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  • During our five-day Director’s Team Training Camp recently held just outside Toronto, I was introduced to several new ideas while in the midst of some sharp basketball minds. One of these minds was Coach Mike MacKay, Manager of Coach Education and Development for Canada Basketball. I picked up several ‘golden nuggets’ from Coach MacKay, including the idea of the ‘One Second Advantage’.

    As basketball players we should always try to gain a one-second advantage. We can do so by using screens, moving on penetration, moving defenders with fakes, etc. Often, that one-second advantage is the difference between getting a great shot and having a shot contested or coming up with an empty possession and not even getting a shot off at all.

    While it’s important to create that one second advantage, it’s equally as important to maintain it. The following are some habits that cause players to lose their one second advantage:

    • Where a one second advantage is created by moving a defender with a jab fake, losing it by driving wide around the defender allowing the defender to recover.
    • Catching a pass with straight legs, then forces the player to have to bend down to load for the shot (which takes one second) and losing their one second advantage for that open shot.
    • Off the ball, standing still on penetration and therefore not gaining the one second advantage from the space or separation that’s created when the helping defender hedges to slow down that penetration.

    I found this concept really beneficial, but it wasn’t until my participation in the drill below, that I truly understood the value of being aware of your one second advantage by continually catching the ball with loaded legs.

    3 vs. 2 – Passing to create a 1 second advantage (Zone Attack)

    In the drill there are three offensive players attacking two defenders. The offensive players are working on passing the ball quickly to create a one second advantage, so that they can have an open shot. The two defenders are working on preventing the open shot.

    1 Second Advantage - Zone Attack

    There is no cutting allowed. Offensive players are allowed to make subtle movements within their area. The offensive players cannot move below a line that runs mid way through the key. This is to make them realize that there will be three more zone defenders in that area.

    This forces the players to have to work to get off a good shot in their range. The offensive players must read who is open and make use of shot and pass fakes to create the open shot.  (Drill compliments of Coach Mike MacKay)

    I was astonished at the ease of creating a one second advantage without even needing a dribble. Not only does catching in an attack position (with legs loaded) allow you to keep a one second advantage that a teammate may have created on the previous pass, but it causes your shot fakes and pass fakes to be nearly 46.7% more effective…OK 47%. That is my precise estimation

    if there is such a thing. Oxymorons galore!

    I wished I had been aware of this concept while I was still a player. I’m sure I was as guilty as the next player of losing a one second advantage that my teammate had so graciously created for me.

    Players BE AWARE of not only creating one second advantages for your teammates, but maintaining the one second advantage that’s already in play. Remind your teammates to keep the one second advantage alive.

    Coaches, tired of yelling ‘Catch in attack’ or ‘Get lower/Bend your knees’? Explain the concept of creating and keeping a one second advantage. If players connect standing straight up with actually losing something, besides the burning in their quads, it might just click and do the trick!

    Thanks again Coach MacKay!



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