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Two Scenarios For A 2nd Half Comeback

by Charlie Reznikoff

Scenario #1. Your opponent has a short roster. In the first half they got breaks early. But they are starting to look tired and predictable in their offense. You have identified their play-makers. Your D line has already generated some grueling points for their O line. Meanwhile your team has legs, intensity, they just can't cash in with breaks. In this scenario I'd turn up the defensive intensity with a straight up mark, specific match ups, and hard physical D. Take the other team's key players out of their preferred game: make their thrower go deep, make their deep cutter throw, face guard the handler. Disrupt their initial play with a straight up mark, poaching off the dump handler, forcing into the stack, transition junk, or whatever. Above all, they should never get a one-pass-goal. Also unleash the team freak in the huddle, get everyone jacked, and let a frenzy loose on the field. Avoid stoppages of play and long discussions. After the turn, empower your key throwers to take deep shots. If you don't get the goal, you at least have reset their offense against your smothering D. Bottom line: against a tiring team, disrupt the initial play then fall into smothering physical defense with quick transition. 

Scenario #2. Your opponent is in rhythm and looking good. They show no signs of letting up. The match ups are not in your favor. Your defense is frustrated. Here you zone. Many teams don't rely on zones in big moments, and that is unfortunate. If you know and trust two zones, you can change momentum in such a game. Start with your strongest zone. If your opponent takes a time out to discuss their offense, switch your zone. Throw in a point of intense man D after a few points of zone. Never let them regain their rhythm. Up to this point your D line has not had many offensive possessions. They've watched your opponents score at will. Commonly your D line will fritter away break opportunities with impatience. I'd emphasize to the team playing within itself and within the team's offense. Challenge your team to out-think your opponent. Bottom line: against a team in rhythm, switch up your defenses and play methodical offense after a turn. 

What not to do? Cheat. Often a second half deficit means travel calls, excessive fouling-and-contesting, doubling-teaming zones, etc. At times this is incidental to ratcheting up the intensity. Cheating shows the team's lack of actual strategy. In any case (and I've been on teams like this), bad calls usually result in poor focus and lower energy for your own team. Against good teams, bad calls will allow them to slow the game down, rest, think, and reset their offense. Making key travel calls might get you some wins. But it will prevent you from learning how to actually stop the throw, and you will not grow as a player. My objection to cheating is not only moral. It's practical. It usually does not work. 

huddle Issue 20 The Comeback

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Short, Aggressive Risks
by Lindsey Hack

One At A Time
by Greg Husak

Change A Losing Strategy
by Brett Matzuka

Execute Your Changes
by Ted Munter

Two Secenarios For A 2nd Half Comeback
by Charlie Reznikoff

Countering & Changing Defenses
by Miranda Roth

Successful Attitudes
by Kyle Weisbrod





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