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Friday, May 13, 2011

Coaching the System by Doug Porter & Gary Smith

A new book on "The System" has just been released. It is written by Coach Doug Porter and Gary Smith. It can be argued that Coach Porter and Coach Smith have been the two most successful coaches in implementing Coach Arseneault's System. They have invested 3 years putting this book together. 
The following is a description from Coach Porter---

Coaching the System: A complete guide to basketball's most explosive style of play.
Our goal with this project has been to explain our versions of Grinnell System basketball.   The book has five sections…
1.      System Philosophy—How and why the system works, how to create playing units, ways to adapt it to your situation, personnel considerations, dealing with criticisms, and specifics of getting started.
2.      System Offense—Details of Gary's version of the Grinnell-style offense, a chapter on the LMU break (which he ran for 5 years in the '90s), and a chapter on the Olivet attack.
3.      System Defense—Gary’s multiple-press approach, and suggestions for defending every conceivable situation including after made and missed shots, transition defense, defending OBs, and vs. spread-delay offenses.
4.      System Practices—Conditioning, practice organization, and drills: defensive, offensive, and shooting.
5.      Appendix—Charts, records, sample practice plans, motivational tools, and suggested resources.
 It is 410 pages long, with 325 diagrams and 57 drills that will hopefully clarify most aspects of System basketball and “fill in the blanks” for your use or amusement. And, if it turns out not to be what you expected, it’s just the size and weight of a good door-stop! J
ONE IMPORTANT CAVEAT!  Our goal was to provide details of how we’ve adapted the System in our situations at Redlands and Olivet.  But everything we do is based on Coach A’s “Pioneering” (no pun intended!) efforts, so we refer you to his videos and book as the best resources for “Pure Grinnell” as only David can explain it.  Our primary motivation in putting this together was to explain our particular approaches, and to describe some of the variations in how different coaches implement the System.  Our other motivation is that we love the style, and this has been our way to “give back.”
     BUT… Despite the length and detail in the book, please don’t forget that success with the System does not depend on complexity!  (We know of an 11 year old girls’ team that used a version of it with great success.)  A book this in-depth might cause you to think the System is complicated, and that details are what matters.  But don’t kid yourself: it’s better to do a few things well than get caught up in trying to do too much.  We felt that this book might be useful as a resource for System coaches, but it’s not intended as a blueprint of “everything you have to do to run the System ‘correctly.’”  It you can take just a few ideas and drills from our experience to add to your base of knowledge, we’ll consider it worthwhile!
 For more info go to

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