Fit Your System to Your Players

I was watching clips yesterday and this interview with Billy Donovan really stood out to me. Coach Donovan is coming off back-to-back NCAA national championships and all 5 of his starters from the previous year have moved on. In talking about this coming year, he talks about the importance of adjusting the offense to take advantage of the talent he has this year. Watch the video and then you can read my thoughts below.

I think this is an important concept, sometimes it's easy to reuse the same offense/defense year in and year out. I'm not accusing coaches of being lazy, I understand that as a coach, it's often times better to coach a system that you know really well, rather than to try and teach a new system that you are only vaguely familiar with. But recognizing the talent that you have and making adjustments is something that I feel is important.

I was coaching football at another school and we ran the spread offense one year. It was good because we had some tall receivers and we didn't have a power back that could run between the tackles. The next year, the head coach decides we will continue running the spread. Not only did we not have a quarterback that could throw more than 50 yards, but we had average speed at best at the split ends. We did however have a dominating full-back type player who we played as a tight-end instead. You can probably guess how well we did that season.

Enough of the preachy stuff, if you're looking for a nice video, check out Billy Donovan's DVD on Individual Skill Development within Your Offense. In it Donovan goes over teaching your players those specific skills that will make them a successful player during the season. It's a good pre-season video to look at. I have notes from the DVD, come by the X's and O's Basketball Forum to check them out.