5 DEFENSE PREJUDICES

1.

“There’s nothing wrong with you 

that an expensive operation can’t prolong.”

– Monthy Python –

DEEP DEFENCE IS AGGRESSIVE

One of the most common prejudices, especially among coaches working with children is:

If we play deep defence, e.g. 3:3, 

the players will become aggressive.

This is a misinterpretation of the following truth:

For this defence to be successful, 

players need to play it aggressively.

There are a lot of teams that play shallow defence and the players are very aggressive, and also, there are a lot of passive players who fail to play the deep zone.

Deep zones are the best developmental stimulus only if they are played aggressively.

If they are not played aggressively, 

they are not a good developmental stimulus.

2.

”Fashion is architecture: 

it is a matter of proportions.”

– Coco Chanel –

TALL, STRONG PLAYERS ARE GOOD DEFENDERS

On TV, the best defenders are tall and strong, so vice versa it is logical as well: Tall and strong  players are good defenders 

It is true that the best defenders, in addition to being tall and strong, have developed a whole range of abilities that make them that good.

Without these abilities, 

tallness and strength are unusable.

What needs to be understood is that tallness and strength help. A tall player is a better defender than a shorter one if their other abilities are equal.

However, a shorter defender is better if they are superior to a tall one in speed, intelligence, tactical literacy etc.

3.

COUNTRY (OR CLUB) SHOULD HAVE A UNIQUE DEFENCE LEARNING SYSTEM 

(PLAYED BY SENIOR SELECTION)

”This Is My Truth, Now Tell Me Yours”

– Friedrich Nietzsche –

Many children, especially from former communist countries, are victims of such a narrow view of the upbringing of young players.

Systematic learning should focus on the richness of different tactical knowledge, not impoverishment.

A young player should learn to play in all basic defence systems as they grow up.

What the system needs to do is:

  1. Design methods to develop the skills needed to successfully play different defences
  2. Path

1.

The system, if it is good, is helpful to coaches because they have knowledge and experience that a novice coach cannot have.

The purpose of the system is to design a way to transfer this knowledge and experience to the coach so that they do not learn on the team they coach.

”It is important that the system understands 

that its job is not to limit coaches by precisely determining which defences all teams must play 

as this leads to moulding and setbacks.”

The system means precisely and scientifically-based determination of skills needed for quality defence play (we in Handball Education think that these are primarily: biomechanics of movement, psychomotor speed, technical and tactical creativity, speed, coordination, strength and agility) and design of methods of learning and development.

2.

The path does not mean paving the path that everyone has to take, but setting up signposts.

The path marks the order and dosage in learning enumerated in different age categories from mini handball to seniors. It is crucial to teach coaches through education what basic knowledge is and what a tactical upgrade is.

E.g. the foundations of playing in defence are a diagonal positioning and a correct foul, and the tactical upgrade is to maintain the density of the defence.

The problem with this kind of learning is 

that the density of defence among the youngest brings victories, 

so it is difficult to persuade coaches to follow a logical methodological path 

rather than shortcuts.

4.

WE RECEIVED LESS THAN 23 GOALS, 

SO WE PLAY A GOOD DEFENCE

“Statistics are like bikinis. 

What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.”

– Aaron Levenstein –

No.

Just as it is possible to play good defence and receive 30+ goals, it is also possible to receive 22 goals in a game in which we do not play good defence.

The path to this is simple:

Both teams play extremely slowly.

Both teams play extremely inaccurately.

If both teams had 45 attacks and the opponent had 15 technical errors, and we received 22 goals, we played a worse defence than in a game with 60+ attacks and 8 rival technical errors in which we received 35 goals.

5.

WE NEED TO PLAY THE DEFENCE PLAYED BY THE BEST TEAM

SO WE WILL GET BETTER

”I’ve been imitated so well I’ve heard people copy my mistakes.”

– Jimy Hendrix –

Unselectively copying what others do is one of the better ways to fail.

Progress will be made possible by a coach who knows a large number of different paths.

They understand which of those paths took the team that became the best.

Knowing the different paths to success,

allows them to choose the one that is best for the team

they coach at a given time.