Thanks for the feedback on The Confusing World of the 1-3-1 Zone! It seems a nerve was struck on a few levels. While a couple of coaches identified with the zone principles I suggested, they also lamented that they rarely have the time to devote to teaching how to attack the 1-3-1. In fact, the common approach is to just deal with it when it comes up! And as far as comparing the 1-3-1 to the confusing world we live in, there were similar responses about life being hard enough and that to focus in a way that I suggested would take far too much time and trouble. I think it’s important enough that we take another look.
BASKETBALL – Take the time to prepare.
Every coach has to prioritize when it comes to designing practices, particularly when your team goes through personnel changes each year. In the pre-season, decisions must be made on how much time to spend on skill development, conditioning, evaluating players, and implementing offensive and defensive systems. If you’re not careful, though, when the games begin you can find yourself playing catch-up as you prepare for whichever opponent is coming up next. That’s when mistakes are made. Since our team doesn’t typically play a 1-3-1, if we wait to prepare our attack until the few practices before a 1-3-1 opponent, especially when we may have only a quick day or two, we may not be ready. I can relate to those of you who say you can’t cover everything – but, spending the time early in the year and then revisiting it periodically is critical to your success of handling it when you see it. You may not have the time, but the truth is, you’re rolling the dice a bit! To help you prepare, here are a few resources that I refer to quite often:: Zone Offenses by Mike Harkins & Jerry Krause and some clinic notes on Attacking the 1-3-1 from two of the best clinicians, Dave Odom and Hubie Brown.
LIFE – Why we chose Christian Education?
Our world is a confusing place. It changes all the time. And when it comes to standards in ethics, morality, and culture, the changes happen in a hurry. Is pot legal? Is it worse than alcohol? Is marriage still for one man and one woman? Can our two political parties work for the common good or is it really each man for himself? In a nation founded on religious liberty by persecuted Christians, does religious tolerance mean that any religion but Christianity should be given the opportunity to express their faith? It’s a really confusing world!
As I compared attacking the confusion of our world with the principles for attacking a 1-3-1, I also came to some deeper realizations. If I don’t take the time to prepare my kids, and I don’t teach them the principles of running from temptations, staying alert, guarding their hearts, having plans for dealing with confusion, and not holding on too tightly to the wrong things – this world will eat them up! That’s why Kara and I chose to have our children attend Christian elementary and high schools, and if possible, Christian colleges. We want them to be prepared for the confusion they’ll face in this world, no matter what the cost or the sacrifice for us.
Don’t get me wrong, there are no guarantees. You can have your team prepared for the 1-3-1 or your kids prepared to have their faith challenged, but mistakes are inevitable. Some may argue, that your kids shouldn’t be separated from a world that they’ll have to adjust to, but in their formative years, I would rather have them encounter Biblical teachings and the message of Christ’s love on a daily basis. It’s not to isolate them or because we think Christian schools are immune from the social issues of our day, but instead we want support for how we are raising our kids. If I was sending a young person to fight in the military, I wouldn’t just put them on a plane and drop them into combat. By choosing Christian schools, we are preparing our kids for the spiritual combat they’ll face as they set off on their own.
FAITH – There’s no confusing the Truth.
Aside from the social issues in our society, no single issue troubles me more than religious tolerance. We live in a world that says “whatever works for you” and “there’s many ways to know God.” Talk about confusing! Or what about the modern ideas of humanism and each of us determining our own path? Were we created by an all-powerful God or are we the result of millions of random events? I’ve mentioned before that I often turn to The Truth Project and my friend Brad Alles who help me gain a better understanding of truth, and while they can help us gain spiritual perspective, they simply echo the truth that Jesus gave us in John 14:6:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
So, here’s the truth. Like a 1-3-1 zone that can confuse any team, the world and all its human ways of thinking confuses us. Jesus keeps it simple and gives us a plan to be prepared for this world. Stay focused on His truth! Don’t be confused by other teachings, by temptations and traps, and by material things.
Have any thoughts about Zone offense or Christian education? I’d love to hear them. Write your comments below or contact me on FaceBook or by email!