Ever since we released the Read & React Offense a few years ago, coaches have been asking about the other side of the basketball coin – defense. Actually, they would ask, “So, what about a Read & React Defense?”

And, for almost three years now, we’ve been teasing you about a leveled system of teaching defense.

We’re calling it Dynamic Defense instead of Read & React Defense, though. Actually, we never considered Read & React Defense because… well, because it didn’t make sense.

So, why Dynamic Defense?

Other than the enjoyable alliteration (we have a thing about double letters: Better Basketball, Read & React), it’s because it changes the dynamics between players and coaches. It puts the coach in the position of teacher and enabler, while keeping progress through the four levels squarely on the shoulders of each player.

Dynamic Defense is not a new type of defense, it’s a new way of teaching defense. In fact, it’s the most complete and comprehensive curriculum for teaching individual and team defense available today (as far as I can tell). Across its four levels Dynamic Defense addresses Speed, Agility, & Quickness; Rebounding; 1-on-1 Defense; Help Defense from any position; Defending Situations; and high level Rotate & Recovery techniques. There’s even a mental toughness component.

You can check out the full Dynamic Defense trailer here and we’ll be posting several teaching excerpts from it over the next couple of weeks. Thanks for waiting the three years… we think it was worth it.

The video below is an excerpt from an interview I did with retired NBA Coach Dick Helm. His experience is the framework upon which Dynamic Defense is built – the levels are his devising, I just expanded upon them.

I first heard Coach Dick Helm speak on the Four Levels of Defense during an Athletes In Action Basketball Coaching Clinic. I knew right away that I wanted to learn more.

Fortunately, Coach Helm lives within an hour’s driving distance from my home. This has allowed me to pick his brain for the last 3 years. I kept bothering him with question after question (many times, the same question) and he would patiently explain it and re-explain over and over again.

Most of my questions were not about the system itself, because the four levels are elegant and simple to understand. I was more interested in the dynamics between Coach Helm and his players in the NBA. If he could tap into the competitive nature of NBA players, if this system could stimulate his athletes’ desire to get better on defense, then I was confident that we lesser mortals could do the same with our college, high school and youth teams.

I’ve been drinking from his well of knowledge and experience for the last three years; the above video will give you a taste.

14 Responses

  1. If Dynamic Defense is anything similar to the effectiveness of the Read and React Offense, it promisses to bring basketball to the next level. Can’t wait for the DVD, and the coaches clinic next summer.

    1. Hey Loren,

      If you check out betterbasketball.com/dynamicdefense you can see the breakdown of the 3 videos. Here’s how the pricing will shake out:

      Levels 1&2 – $40
      Levels 3&4 – $40
      Mental Toughness – $20

      Dynamic Defense Bundle (all 3 DVDs) – $80 (you save $20)

      We don’t have a pre-order system, but when the DVDs launch, you’ll definitely hear about it on the Tribe and through email so you won’t miss it.

  2. I have all the BB ad R and R videos, DD is the one I want the most. I’ve been teaching defense in terms of checkpoints, certain points on the floor where you want to send offensive players when your on ball defending. It is very effective, however one thing that I think DD will deliver to my players is the will to become better defenders now that a rating system is available. It’s like shooting licenses, when I started giving out shooting licenses I saw an increase on players practicing their shooting before and after practice so that they could qualify for the license. Now with DD I think I will see similar results.

    1. Justin, – You hit on the most powerful aspect of Dynamic Defense. It puts the learning and acquiring of defensive skills squarely on the shoulders of the players. It cuts to their competitive nature. It’s only natural to want to get “to the next level” in anything.

      As Lord Kelvin said, “Until you can measure a thing, you don’t really understand it.” (Paraphrase). DD makes defense “measurable” for both the players and the coach.

      1. I can’t wait to see this. I am exciting about using RR and DD in my first year of coaching the Varsity level! I’ve sold out on Better Basketball. Thanks Rick.

  3. Once again, Rick, you’ve hit the nail on the head with great teaching and a simplistic easy way to make your players better….Players will give more effort to hit that next level, I can see the energy level rising already..

    Great job as always,


    1. Thanks Scott! But once again, I’m standing on the shoulders of giants like Dick Helm. Also, the content is supported and augmented by Mano Watsa and Sefu Bernard of Point Guard College. I owe the Speed, Agility, Quickness aspect of Level 0 to Spencer Wood and Dustin Ducham (what fun to watch them work!) And of course, Spencer Wood topped it off with Mental Toughness Training for Championship Defense. I probably should have made his section into a FIFTH Defensive Level! (Dang it! Too late to change it now!)

      I am also in debt to Chad Warner at Shorter University, Roger Kvam at Cherokee High School, and T.J. Rosene of Emmanuel College. They were so gracious with their players and gym time.

      1. I coached with a guy who is a speed and conditioning junkie. We are both high school coaches who also coach various levels of travel basketball. We work for an organization that does a great job with doing skill training from a young age, but my friend and I have always said how much the entire organization would benefit from having speed and strength training. The organization we coach for consist mostly of Asian basketball players because that’s the dynamic of the area. These players are often skilled and very fundamental (due to the constant Intensity skill training sessions). The place we end up lacking and getting beat in is height (of course this is something the organization will always have trouble with) and athleticism. What I am getting at is that once I saw the trailer for Dynamic Defense and saw that Rick had gotten some speed and strength conditioning in there I was ready to buy the DVDs right then. I called my friend, who has a masters in kinesiology and had him watch it and he was like this is exactly what every high school and travel organization needs. Not only will these DVDs make players WANT TO GET BETTER at defense but I think it will give us some great ideas on how to train the movement of playing defense.

        Perhaps BB will come out with a strength and conditioning DVD one day? As it pertains to basketball? What do you think?

        1. A strength and conditioning DVD would be awesome! Until BB makes that decision, I would check out Alan Stein’s work. He has a website, strongerteam.com. Very good stuff! You can also buy his DVD’s from Championship Productions. I own most of them and he does a great job with basketball specific strenght training, agility, conditioning, warm-up and flexability.

          1. Is Alan the trainer with the DeMatha program ? I have the DeMatha All Access DVD and he has a big part in that DVD showing some of the strength and conditioning stuff he does with the team. High schools that have speed and conditioning coaches that just worry about the speed, strength, and conditioning of the players seem to have an edge over the competition. That’s why I think a BB Speed, Strength and Conditioning DVD would be nice. Especially if they sold a package that included equipment too.

  4. Same guy. He was at Montrose Christian (MD) High School before DeMatha. I think we all wish we had our own speed, strength, and conditioning guy. Unfortunaltely for most of us we have to do it all. We do plyos and weights for an hour (total) and then move into the gym for an hour of individual workouts (shooting, dribbling, etc.) 2x per week in the offseason. Everything we do from a plyo/weight standpoint is from Alan Stein.

    1. Yeah, it is unfortunate, but you are right as coaches we have to do it. It is a huge part of the game. Thats why I think that could be Better Basketballs next move. They do a great job with their dvds thats why I think a Speed, Strength and Conditioning DVD would be perfect.

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