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Dynamic Defense: Interview with Dick Helm

Ever since we released the Read & React Offense a few years ago, coaches have been asking about the other side of the basketball coin – defense. Actually, they would ask, “So, what about a Read & React Defense?”

And, for almost three years now, we’ve been teasing you about a leveled system of teaching defense.

We’re calling it Dynamic Defense instead of Read & React Defense, though. Actually, we never considered Read & React Defense because… well, because it didn’t make sense.

So, why Dynamic Defense?

Other than the enjoyable alliteration (we have a thing about double letters: Better Basketball, Read & React), it’s because it changes the dynamics between players and coaches. It puts the coach in the position of teacher and enabler, while keeping progress through the four levels squarely on the shoulders of each player.

Dynamic Defense is not a new type of defense, it’s a new way of teaching defense. In fact, it’s the most complete and comprehensive curriculum for teaching individual and team defense available today (as far as I can tell). Across its four levels Dynamic Defense addresses Speed, Agility, & Quickness; Rebounding; 1-on-1 Defense; Help Defense from any position; Defending Situations; and high level Rotate & Recovery techniques. There’s even a mental toughness component.

You can check out the full Dynamic Defense trailer here and we’ll be posting several teaching excerpts from it over the next couple of weeks. Thanks for waiting the three years… we think it was worth it.

The video below is an excerpt from an interview I did with retired NBA Coach Dick Helm. His experience is the framework upon which Dynamic Defense is built – the levels are his devising, I just expanded upon them.

I first heard Coach Dick Helm speak on the Four Levels of Defense during an Athletes In Action Basketball Coaching Clinic. I knew right away that I wanted to learn more.

Fortunately, Coach Helm lives within an hour’s driving distance from my home. This has allowed me to pick his brain for the last 3 years. I kept bothering him with question after question (many times, the same question) and he would patiently explain it and re-explain over and over again.

Most of my questions were not about the system itself, because the four levels are elegant and simple to understand. I was more interested in the dynamics between Coach Helm and his players in the NBA. If he could tap into the competitive nature of NBA players, if this system could stimulate his athletes’ desire to get better on defense, then I was confident that we lesser mortals could do the same with our college, high school and youth teams.

I’ve been drinking from his well of knowledge and experience for the last three years; the above video will give you a taste.


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about rick torbett

Rick Torbett has taught thousands of coaches to win more games through his innovative approach to the game. He has created powerful training for coaches at any level so they can coach their best and win more games.

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Read & React 5-Player Coordination Drills

Enter your email address to get an inside look at teaching the Read & React Offense with the drills in this free video.