Every year at this time I get excited about the opportunity to compete in the playoffs, watch the individual League Tournaments and get ready for the NCAA Tournament.
If you have a team that has struggled down the stretch I have used the analogy that each of our losses were a lesson to learn from and now that we are in March everyone is 0-0. With losing comes a Psyche that something will go wrong and when it does it goes really wrong. With my struggling teams in my March practices; I add new play options, different strategies on defense to distance ourselves from what we have been doing and trying something new. In some instances it has given our team a new belief. Just last year we lost to a very good team by 30 and in 10 days faced them in the semifinals of our league tournament. That team was very skilled and pressed the whole game. I made adjustments by slowing down our press offense and giving our in bounder a few NEW options. Also we could not match up in a man defense like I would like and therefore went to playing a zone defense.
We were ahead at the end of the third quarter but lost by 6. The moral of the story was never quit, change the psyche and give your team new hope when it comes to playing a team that dominated you earlier. The HARDEST trait to overcome was the go wrong psyche that I mentioned earlier.
Another area that rises to the top in March is talent. Most of the talented teams that are well coached will succeed. I have had some talented teams as well. Those teams you can be harder on and expect more. With these teams I create more competition in practice and leave little for error. We work against non-traditional defenses like combo defenses , zones and switching man defenses. With these teams and all teams my emphasis is consistent. I push 60-40 defense in my practices all the time but in March at a much faster tempo and with more consequences.
March is here. I hope your teams are enjoying the madness. I wish you much success as you seek championships this month.