Share This Page

Redbank Valley installing up-tempo style

Almost above all else, first-year Redbank Valley girls basketball coach Robin Martin will ask her Bulldogs to play fast this season.

Martin, 28, enjoys the X's and O's of basketball and is eager to teach her team the secrets to speed-based schemes.

"I'm not going to reveal my offense because I don't want everybody in the (Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference) to know it, but it's going to be different than what (the girls) are used to," said Martin, who filled the void left by Tom McClaine, who stepped down during the offseason. "We're going to be pushing the ball, fast-breaking.

"Our defense is going to be high-pressure, a lot of pressing, a lot of full-court. We're going to change our defenses frequently; we're not going to strictly play man-to-man the whole time."

Martin's passion for up-tempo basketball started when she played at Quakertown High School in Eastern Pennsylvania and when spent two seasons at Division III Wesley College in Delaware.

"When I played in high school, we were a fast-breaking team," Martin said. "And when I got to college, it was even faster because the game itself is faster at that level. ... I've never not played that way."

Martin, a family services case worker, first became involved with high school sports when she accepted an assistant job with the Grove City girls soccer team five seasons ago. That experience opened her eyes to the joys of coaching.

"Even though soccer is a different sport, when I was an assistant coach, I learned fairly quickly that I was comfortable coaching," she said. "I knew I wanted to be a head coach. It was just kind of getting the opportunity to get my foot in the door."

Two years ago, Allegheny-Clarion Valley gave her an opportunity to work as an assistant with the girls basketball team. Her stint with the Falcons was short -- she coached just one season -- but beneficial.

"When I had that opportunity, I absolutely loved it," Martin said. "I only coached one season at A-C Valley, and I just missed it, so I had been looking to get back into coaching basketball.

"I think you're more involved with coaching basketball. It gives you a chance to interact more during the game. Obviously, in soccer, you only have halftime to make an adjustment. With basketball, you have timeouts and quarters and halftime, so you have a lot more interaction and can be more involved."

Martin started working with Redbank Valley soon after her early-August hiring. Ed Wasilowski signed on as an assistant. Together, they ran optional offseason workouts at least once a week up until official practices began Friday.

Under McClain, the Bulldogs ran a full-court, man-to-man defensive scheme and multiple offenses. Martin set out with a different agenda: Install one offense and multiple defenses, a few of which will be zone-based.

"I want to keep the game fun for them," Martin said. "But I also want to change how basketball is being played and step it up a little bit and kind of introduce some different things, to not always just sit back and play man and be comfortable."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.