If you are interested, you can click the link to read excerpts of the book on Amazon: A Season With Coach Dick Bennett by Eric Ferris.
We Must OUTLAST the offense on every possession! Great defense takes consistent effort and commitment to excellence, every second of every practice and every game. It is not good enough to just go through the motions, to give the impression that you are trying, that you care. You must take PRIDE in your defense, in your effort, and be committed to OUTLASTING your opponent. You have to believe that! Anything less gives our opponents the edge. Gentlemen, we must OUTLAST the offense on every possession. That must be our foundation.
Synergy—the whole must be greater than the sum of its parts.
Coach Bennett lets his assistants do the hands on running of drills and scrimmages so he can take a big picture approach. He often does not say much during practice, but observes.
He believes in going 5/0 and 5/5 to practice offense and breaks the defense down into drills for about 45 minutes per night. As he got going in the 96-97 season, he said that teams which don’t understand how to play need more 5/5. They need to learn to make decisions. The ones who understand how to play, benefit from drills more.
“I concluded some time ago that a major part of success of a team, or of an individual, has a great deal to do with the intangible qualities possessed. The real key is how a person sees himself [humility], how he feels about what he does [passion], how he works with others [unity], how he makes others betters [servanthood], and how he deals with frustration and success, truly learning from each situation [thankfulness], I believe those concepts are the essence of a good player, team, coach, or individual in any capacity in life.”
Coach Bennett believes that these concepts lead to quality. As the Author puts it: There was the goal, the driving force; pure quality basketball. Winning was an indication of, but it did not equate to, quality. Attaining the intangible goal would make the tangible goal not only possible, but even probable.
We must be optimistic. No matter how devastating the previous day, we must be tremendously resilient and comes back the next day with a plan to improve.
We genuinely got to the point where the players were more concerned about what they had to do for the team than what they had to do for themselves. That is what defense will do for you.
Defending the deep corner is the vulnerability of a 1-2-2 zone.
All coaches work with players before practice.
Generate energy and enthusiasm in practice.
Play tough, play smart, and compete for 32 minutes.
The game is a very intense atmosphere for two hours and you have to prepare your players for that. It is much like a drill sergeant in boot camp. He is preparing those people for a time when there is no other way to perform than a hard, focused way.
Some players are victims of what happens to them. If things are going well, they play well. If things are going bad, they play bad. You must play through it and make your own opportunities. If they are not there, you must create your own opportunities.
Coach Bennett journals about his team each day. It allows him to clarify his thoughts and to sort out what he needs to share with his coaching staff.
He has “halftimes” during practice. The players shoot free throws until they have cooled down. He then gives a short talk (like a haltime talk) and they then warmup and prepare for the second half of practice.
These are some notes that I took from the book A Season With Coach Dick Bennett by Eric Ferris. If you are interested, you can click the link to read segments of the book on Amazon.
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