TIP OFF: Basketball Queensland coaches Scott Butler, Leonard King and Mick Downer were in Rocky yesterday to host a coaching clinic with local club and representative coaches and players.
TIP OFF: Basketball Queensland coaches Scott Butler, Leonard King and Mick Downer were in Rocky yesterday to host a coaching clinic with local club and representative coaches and players. Chris Ison Rokcbask

Rocky basketball coaches learn from national mentors

ROCKHAMPTON'S basketball community got a boost yesterday with a coaching clinic for local club and representative coaches, as well as players, held by Mick Downer, assistant coach with the Australian Boomers and Scott Butler, assistant coach with the Australian Opals.

Both Downer and Butler were here in their capacity with Basketball Queensland as Coach Development Manager and High Performance Manager respectively.

Their aim was to teach playing systems for both defence and attack to local coaches so their players are using the same style of play right through to the elite level.

"We want all our players on the same page," Butler said.

"These concepts are designed to teach players how to play and as they progress they can adapt to any system right through to WNBL, NBL or the Boomers and Opals.

"We are giving Queensland junior players a direct link to the style of play used all the way to the top."

"We want players to play a 'read and react' offence. We teach players how to play what is happening in the game, as opposed to teaching them to rely on set plays. They learn to read what the defence is giving them and react accordingly."

And defensively, the system is called Pack Line defence.

"That's a player to player defensive system where the aim is for the player to put pressure on the ball carrier but also have plenty of help behind the ball. We want to ensure players in defence are forcing contested shots.

"Pack line defence is very common across basketball, both here in Australia and overseas, and it has been a very successful formula for us."

Butler cites the recent success of Queensland junior representative teams as an example.

"The Queensland North under 16 boys won the Australian championships and it is the first time that has happened in 40 years," he said.

"It is an amazing result considering the population base of the team, compared to Victoria or NSW metro areas."

The team included Rocky player Frazer Roberts.

"And the Queensland South under 16 girls also won. That is the first time we have had two Australian championships teams from Queensland in the same age group," Butler said.

Meanwhile, Downer is settling into the role he has held for just a month.

The coach development manager position was created to help associations and clubs with their coaching.

"We are looking at how we can better support clubs, their coaches, who are often volunteers, as well as streamline processes, maximise technology and establish what resources clubs and their associations need," he said.

"What I have discovered is every association is unique in its structure, so there is no one size fits all solution."



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