The past couple of seasons I have not been pleased with the defense played by my teams. Where my teams were once feared because of our vaunted defense we were now average at best. I approached this from a fundamentals standpoint - we went back to basics and drilled the basics. Some improvements were made but it seemed like opponents capitalized on every single mistake we made. Something was amiss and I was blind to what it was.
My teams have played with 4 in the back since the late 1990's. It worked because of the prevalence of 3 forward systems. In today's high school game the preponderance of systems we face have 2 forwards and occasionally only one forward. Four in the back is unnecessary. In fact, I am coming to the realization 4 in the back has contributed to our defensive woes these last couple of seasons. If a defender has no one to pressure he is in a supporting role. Four in the back saw a redundancy in supporting roles and a decrease in concentration levels in those filling non-direct support. In a sense we were lulled to sleep by a false sense of security. it turns out this impacted our effectiveness on both defense and offense.
So it is that in addition to reviewing and analyzing my own teams' performance I have gone back to analyzing the high school game in general. Next years team will play a different formation and adjusted systems of play. I'm already moving into design mode on this. No, I am not going to share the changes I am contemplating and instituting for I know some rival coaches read this blog. Our readers will need to wait until fall of 2018 to fully appreciate what is coming. Suffice it to say, we are going back to forcing opponents to adapt to what we do. The problems we are going to present opponents next year are going to be very different from those we have presented them these past couple of seasons.