Making Adjustments

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Coming down the stretch of the season, you’re seeing conference opponents possibly for a second time.  You might see them for a third time in your conference tournament.  No matter the results of those initial match-ups, you need to start making adjustments for the rematches.

Some adjustments may be easy, especially if a key player was hurt for the first game.  Or you may have gotten into some foul trouble on the road and know that won’t happen again at home.

Other adjustments aren’t as easy and they come when you know your opponents really well as conference opponents often do.

Here’s three things you can do in those rematches:

  1. Change your base defense – When I was at Trinity (TX) and at the top of the conference, we would always come up against an opponent who would throw some new defense at us.  Whether it was a 3-2 zone or some new traps.  The whole point was to make us uncomfortable and it often did until we were to adjust on the fly and we weren’t always able to do that.  When you make a change like this, you don’t need to be great at it because your opponent won’t be great against it, even if they make an adjustment.
  2. Change your lineup or rotation – If you have this data, you can make a switch to make sure you’ve got the right match-ups.  Everyone has those players who just do better or worse against certain opponents.  Don’t be afraid to make those changes and explain them to your team so everyone is on board.  I think that usually gets players excited when they know more about the changes being made.
  3. Tweak your plays – Similar to changing your lineups, you may notice a tendency of an opposing team’s defense or just one player, that you can take advantage of.  Maybe they’re overplaying the wings, so you can get a back door cut for an easy lay up.  They don’t need to be big changes to pay big dividends.

The key message here is make some adjustments.  Never make it easy for your opponents to predict what’s going to happen especially when you’re very familiar with them and vice versa.