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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Team Movement on a Defensive Lob

See a gap, fill it...

The act of retrieving an opponent's lob and hitting a defensive lob is probably the single play that requires the most adjustment by the retriever's partner. Retrieving a lob almost always pulls at least one player out of position. It is up to the partner to compensate by filling the hole created by the retriever. Mark Rennesson discusses this concept in his video Be Better Handling Lobs.

Mark uses two different teams in identical situations to illustrate the idea of filling the gap. The first is a pro team and the second is a less knowledgeable team. In both cases, the opponent's lob is made over the female partner's head when she is on the right side of the court. The male partner hustles back to make a defensive shot. In the case of the pros, the female partner watches the male player's movement and moves across the court to fill the hole vacated by her partner. This is illustrated in the sequence of 3 photos shown below.

By comparison, the less knowledgeable team reacts differently. The female partner similarly watches the male partner's movement...and stays in place. The lack of filling the vacated hole results in an easy shot that ends the rally.

The lesson is that player's should be aware of their partner's position and move to compensate by filling the gap. It does not guarantee success as the team is in a defensive position and in motion, but it a good example of taking away the easier shots otherwise available to opponents.

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