This week’s defensive concepts feature focuses on key rules and guidelines for effective 1-3-1 zone defense. With Adams Friendship (WI) High School head coach Steve Klaas leading the way, you’ll learn about essentials when it comes to zone defense personnel, player positioning, defensive implementation, and overall philosophy.
Essential 1-3-1 Coaching Points
In basketball, something happens when everyone knows exactly where they’re supposed to be at all times. For Coach Klaas, his steams have had success in the past because they always know where to be. Let’s begin by revealing how the defense is numbered in order to keep it simple.
Player 1 is our best athlete. He is taller and has long arms. We want him in a position to cover the entire floor. Next, the 2 and 3 players serve as the wing personnel. Player 2 is on ballside and usually smaller, quicker, and loves to pressure the ball. Our weakside wing is bigger and a better rebounder. Next, Player 5 is our strongest player and plays between the ball and the basket, where we need strength. Finally, Player 4 is our baseline runner and does just that, sprinting from corner to corner.
Rules of the 1-3-1 Zone Defense
1) Every player must stay in a stance for the entire defensive possession. In this simulation, the offense starts throwing the ball around. Keep watching to see if the squad can stay in a defensive stance the entire time. This is something your team should work at, push, and strive for.
2) Read the eyes of the passer. This is similar to what any good defensive back would do. And because we are reading the eyes of the offense 3) We will move while the ball is in the air. We don’t rest on defense. Check out the game footage of Adams Friendship to see just how active the team is on the defensive end of the floor.
4) Look to deflect. To help with this, turn your thumb down so you can control the deflection. Keep in mind, the person who deflects the ball is often not the one who steals it. Instead, we expect someone else to pick it up. Therefore, mirror the ball. The ball should always be pressured.
5) Everyone goes to the boards mad. When the ball is shot, everyone knows where they are supposed to be. Note: Player 1 never blocks out. He goes immediately to the weakside board. In fact, because of this tactic, he might just end up being your squad’s leading rebounder.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Dominating 1-3-1 Zone Defense.” To check out more videos featuring defensive drills and systems, simply head over to our basketball library.