Friday, January 30, 2015

Identifying Proper Passing Lanes vs Solid Defenders

Identifying Proper Passing Lanes vs Solid Defenders
By Coach Scott Fields
Identifying Passing Lanes vs Defender
By Coach Scott Fields

This is part 2 of the Proper Passing Techniques from last week.
Again be looking for the instructional videos on this topic and other aspects of Basketball coming in the near future.

I believe proper
Teaching/Coaching should be done in progression. You need to be able to Teach basic passing Fundamentals before moving onto a more advance passing skills.

I believe that this post will not serve all HS coaches, this is higher level passing thought process.
This takes creativity, it takes vision, it takes awareness and SAVY. These are not cliche. It takes a players perspective to another level. A players vision and way they see the game. But I want to take players and coaches to another level of entertaining thought. Again, this is a higher level skill set. This post is about details and a perception to see the game through different eyes.

Athletes should have mastered the basic Fundamental passes before moving onto a more advanced passing skills. Don't Teach a Player to make a behind the back pass until they can master a basic Bounce pass or Chest pass first. This sounds elementary yes, but I walk into many gyms and see players shooting from the three point line, and they can't even make a 8 FT 45 degree angle bank shot? I feel you have the visual. I see players trying to do an AND 1 Mix tape move only to turn it over time after time.

Think how many games you watch as a parent? How many games you watch as a Player? A Coach? A Fan ? How many solid passes do we see being properly  executed compared to poor passing being made? Poor passing far out numbers Good passes. Think of the number of possessions that are lost? How many unforced turnovers are being made? How many times have we seen a player on the wing, not be able to enter the ball into the post to put the post player in a position to score?  The pass is stolen. The pass is defected by the defense.  To many players are to lazy to make a ball fake first? Everyone tries to make a chest pass in the paint? How often do we see a person make a ball fake and use a wrap around pass to feed the post? They make a lazy pass and again, it is deflected. The coach reacts, the player confidence becomes shaken, the body language shows and or they are taken out of the game for not executing the play.
Make two simple rules as a Coach, every pass in the paint is a bounce pass. Make a ball fake before every pass. Your percentages of passes being executed will increase 40% or higher. This means far less defections, More passes hitting the target or receiver of the pass. 

As a defender , it is true, hands come up, quicker then they can go down, because the kinesiology and muscle structure, biceps and triceps trigger quicker up times then downward movement times, this is why bounce passes are more effective, it takes a longer reaction time to move hands down to floor, then move hands up.

It takes a longer reaction time for the brain to tell the feet to move as well.

The purpose of the pass is simple. It is to get the ball to the open man. The pass moves faster than the defender. The pass moves quicker than the dribble.
The pass is to set up a Team mate to allow them to be in a position to complete a higher percentage shot. The pass is used to put Team Mates in a Position to be successful.

Think of the NBA Finals last Season with the San Antonio Spurs and the way they moved the ball vs the Miami Heat defense. The extra pass was made for a higher percentage shot for a Team mate throughout the entire series.

First you need to know where every player wants to receive the ball. The passer needs to know where the receiver is most comfortable to receive the ball. Example, we don't hit a Big man with a pass below his knees. We don't want them to have to bend on the post and loose position or balance. 
Don't pass a center the ball in the back court, if he is not a good ball handler? Don't pass the ball to a Wing who is a catch and shoot guy, don't expect him to create for himself off of the dribble. I think again, you get the visual. We have all seen it.

There are passing lanes against a good defender. I am attaching a photo of a defender . (The Yellow dots are effective passing Zones) 
To break it down, anatomically the spots identify effective areas to pass the ball.
Think about it, if a player is in a proper defensive stance, the arms are out.
It takes the defender a long time to get hands above the head. The feet are typically more than shoulder width apart.

Again, before all passes are made, make a strong ball fake, to freeze the defense or make the defense lean or lunge. 
We as a the passer, we want to pass the ball past the area of the body of the defender so that they can't make a play against you. pass to where it takes longer to react. Pass to where the defender can't get a hand or foot or body part to defect or steal the pass. Ball fakes freeze the defender, ball fakes make a defender react to where he thinks you are going to pass the ball, creating passing lanes to hit the target of the receiver of the pass.

See the Illustration provided with Yellow marks to Identify these passing lanes.

1) Right above the Head is a great place to pass, the hands take a long time to go from out wide to above the head. Reaction time for hands to go from out to above the head takes a long period of time, especially if a ball fake is made and you fake a bounce pass. Hands moving from the knees to above the head creates a great passing lane.
2) pass the ball right past the ear, why? Again, anatomically, It takes a longer period of time to get the hand up to the ear. You a ball fake by the waist, now the defender needs to move his hands from the waist to the ear, this creates a great lane. You can't move the head fast enough down to the shoulder. As the ball leaves the hand, put the follow through hand past the ear of the defender.
3) pass the ball by the left ear, again for the same reason as above the head and by the ear, it takes longer for the defender to get their hand up to the ear or above the head. these are effective areas. This is for the same reason as the right ear. (See previous mentioned to #2) again put the follow through hand past the left ear.
4) after an effective ball fake above the head, the hands move up to defect the pass, now you have created a new passing lane next to the rib cage on the right side of the core of the body of the defender.
5) now the same is true on the left side of the rib cage, but an effective ball fake above the head is needed.
6)A pass between the defenders legs is always effective. Again, a ball fake is needed to create the passing lane. Most players in a action/reaction  will not even consider a pass between the legs, they don't have the vision or creativity to execute the pass, it does take practice. the player must have the vision of where the target they are passing to. But between the legs is a very effective spot, players are not comfortable to make this pass as they only see the body of the defender in front of them, so they don't attempt the pass, but it is one of the largest passing lanes, as legs are much longer than arms,, think again of the reaction time it takes for a players in a wide defensive stance to bring the feet together or drop the hands to the passing area between the legs. This is even more effective the lower the pass is below the groin of the defender, and you don't want to injure the defender by hitting them in the groin. think of a ball fake up by the waist, the play will react to try to kick the ball, and the passing lane is now even more wide. As now they will need to drop the leg and try to close the legs...this is a long time to make this play as a defender.

***More Games are Won and Lost on simple Fundamental plays of the game than Won on a Flashy Entertaining Play.  

The Yellow dots identify passing lines vs defender

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