Quit Closing Out, Start Closing Off.

Aug 12, 2022

What was the only skill Pat Riley trained EVERY practice?

Hint: It’s the thing that happens most on defense. Yep, you guessed it. Close outs. Every catch requires one. Outside of transition, this moment of recovery is when your defense is most vulnerable. The game has changed significantly since Pat Riley was a head coach. In fact, the team he’s the president of (the Miami Heat), doesn’t close out… they instead, close off. This change is a response to the drastic increase of the 3 point shot volume and efficiency. Look at the image below, it shows you that the game has changed. The traditional high hands & choppy feet close out doesn’t work on today’s best shooters.


Via Tom Kim
What's a Close Off?
With any skill you choose to teach, start with WHY! You must know your objective with any skill you teach and reverse engineer your training from that place. You must also share the “why” with your players! Clarity is a good thing and simplicity wins. Form follows function. If you want to read more about how to start with why, read this blog.
Intent = Intensity
Close Out = keep the ball outside the arc and contest a 3 point shot.
Close Off = get the ball handler to dribble inside the arc and discourage any 3 point shot.
With a more relevant intent comes different technique. I’ve created a video to teach it here. This principle will make your players more effective guarding the 3 point line. Enjoy.
Start with Why
SAVI is wisdom applied. I started SAVI to help coaches apply principles. Closing off is a principle. The objective is to eliminate 3 point shots off the catch. The technique to do so flows out of that principle. If your principle is to force 3 point shots and take away dribbles, then you should utilize a different technique. Form follows function. It all starts with why, so, know your why, and you’ll find your way.
I’m here to help,

Don't miss a beat!

New posts weekly delivered to your inbox.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.