Dan Hurley’s 4 Core Principles for Defense

Dan Hurley is arguably the best coach in college basketball right now. In this coaching clinic, Hurley shares the team defensive principles for his two-time national championship UConn Huskies team.

1) Strength of the “Pack

None of your behaviors, mindset, the things you’re saying – those things can only make the “pack” stronger. You cannot allow yourself to do anything that’s going to make the pack weaker.

2) Consistent improvement

A focus on the daily process. Be obsessed with getting better, as a player and as a person.

3) Relentless Competitive Effort

We should never question if you’re passionate enough or competitive enough. You better be a “dawg” or you’re never going to continue to take the next step to excel.

4) Mindful communication

Have some emotional intelligence when you’re communicating with others. Have self-awareness, like if you’re playing like trash, then you probably shouldn’t be barking at other people. Have situational awareness. Ask yourself, “Is this a good time for me, if I’m a leader, to jump on a teammate who’s struggling?”

Toughness 2v2 Small-Sided Game

Here’s a small-sided game Coach Hurley uses as one of their “toughness tester” drills. Teaching defensive players to get back into the play when a small advantage is gained by the defense. If you’re a peel switch team, adapt the drill to fit your defensive philosophy.

Get the full coaching clinic, “Dan Hurley: UCONN`s Defensive Principles” now!


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