Every off-season, coaches spend countless hours researching and studying different ways to improve. Too often, this leads to coaches completely hitting the reset button on their program’s offensive plans. Here are a few simple ways to instantly improve your offense!
- Offense starts the moment your team gains possession. TEACH the game this way.
When teaching our half court offense, we stress things like spacing, player movement, ball movement, and we provide structure to help players read the game. Why not teach transition the same way?
- SPACING – There are two ways to stretch the defense. Vertically and horizontally. If we can get multiple bodies in front of the ball, we will stretch the defense vertically. If we can get our wings to run wide, we are now stretching the defense horizontally. This should be an instant reaction, the moment your team gains possession of the ball.
- PLAYER MOVEMENT – Win the first three steps! If your players will sprint the first three steps, you will get players in front of the ball. When you throw the ball ahead, have you taught your team how and where to space around the ball? Do wings run to the corner and spot up or bounce off of the baseline and lift to the free throw line extended? Transition offense includes player movement and should be taught.
- BALL MOVEMENT – One of our favorite phrases is that we want “two early shares” in transition. If we can get two direct passes in transition, we are likely to have tremendous flow and rhythm on that offensive possession.
- PROVIDING STRUCTURE – We want to provide spacing rules, simple secondary actions, and then teach our kids to flow seamlessly into our half court offense.
2. REMOVE “set it up” from your vocabulary.
One of the most under taught parts of an offensive attack is “FLOW.”
Teaching FLOW requires a coach to get creative in practice, abandon static starting points and requires teaching players HOW TO PLAY. The benefit is that the defense is unable to use the “setup time,” to also get themselves organized.
3. Create an ATTACKING mentality, with an understanding of IF/THEN responses.
The easiest way to create an attacking mentality in your players is to view mistakes in practice as teachable moments. The best teams are confidently attacking, as opposed to having “paralysis by analysis.” In simple terms, they are too busy playing basketball, to stop and think about what is next. If you can create aggressive basketball players, you will see improvements in your offense.
4. What does this look like? Here is a video of The Village School’s Girls Basketball team putting these three simple concepts on display.