(Rental)-Creative Play Calling
Steve Pikiell: Creative Play Calling
For the coach that is currently in or taking over a program that struggles, this video from Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell can help you become more competitive. Pikiell was the first player for legendary UConn head coach Jim Calhoun to become a Division I head coach when he took over at Stony Brook in 2005. Pikiell slowly rebuilt the program into an America East Conference power. He shows you how to get more with less and adds in some set plays and inbounds plays that you can use in your programs.
The Importance of Vocabulary and Communication
Successful teams are the ones that are able to communicate in a quick, efficient manner. Coach Pikiell shows you how to develop such a system to make sure you and your players are on the same page. One of the big reasons for a simple communication system is to package plays. Pikiell’s teams have been able to create lots of scoring opportunities by utilizing communication in the Wide series. In this series, Pikiell uses a variety of screens and other actions to get all of his players involved. Ultimately, Coach Pikiell takes advantage of his players’ best skills and uses them to the team’s advantage. Communication helps in doing so.
Developing an Identity
One of the big steps in rebuilding a program is the developing of an identity. Since there is no single identity that is “best,” Pikiell gives some ideas as to how one might go about developing an identity and coming up with at least one thing a team “can hang its hat on.”
One of the ideas is the use of the 1-3-1 zone defense. Pikiell presents the 1-3-1 and using it as a half-court trap to take advantage of a team’s personnel. Another idea is the use of the 2-2-1 press and adjusting it to fit different levels of talent. Pikiell discusses the idea of “no middle, no layup, good defense” as something a team could hang its hat on.
Getting Victories with Inbounds Plays
Pikiell believes you can build confidence in a program and one of the ways to do so is through inbounds plays. In this segment, Coach Pikiell presents a number of inbounds plays from a box alignment and then goes into a few more from the double-stack alignment. He even shows you how to take advantage of a “screen magnet” and free up a player under the basket for an easy basket.
With experience in rebuilding programs, Pikiell stresses the idea of building a system that suits your personnel. Keep things simple and design a system that can adapt and adjust depending upon personnel and situation.