The Coach’s Dive

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The advice of every coach is that in defence you have to make an effort. Defence is about effort.  You have to go for it.  If you try to touch it, eventually you’ll keep it in play.

This is one of those ideas that seems like sage advice.  Until you think about it for more than four seconds.  Yes, you have to be committed to play effective defence, but you don’t have to be committed to try, or to touch the ball or any such other nonsense.  You have to be committed to dig the ball.  And not just to keep the ball alive, but to keep the ball alive to your team’s advantage.  And yet the superficial philosophy of defence persists.

The great thing about this philosophy is the entertainment that is The Coach’s Dive.  Everyone knows what The Coach’s Dive is.  It is, at best, the pointless dive made after the ball is out of reach or even landed.  At worst some kind of flopping around on the floor like the proverbial fish out of water.  In each case, the objective of the player is not to dig the ball, but to avoid being yelled at by the coach.  And in every case it is a pointless waste of effort.

In defence, the object is to create attacking opportunities.  Keeping the ball alive is a reasonable secondary objective.  Everything else is just a Coach’s Dive.



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