In the last 9 years of my 19 total years of  coaching at the high school level my teams mostly consisted of  three point shooting guards and we had a lack of bigs in our program.   As a result me and my staff decided to play the game to our strengths….Guard Play! We played faster, trapping and pressing teams for 4 quarters not allowing them to set up offense and take advantage of big men, taking the coach out of the game by making the opposition dribble the ball and make decisions…. and for the most part teams could not run any set offense against us. In essence we created:

A Black Swan for the Opposition

While most coaches spend their time working on half court offensive sets for a major portion of their practice time, it won’t matter when you play them if they cannot run any of their plays or you throw a Black Swan attack their way!  Most teams will not be ready especially early in the season.  We found that if the attack of a full court pace, trapping schemes, switching screens, switching and changing defense will be cause coaches especially to be  “caught with their pants down” and not be prepared. Here are some things to think about when trying to create a Black Swan, Chaos, and the Art of War to win.

Ideas for Causing a Black Swan – Especially Early in the Season

1.  Full Court Press and Trapping – Coaches don’t spend enough time on it and it is hard to recreate in practice especially if you are a team that does not play fast.  It also takes the coach “out of the game” and makes players make more decision with fatigue becoming a issue as the game wheres on.  It also gets a team “out of their comfort zone”.

2.  Half Court Trapping Schemes – Trapping first or second pass, trapping corners, making teams throw the ball over the split line causing turnovers for the opposition and more possessions for your team. Most teams are never ready to dribble the ball and pass out of double teams and more importantly the other 4 players on offense rarely space the floor correctly to react to defensive traps.

3.  Switching Screens – Teams don’t know what to do with defenses that switch screens nor are they patient enough to take advantage/recognize mismatches especially with the shot clock being used.  In addition, coaches don’t teach players how to handle defense that switch screens and disrupt timing along with getting in passing lanes.  Coaches tend to appropriate more time to other things in practice.

4.  Switch and Change Defenses – It is difficult for teams to handle, recognize, and adapt to teams that constantly switch and change defenses each time down the floor.  Offensively it requires a savvy or experienced point guard and a team that can not only recognize but adapt in a hurry with the shot clock winding down often times leading to poor shots, poor shot selection, and frustration.

Wreak Havoc on Opponents!

5.  The Art of War – This is a great book that I also used with my team that explains how to use the art of warfare and you can easily apply it to basketball or any sport for that matter.  It is one of the most interesting reads you will find and uniquely describes how using these types of attacks have been and will be successful whether it is in war or sports.

Create a Black Swan and Learn the Art of War to Win More Games!

“Chaos is unrecognized order”
― Jos Berkemeijer