STS Portal – Game Prep

Even though this is a developmental rec league, it is not a good idea to just throw players out onto the field without some knowledge of “How to play the game”.  This involves certain things like:



  • Get into a good “Shape”. In a 4v4 game the two shapes are a box (all 4 players above GLE……one on either side of the cage about 5 yards off the crease and a couple yards above GLE and the other two will be the same width as the two lower players, but about 10-12 yards above GLE) and a diamond (1 player at “X”, one player on each of the two wings about 5 yards above GLE and 10 yards wide of the cage, and one “up top” in the center of the filed about 12 -15 yards above the cage).
  • Be involved and aware especially when you do not have the ball. Don’t just stare at the ball carrier.
  • Be aware of what your defender is doing. If he is not looking at you, move.  See if you can get yourself open and go to the cage.
  • If the ball carrier is dodging towards you, get out of his way. Either fade away, cut through or mirror underneath him.
  • The other players should act accordingly with two things in mind
  • Always have an outlet pass available to the ball carrier.
  • Maintain the spacing/shape as best possible
  • As things move see if you can become open for a feed
  • Once the ball is turned over, make sure you first drop at least to the midline and begin calling out numbers to know who you will be covering on defense.



  • As you drop, make sure you call out numbers so you know who you will be covering, keeping in mind the other team may be substituting and your check (the man you are covering) might be coming in from the sidelines.
  • Make sure we do not have 2 players covering the same man, so be aware of your teammates and all of the other teams players to make sure everyone is covered. If not, communicate with your teammates about how to make sure everyone is covered.
  • On ball defender should start the communication by immediately calling “I got the ball”.
  • On ball defenders should be focused on keeping the ball carrier out of the middle of the field. Force them down the alleys and prevent them from coming back into the middle.
  • Off ball defenders should sag into the middle of the field and prepare to help the ball carrier IF it is needed. Don’t just leave your check alone.  Keep and eye on him and your body in position so that you can see the ball and your man.  IF the ball goes to your man, you need to be able to make the proper approach so that you are still forcing your check down the alley.
  • Once the on ball defender makes the “I got ball” call, the off ball defenders should also be communicating with the on ball defender letting them know who has help if needed. In 4v4 this is simply 2 men making this call. The one to his left and the one to his right.
  • Once the ball is turned over and one of your players has possession, we need to immediately recognize if they need an outlet. If they are under pressure, break to an open spot so he can get you the ball.  Once we comfortably have possession, the other three players need to either substitute (ONLY SUBSTITUTE GOING FROM DEFENNE TO OFFENSE) or stretch the field and get into the offensive end. Standing in the defensive end clogs up the field and makes it almost impossible to clear the ball on a small field.  Stretching the field involves running to one of the spots in the offensive end (box or diamond) all the while trying to be open for an up field outlet pass.
  • Once settled in the offensive end, start some motion on offense by passing and cutting or dodging with your head up to shoot or, in the case of drawing a slide, moving the ball.