(It's Not Steals)
Keith Haske knows a thing or two about full court pressure. Implementing his full court uptempo system, he has won over 500 games at the high school level.
He has been to the state championship game four different times. He has done this at different schools. He has also done this with both boys and girls.
Here is an excerpt where he talks about a key stat that he tracks with full court pressure… and it’s not steals.
As Coach Haske stated in the video, his goal is to get 20 or more deflections each game.
Well, why not steals? Isn’t that the goal… to get the ball back?
While that is a good point, setting a goal for steals can have unintended consequences.
Since you set steals as the goal, your team will take more actions to get steals. One way to get a steal is to dive after the ball as the offensive player is dribbling.
Yes. This can work to get more turnovers. However, your players might do it 40 times a game trying to get those 12 steals. So what happens as a result? Your players are constantly out of position. And the offense is constantly at an advantage whether it’s 5 on 4, 5 on 3, 4 on 2, 3 on 1, etc.
So you are negating the positive effect of getting a steal with the negative effect of allowing them to have more high-percentage scoring opportunities.
So how can you get both the positive effect of steals while reducing high-percentage scoring opportunities for the offense?
You focus on maintaining good defensive position. You focus on active hands that leads to deflections. And the more balls deflected, the higher chance you have of intercepting the ball which results in a steal. Especially if you practice this every day.
Even if you don’t steal the ball off of a deflection, you are still in good defensive position to stop the ball or recover. This will keep the numbers in your favor and force more difficult situations for the offense.
So if you are a pressure team, make sure to use deflections. That way, your full court pressure is much more effective.