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Coaching the Read & React

Installing the Entire Read & React in 5 Days

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The Read & React Offense took over a year to produce and I’m pretty confident that I covered every detail of every layer of the offense. But regardless, I continue to hear the following question: “What is the best method for teaching the Read & React?” And regardless of THAT answer, the follow-up question is always, “How long will it take?” So, when Mike Bona, coach of the Emmanuel College Lady Lions, asked me the same question, I boldly answered: “One week! In one week, I can put in the entire Read & React – all 20 Layers!” And he took me up on it! Now, some of you are saying, there’s no way an entire team can master the Read & React in 5 practices (11 hours). And I agree! What CAN you MASTER in 11 hours?! I wasn’t shooting for mastery - I was shooting for the team to acquire the ability to run the entire offense in this short, condensed amount of time. And they did!
To best understand what I did in these 5 practices and why I did it this way, let’s look at the 3 BASIC STAGES OF SKILL ACQUISITION*:

Layer 4 is NOT about Dribble Penetration. You can dribble penetrate at any time in any offense. But that usually means the end of the offense. Layer 4 in the Read & React is about how the offense continues if Dribble Penetration fails or Penetrate, Draw the Defense, and Pass does not produce a shot. I don't think most understand WHY we Circle Move on Dribble Penetration in the Read & React. Here’s why: Elementary Reason: Receivers moving vs standing are harder to guard. Advanced Reason: Defensive help and rotation moves in the opposite direction as Circle Movement. Engineering Reason: What if the drive fails or what if the drive and pass fails to produce a scoring opportunity? The reason to Circle Move is to continue action with another Layer of the R&R if the drive fails. That requires everyone to be on SPOTS. (All layers START on spots and END on spots in order to have continuous linkage of layers or basketball actions.) When I was first engineering the Read & React (8 years ago), we did not Circle Move when someone Dribble Penetrated. That produced a problem: The empty spot from where penetration occurred was being filled by the next player (due to the habit of Layer 1) and the spot behind the filler was being filled, etc. That meant some were moving on the perimeter while others were not. The spots that were not being filled were the highest percentage

Many of our drills are designed to work the habit of Circle Movement even if we haven't yet taught Circle Movement in Layer 4. We do it in Full Court Trips during Trip 3 (Reverse Dribble), and our 'Circle Movement Shooting Drill' is another that does the same, which allows us to install it on Day 1. We normally run this for 10 minutes with half of the team on each end of the court, starting on the right side.  We go 1:30 shot fake and drive, 1:30 shot fake-escape dribble jumper, and 2:00 catch and shoot.  Then we switch ENDS (they are now all on the left side of court) and work back down.  2:00 catch and shoot, 1:30 shot fake-escape dribble jumper, 1:30 shot fake and drive. We use this drill to collapse time frames by emphasizing ball fakes before the pass, jump stop finishes, great closeouts, making great shot fakes, calling names out on passes, and covering ground with our dribble. All while training the habit of Circle Movement! [embed]http://www.fastmodelsports.com/library/embedImage.jsp?id=dfe0cf1b-ba48-40cb-a766-61c5d855dffd[/embed] We choose 2 different spots to start from each day to change the spots we shoot from as well as the passing and driving angles, but the drill stays the same. 2 things to watch:

Many in the Tribe have asked about the Full Court Trips Drill listed in the Master Practice Plan from my last post, 'Do You Have a Master Plan?' Since this is the first drill we do just about every practice, it is appropriate for it to be the first drill detailed in this series. We work on this drill every day of practice, and it has been invaluable to our program in making it a habit for our players to flow from our fast break directly into the Read & React. Our players love the opportunity to push the ball and score quickly, but if the defense gets back, we do not feel the need to pull the ball out and 'reset' in order to run offense. Here is a video excerpt from Planning the R&R Practice of our team running it, followed by the breakdown of the drill. To set up the video, I must mention that this was filmed at a Spring Clinic, and our team had been off for 2 months. It is not perfect, and we were using players from 3 different levels of our program.  What I love about that is that they were all able to operate on the same page because of the Read & React curriculum we have installed. (If you don't have Planning the R&R Practice, it is an invaluable resource that we use all season long for ideas and information) Teaching Full Court Trips The way we install Full Court Trips, is to first teach our early offense. We use an Inbounder, an Outlet, 2 Lane Fillers (who cross if we don't pass the ball ahead) and a Rim Runner. The first 3 trips can be taught to all players at all levels regardless of Read and React experience.

During recent clinics, I’ve mentioned Kevin Eastman’s quote about the future of basketball – that it will be “position-less”. He’s not yet seen the Read & React and so I find it interesting that one of the best basketball minds in the coaching community “senses” where things are headed. I would love to see him wrap his mind around what you and I already know: the future is already here. The Read & React is position-less, formless, unpredictable and yet totally accountable and teachable. There’s no telling how Kevin would operate it – just like all the Tribe coaches; it looks different in everyone’s hands. But that’s not what I want to point out today. His quote about “position-less basketball” brought other terms to my mind like “formless” and “unpredictable”. It reminded me of a quote about how your team should be like “water” and adapt its form according to the defense… I found this quote today in THE ART OF WAR by Sun Tzu – and it struck me how close his language is to ours. You’d think he was talking to his Read & React team just before a game:

“The general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought” -SUN TZU The questions that Read & React coaches collectively have on their minds as they begin their respective seasons seem to be centered around practice planning. For those who have the Planning the R&R Practice DVD Set, you are probably ahead of the game already, and have a great idea about how you want to operate your practices. The number one thing I am asked as a High School Read & React coach is, "How do you prepare for your first game with only 12 practices to do so?" We work very hard to collapse time frames and have put 3 years of trial and error into our Master Practice Plan. It outlines everything we want to cover prior to tipping off against our first opponent. We use this plan to stay on track while scheduling our individual practices, and alter it slightly each season based on the experience and skill level of the players we have returning. We view every drill in each practice as another brick we want to lay perfectly on our way to building something special over the course of the season. Please feel free to download the Master Practice Plan I use with our team. I will be discussing each brick in more detail beginning today. To further get the mental juices flowing, here are some past Tribe Posts with video that talk about practice planning:
LAUNCHING SOON! THE READ & REACT PLAYER SYSTEM  GET EARLY ACCESS
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