and here) because there are so many misconceptions about basketball and the way that the game is taught. One major criticism of zone defenses is that players ball-watch, while in man-defense, the argument is that players learn to watch Read more about The Zone Defense Myth[…]

Can One Teach Defensive Fundamentals through Zone Defenses?

After commenting on zone defenses and pointing out some of the negative issues as well as reasons why zones are not bad for youth basketball, a coach observed that zones are a poor way to teach defensive fundamentals. In particular, the reason was that players only watch the ball in zone defense, but they learn Read more about Can One Teach Defensive Fundamentals through Zone Defenses?[…]

Why are Zones and Presses Bad for Youth Basketball?

As a follow-up to the last article defending one’s right to play zone defense, I decided to explain further the negatives involved with zones and presses at young ages. Full-Court Press Against a full-court press, I teach players Diamond Spacing: the passer needs an option up the court, behind the ball and on a diagonal Read more about Why are Zones and Presses Bad for Youth Basketball?[…]

Is Zone Defense Bad for Youth Basketball?

Today I watched a video that vilified zone defenses and presses in youth basketball. Now, I am a man-to-man coach and played in man-to-man defense only leagues when I was young. However, as long as zone defenses are legal, I do not see why youth leagues should prohibit them or why coaches should be discouraged Read more about Is Zone Defense Bad for Youth Basketball?[…]

Creating a Defensive Strategy or Principles

I never played on a team that played zone defense, and I developed with the mindset that teams only play zone defense if they do not think that they can guard the opponent man-to-man. However, as I began to coach, I realized that man-defense and zone-defense are very similar. When I coached in a professional Read more about Creating a Defensive Strategy or Principles[…]

Zone Defense and Player Development

Many coaches feel that youth teams should not be allowed to play zone defense. They believe that man-to-man defense increases player development. The perception is that zones are lazy. It is true that zones can take advantage of young players’ lack of strength to shoot three-pointers and throw skip passes. However, for players this young, Read more about Zone Defense and Player Development[…]

Right-Brain Thinking Against Zones

This article originally appeared in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter 4.5. Zones stymie many teams and players. Generally, teams and players who attack man2man defenses stand around and play passively against zone defenses. There is no real reason to explain the passivity. Zones require a different strategy than man2man, but good defenses combine man-defense and zone Read more about Right-Brain Thinking Against Zones[…]