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Keys To Making Effective Defensive Adjustments During A Game

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© December, 2005


by Hank Schrader
Former Defensive Coordinator, Bellevue High School, Bellevue, Wash.

HOW AND WHEN to make defensive adjustments during a game is a complex subject. I have developed steadfast rules and procedures that may help make this process easier. These rules have worked over time and have worked consistently both with championship defenses and defenses that haven’t been as talented.

Before you make any kind of adjustment, you must have defensive goals — an objective or reason for making the adjustment. You need to have a clear picture for a specific outcome that you desire. Some reasonable defensive goals include:

-    Preventing a score.
-    Physically dominating an opponent.
-    Preventing big plays.
-    Forcing a “three and out.”
-    Creating a turnover.
-    Breaking the momentum of an opponent.
-    Scoring on defense. 

During the course of a game, some of these goals may require an adjustment, while others may not.

Always try to remember that defense is a guessing game requiring a reaction to your opponent. The best adjustments must be built into th ...The full article can only be seen by subscribers.
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