So much of coaching is not what plays you run, but what you emphasize. What is important to you as a coach. Because your players are reading you every day, and they know what is important to you. It’s a lot more than what you say. They read your reactions, your emotions, your tone. They can tell what you like and what you don’t.

I’ve always said there are two kinds of coaches – those who clap when the ball goes in the basket in practice, and those who get pissed. I’d say at least 80% of coaches probably clap when the ball goes in. We all like a well executed play that results in a clean bucket. The problem is, in practice, when the ball goes in it is going in against your defense as well.

I think a great defensive mindset can separate teams and programs. It’s just not that common to have a team that thinks defense first. Players aren’t brought up that way. They don’t go to the park in the summer to dive on loose balls. So it takes a lot of preparation and effort to train your team to think defense first.

Try and get used to being upset when the ball goes in in practice. Don’t applaud the good offense, hold the defense accountable for the mistakes. they made. Your team will take on your mentality, and if you are thinking defense first they will do the same. Train your staff, your managers, and your players to see the game through a defensive lens. You’ll create a mentality that can separate you from most of the teams in your league.

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