If your child’s coach is not teaching your son or daughter how to play man defense, you are being cheated. There is absolutely no reason for kids under the age of 18 to play anything but man defense. The mentality that comes with playing man defense is paramount to becoming a championship player and team.
The most consistently successful coaches in high school teach kids how to play man defense, exclusively. Unsurprisingly, those same coaches teach kids how to play motion offense which emphasizes role definition, teamwork, and reading the defense. That’s because the game of basketball, in its most pure and dynamic form, is when five people play man defense and work together on offense in a free decision making motion system. In that system of basketball the symbiotic relationship between those five players on both ends is a thing of beauty. It’s the essence of championship basketball.
Unfortunately, we live in a basketball era short on substance and integrity, and long on short cuts and quick fixes.
Coaches give all sorts of reasons for not playing man defense. Most common are “my players are not athletic enough” or “I like to surprise the other team by switching defenses”. Both of these are simply excuses for coaches that do not have the work ethic, knowledge, or ability to teach kids how to play the game correctly.
My advice to young players is to seek coaches that will teach you how to play man defense and motion offense.