Five Common Problems Coaches Experience when Selecting Team Offense


When coaches are selecting a team offense there are a number of common problems they will often experience. These problems may or may not be detrimental to a group of players but they certainly will have an effect on the overall performance and results that could be achieved. A bad offensive system when implemented with a great individual player can still have success, but it could be so much better when these possible issues are considered.


The first problem commonly experienced by coaches is the selection of the wrong team offense for the playing roster. This is a very common issue and one that happens for a number of reasons. Some coaches only have a limited knowledge about what systems are out there and so are limited by their own knowledge or experience. For other coaches they strongly believe in a system and see it as being the ultimate pathway to success. They therefore will neglect other possible options in lieu of the system they have familiarity and positive experiences with. However it should be noted that within all system advancements, trends can be found. Each year top coaches who have been coaching and utilising a specific offensive system for many years will continue to embrace new technical and tactical elements to continue their success. This also enables any offense to be changed to meet the needs of the different player rosters. If your team is not a three point shooting group then limit their shooting options. Its common sense, but something which will help you play towards your teams strengths and not highlight their weaknesses.


Another common issue experienced by some coaches is they do not understand an offensive system fully before implementing it. While there will always be a need for trial and error, as a coach you should be spending some time looking to increase and develop your knowledge on a weekly basis. Researching a system is a great way to find out about its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This simple SWOT Analysis will assist in you understanding an offensive system fully. There are many sources available to find information out about offensives from general web searches, to YouTube clips and reading a book (yes they still make them).


Not looking past the standard or prescribed movements within the offense or specific play can also be a problem. A UCLA Cut has any number of different ‘reads’ which make the player movement more challenging and difficult to guard. Players unable to use these different options limit their success and that of the team. Coaches must play a part in addressing this by constantly breaking down and building up the plays utilised within an offensive system to make sure players understand the options available to them to create the best possible scoring options, not just the first shooting option presented.


Overcomplicated team offense systems are also common issues seen in the team environment. This is a problem which has a number of causes. As mentioned in the previous paragraph some coaches do not look at all the possible positions within an offense, for this reason they sometimes add another play to their playbook instead of looking to existing plays as a possible solution. Another issue can be that coaches use a variety of stand-alone plays instead of developing a system which promotes standard principles across a number of plays. When many different plays are selected it can lead to confusion and heart ache for players as they struggle to absorb offensive change ups.


One of the final problems commonly experienced by coaches is shifting too much focus onto the tactical offensive at the cost of technical development of players. This is a very common problem at the junior level where players need ample time to develop individually as well as in a team environment. Each week players should be focusing on meaningful technical skills that they need to improve. This however is one of the first things to be overlooked when coaches’ select complicated offensive systems in an attempt implement plays.


Team offense systems should be one part of a successful team strategy. They are not the most important part but one piece of the puzzle. Take the time to research which team offense system works best for you and at the end of the day knowing more about what systems are out there will only serve to make you a better coach.

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Coach Riches has been working within the sport, business and education industries for many years. During this time he has built an extensive number of formal and informal qualifications. A firm believer in training and development designed to help people reach their full potential, relevant o their needs and functional to their industry environment.

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