Better Basketball logo

Author: Dan MacFadyen

Sometimes, your team needs a little help getting the action of the Read & React Offense started. Sometimes, you see a weakness in the defense that your players just won't exploit. And, sometimes, you need to drag a player out of her shell and show her what she's capable of. You're the coach. Those things are your job. Here's how you can integrate them into your daily Read & React training. Just because the Read & React is organic and jazz-like doesn't mean you can't use some specific sequences to get what you need. And, it certainly doesn't mean you can't train with specific sequences to open the eyes of your players to new opportunities. In the video below, Rick Torbett demands two specific actions: the first and the last. All actions in between are still player driven. That allows for a few benefits:
  • it gives your team reps with options that can easily get the offense going (in this case it's the Reverse Dribble).
  • it teaches your team how to use one layer to set up another.
  • it shows what actions you (the coach) consider to be viable scoring opportunities.
  • it forces players to look for coach determined options, not just their default options.
  • and, in practice, it prevents less confident players from hiding in their comfort zones.
This video is from our Read & React Clinics: Planning the R&R Practice DVD set. If you've ever had questions about practice planning with the Read & React, this 5 DVD set is your answer. One of my favorite ways to train the Read & React is by using certain actions as trigger actions.

The question often comes up, "How do I know when our Read & React team should add new layers?" Simple answer: when the previous layer (or bundle of layers if you're implementing a few at once) are habit. Unfortunately, that leaves a rather unfulfilled taste in my mouth because the question you really want answered is, "How can I test to see if my team is ready for more layers?" Ok, the answer to that question: use a diagnostic test. Place 5 players on the floor without defense. Ask them to perform the offense using as many layers as are already in their arsenal with the intent to score on a specific action. In the video below, Rick Torbett asks for the following progression: • pass and cut for a few passes • dribble-at a player • the player who is cutting from the dribble-at leg whips into the post and receives the post feed • the passer Laker cuts for the score Actually, Rick asks for the score in the second (then third) Laker cut, but you can demand whatever you want. In fact, you could simply demand that they use all their known layers before they are allowed to score. There are a lot of ways to do this. Your job as the coach is to note where they are struggling. And, if they have it down to your satisfaction, then you have your answer - now is the time to push forward.