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April 2010

Most coaches are control freaks (I am). That’s why we invented plays – so that we can position players exactly where we want them and have them move exactly how we want. The problem is that defenses can play by principle, adjusting quickly to anything the offense does. And, like I said in the previous article, a coach’s predetermined sequence of actions (a play) prevents the offense from being able to adjust to the moment-by-moment actions of the defense. If that is the case, how do you counter a defense playing by principle? The answer is easy to say, but much harder to do. You must turn your moment-by-moment hunting of scoring opportunities over to your players, while maintaining control of the larger themes of the game (momentum, large adjustments by the defense, etc.). To say it another way: you need to control players and situations through the offense rather than with it.