Coaching the Read & React

In a previous post, we took the Pass & Cut layer and added some depth to the options. That gave us the Puppy Dog Front Cut and the Draft Drive. Now, in Layer 2, we'll look at going deeper into the Post Cuts - notice that I've used the Laker Cut in the examples, but the other Post Cuts (X and Relocate) could work too. These are clips from the University of Iowa, but the principles (especially in these early layers) can be used at all levels. Next time you want to add something to your Read & React attack, at least consider going deeper in the layers you already have in place rather than defaulting to adding more layers. You may be surprised at what you can get.

Over the last few weeks, we've been fleshing out a 5 part series on Read & React Quick Hitters. This is our fourth installment - you can find the three previous here, here, and here.

This is an easy 4 OUT Quick Hitter that utilizes the Post as a scoring opportunity and as a screener. 4 OUT Quick Hitter
1 passes and cuts (1st Option). If 1 is not open, then 1 screens for 5 in the short corner. 5 cuts to the front of the rim (2nd option).

In our previous post, we talked about the option of going deeper into certain layers of the Read & React rather than constantly pushing to add more layers. At the same time, a team who has established themselves in the R&R can continue to build nuances into their offense to make it more dynamic (and ultimately harder to guard). To illustrate this point, I put together some clips from the NCAA Division 1 University of Iowa Women’s team. This kind of depth exists in almost every layer of the Read & React. Many of you are already aware of this “Simple, yet Complex” aspect of the Read & React. But for those who aren’t, especially youth coaches, I hope you can see how to squeeze even more out of Layer 1 than just the most basic actions.

This our third of five Read & React Quick Hitter posts in tribute to our new DVD: Quick Hitters! You can check it out here. Here’s a Quick Hitter from the 3 OUT formation with a couple of nice scoring options as well as a post isolation opportunity. And, as always, nothing in this Quick Hitter violates Read & React principles. Remember, these Quick Hitters should serve as a spring board for ideas. You can easily take the actions that your team is best at, order them in a specific pattern, and call it a play. And if the initial attacks don’t work, you can flow naturally into the Read & React. 3 OUT Quick Hitter Frame 1 4 flashes inside the FT line elbow. 1 feeds 4 and "X-cuts" with 3.

How should I teach the Read & React? That question finds its way to me a lot. And, my frustrated answer is this: You have to run the Read & React in order to improve at the Read & React. Period. You can’t get good at something that you’re not willing to commit to. You can’t get good at something unless you’re willing to plow through the bad times and growing pains of learning something new. That applies to everything, and it applies here as well. There, I feel better! And, now to the steps.

Step 1: Teach the 3-player reaction drills for the layers you want to cover.

Commit to running each drill for a few minutes at the beginning of every practice. The 3-player drills maximize the number of reps that each player gets and carve the habits into their muscle memory. Without the Reaction Habits, there is no Read & React Offense and understanding it is not good enough, each player has to internalize the habits - the drills are the quickest way to do that. If you chose 10 drills covering the layers you were working on and spent 90 seconds on each, that would be the first 15 minutes of practice. I would integrate my warm-up, skill development, and shooting practice into that 15 minutes. And, if I only had 15 minutes to practice, those 10 drills would be the agenda.