D-Team Problems

Definition: D-Team is the defender group, sometimes people move in and out of the D-Team depending on her current role on the team. Some of us are lifers…

Split Eyebrow during the China game in London 2012 Olympics


One of the biggest criticisms of specialized defenders is that we are not offensive minded. We don’t shoot enough, we are too cautious, we don’t make quick decisions on offense, and we are not good shooters. I wonder if this generalization is because we save it for defense, our favorite place to be in the pool….

  1. A great defender can actually be the most offensive person in the pool by choosing to play offense on defense! With aggressive and purposeful positioning, a defender is in control of the game. If a defender can play her position effectively, she in fact dictates the entire pool. Yes, the offense will catch a break now and again, but we can’t lose confidence in that. It is the nature of the game.
  2. Defenders must always be ready for a battle. We want to control the defense and we cannot do it with our heads underwater. So I can see why sometimes we may be trying to catch a breath at the other end of the pool.
  3. A defender’s mind is constantly in action, we must anticipate the needs of our teammates. One teammate is pressing, one is working into a zone… What defense are we in??? Maybe someone got beat down the pool, that is the game, but a defender’s job is to make sense of the chaos, the imperfection and cover it up. Another reason we keep it calm on offense, we want to limit the chaos.
  4. The goalie is the last line of defense, which is why defenders and goalies need to be on the same page. We have to give our goalie the best opportunity to make a stop. There are always holes, but we need to make those holes small for her. Even on offense, we may be thinking about our goalies behind us…

But if a defender is truly being honest with herself, she loves to score goals and support her team to a win. She loves to set up a teammate for an open shot. She loves to make great passes.  She loves to tire out the opposing center the best she can. And most of all, defenders truly appreciate a nice break…Why do you think we go to the ejection corner so often?….What I really mean, is that when a defender scores a key goal (initiating a quick break) that can be a huge momentum shift for your team. So when defenders miss opportunities on offense, it may be because we are waiting for that “opportune moment.”

With that said, defenders, sometimes we have to trust our teammates to take care of us too… don’t be hesitant to shoot because you don’t trust your teammates, they’ll learn. And they know that when you score, that is a great sign for the team…so make it happen!

D-Team: Be purposeful with your movements, have a great relationship with your goalie, and as always make that center angry that you are guarding her!


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