Top 10 Tips   

 Coach's Notes

As requested I’ve prepared a ‘top 10’ list for newer players, but for the rest of us too, to aim to become familiar with. There’s a combination of individual skills and team strategy. Please accept the usual caveat that this is just my opinion, that I don’t really know what I’m talking about, that other people would have had a different top 10 and may disagree with some of my descriptions and explanations. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask me, any of the other coaches or for that matter any of the other players. Each will have their own opinions which you might find helpful.

1. How to take long shots

Stand with feet shoulder width apart, one slightly in front of the other and pointed towards the korf.

The ball is held so that at minimum it makes contact with the pads where the fingers and thumb meet the palm (rather than on the finger tips) and so that the thumbs and index fingers form a W shape.

The ball is held on the centre line of the body, with the elbows low and bent at about 90 degrees and with the top of the ball at about nose height.

Do not aim the ball at the basket but rather shoot high so that the ball falls into the basket at about a 60 degree angle.

To gain distance make sure you bend the knees and jump to make the shot, extend through on the line of the shot with the arms and pronate the wrists.

Particularly when moving away from the korf players will shoot off one leg both to enable a quick release and to keep the balance forward.

2. How to take running in shots

From the point where you receive the ball you cannot have more than two footfalls before release. For that reason it’s probably easier not to have either foot on the ground when the ball is received.

The grip changes from the long shot so that the hands are more to the side and slightly underneath the ball.

Have a sense of lifting and projecting the ball rather than throwing it. The arms should still be extended and the point of release should be above the head. Aim as close to the rim as possible but give yourself a margin of error so that you never fail to get the ball above the rim of the korf.

The technique is similar for a penalty.

3.  One v One defending

When your opponent does not have the ball the danger is that they will run around you for a running in shot. For that reason you should hang off them a little to prevent this.  You should be at such a distance that you can move to within arm’s length at the point your opponent receives the ball to stop them taking a long shot.

When defending a player with the ball the defensive stance will tend to be sideways on with the hips slightly lowered to enable a quick reaction to a pass and movement from the attacker.

Far out from the korf long shots are less successful so the balance should be towards not being run around for a running in shot. Closer to the korf long shots become more dangerous and there is less room for running in shots so the balance will tend to be more towards arm’s length defending.

4. Feeding

The feed position is simply a good passing position taken up near the korf a couple of metres out. You are there to support the attacking players.  It is an active not a passive position. As passes are made to attacking players in the outfield the feeder should be moving (usually diagonally forward) to ensure that they keep their defender behind them and allow a pass back from the attacking player.

5. Collecting

Shots miss. The attacking team needs someone to collect the missed shots to allow them another scoring chance. A good position for collecting is to be between your defender and the korf a metre or so out.

Collecting is an active position. It is not simply standing under the korf. You should, within the rules, use your body to maintain your position; you should try not to move too early when a shot is taken as this will cause you to lose your positional advantage; you should ensure that you jump to take the ball because your opponent certainly will.

6. Back (rebound) defence

When an attacking player moves in to take up a position close to the korf the defender will often be able to decide whether the attacking position is going to be a feed or a collect. If the defender keeps their defending position between the attacker and the korf then they allow the attacker to have the feed. The advantage gained is that the defender is effectively in the collect position and this will discourage the attack from taking long shots which the defence are likely to recover.

Back defence at the korf goes with outcourt defenders hanging off since the danger for them is being run around for running in shots. The defence must be careful about hanging off too close to the korf where long shots become tempting despite the lack of a collect.

7. Front defence

When an attacking player moves in to take up a position close to the korf the defender can stay on the ball line and prevent the attacker receiving a pass. This stops the attacker from feeding but gives up the collect position.

Since the defence are vulnerable to recycled long shots but not running in shots the outcourt defenders will try to mark tightly.

Front defence is the more common option since it minimises attacking opportunities.

8. 2-2

This is the position where the attack have 2 players near the korf, one feeding and the other collecting, and 2 players in the outcourt attacking. The defence will try to stop the attack from obtaining this position and, once obtained try to disrupt it,  since it is very dangerous for them.

Defenders in the outcourt have the problem that hanging off their attackers allows long shots that are likely to be collected and recycled since there is a collect in place but marking tightly makes them vulnerable to being run around for running in shots since there is a feed in place.

It is best for the attack to either have the same genders at the korf or a boy collecting and a girl feeding. If a boy feeds and a girl collects the defender of the feeding boy is himself in a good position to compete for missed long shots with the likely shorter girls.

It is important for the attack to understand how to get a good collect position where they already have a feed. The defence will be trying not to allow the collect so simply running to the post is unlikely to be good enough to obtain the advantageous position (between the defender and the korf) that the attack are after.

The technique used varies slightly depending on whether the attack need to change the person feeding from a boy to a girl. It is best watched rather than described and can be seen in any match footage on YouTube.

9. 3 -1

Particularly a response to front defence - the attackers spread out in a triangle around the korf. This allows each attacker the most space to operate in.

Here are some of the tactical battles that happen in 3-1:

Since there is a collect, attackers will be trying to take long shots. Recognizing this, defenders will tend to mark tightly. Defenders marking tightly are vulnerable to being run around so the attack will respond by trying to move a player suddenly into the feed position, passing the ball to them and taking a running in shot. The defence will try to prevent anyone from coming in to the feed position by hanging off attackers loitering behind the post but will then in turn be vulnerable to drop off shots close to the post.

See the Coaching Tips section on this website for more on 3-1 and some links.

10. Watch videos

I’ve left out catching and passing, veering, one on one attack, free passes, persuading you to read the rules (but please read the rules – just the bits on what you can’t do and how to take free passes and penalties) for number 10 to be ‘watch videos’.

There are plenty of clips and full matches on YouTube from Dutch league games and various international matches.

One of the best things you can do to improve your play is watch them from time to time. This sport is new to all of us. When we start we have no sense of doing things that just look wrong because we have no idea what looks right. Watching the pros do it allows you to get a feel for how the game should be played and you will notice more and more whether or not your own play and that of your team feels similar to what you’ve seen.

I’d suggest the biggest difference between professional and club players is the rather vague idea of fluidity, both in terms of individual technique and team structure. The only way to crack how they manage that is to watch them doing it.