Try “Speed Dating” to Find the Right Offensive Scheme

Many of us struggle, even annually, to come up with an offensive scheme that best suits our personnel-especially if we have little or no control of our roster. Even when we are in a recruiting situation, players who we thought could do certain things don’t pan out for various reasons. It’s a great thing when a coach can go season after season basically running the same stuff. Hold that thought for a minute.

Now, several times in past articles, we’ve alluded to how our scout teams often slice up our first team defense in practice running our opponent’s stuff. We often borrow sets on the spot or we are too embarrassed to do so.

Why then wouldn’t we flip the script and at the first opportunity in the pre-season have a “try-out” for offensive sets. Certainly, we all have lists somewhere of sets that we have run in the past, or sets that we have liked and never used for one reason or another. It probably wouldn’t take more than two days to “try-out” the offenses and even if it did take more, it would be time well spent. As we all know, there is nothing worse than spending weeks or months putting in a system and then having to ditch it at mid-season because it just doesn’t fit.

Putting in the offenses in a fairly basic way would take no longer than it does for game preparation purposes. That way, we would be able to evaluate our players individually to see what works best for them as well as what works best for the unit.

The hunch here is that players and staff alike would be highly interested and motivated by the experiment and explaining it in advance might enhance the overall effectiveness of the “speed-dating” format.


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