POG Coaching Style

When developing young talent, coaches should focus on teaching the principles of the game(POGs), instead of a rigid system or set of plays. Teaching principles of the game, such as offensive skills to break down a defense, reading defenses, help defense, etc., lead to more creativity from players, allowing them to develop and become more talented. Using a rigid system holds players down, capping their creativity and talent because they have a defined role.

An example of a coach using a POG style rather than a rigid system would include simply defining general tactics on offense. A coach’s tactic would be to maintain proper spacing around the perimeter allowing for dribble penetration. Coaches could define goals such as “the possession should end in either a layup or an open jump shot because of the spacing and dribble penetration.” While this strategy gives players a general guide to follow, it does not define any players to specific roles, or any specific plays. It still leaves players room to set on and off ball screens, rotate, crash the offensive board, etc. In a rigid system in which the coach tells players exactly where to stand, who passes to who, and who creates the offense, players could become frustrated and bored.

Players enjoy a POG style because they make more of the decisions, while the coach guides them. A POG also leads to greater development of skills since the players get more opportunities. Overall the increased amount of opportunities will lead to more development. Usually POG coaching style focuses more on the offensive end of the game, so defensively players can lack progression. The ramifications of this are present in the NBA today, as there are not many defensive oriented players left, and most of them are older players.

During youth basketball, POG style delays specializations, raising the ceiling of development. No specializations allow players to reach a higher ceiling and develop more well rounded skills.

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