Better Basketball logo

March 9 – Where Does the Time Go?

Collapsing Time Frames

Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead 1 hour today! These days most people have it done automatically for them when their smartphone updates, but just in case!

We have included free chapters to several of our videos in the article below today…enjoy!

Collapsing Time Frames
by Rick Torbett

Collapsing Time FramesSince the success of the Read & React is based on REACTION HABITS and not memory alone, it is essential to get as much repetition with the offense as possible. Time frames can be collapsed by using the Read & React to accomplish everything you ordinarily shoot for in practice. Here’s a big picture list of things coaches try to cover during practice:

  • Fundamentals/Player Development
  • Offense
  • Defense
  • Transition
  • Conditioning
  • Live Scrimmage

During Fundamental Practice, coaches will typically have a list of drills like: Lay-ups, Passing, Shooting, Ball handling, etc. These drills accomplish what they’re made for – to improve the players’ skills. I would collapse time frames by training a minimum of two things at one time.

I’ll use lay-ups as an example: I would use the 3 player drills for Front/Rear Cut or Fill Empty Spot Over the Read Line Rear Cut or Circle Move Drive and hit the Baseline Cutter for a Lay-Up or even Post Passing Laker Cuts or X-Cuts. These drills all finish with a lay-up and yet I’m also teaching the passes they’ll use in a game along with the actual game cut that leads to a lay-up. In addition, I’m building the HABITS of the offense. So, I’m actually training 4 things at one time.

FREE CHAPTER: Layer 1 Single Layer Reaction Drills

When practicing the offense, as an example, using Layer 1: Pass & Cut with 5 players, why not also put “dummy” defenders on the floor and tell them to not touch any passes. Their job is to always be in the correct position, stance, etc (whatever you teach defensively). Instead of taking time to teach your players the offensive side to a “Shell Defense” drill, use the Read & React as your “Shell Offense”.

Instead of using practice time to run sprints, use our 5-on-0 Full-Court Trips for conditioning.

FREE CHAPTER: Layer 19 Full Court Trips

Make them compete against a clock, or yesterday’s record of made shots per trip, etc. Now you’ve collapsed three time frames into one: You get Conditioning, Transition, and R&R Offense Training at the same time.

Then, you can add defenders and run a more advanced Full Court Trips Drill.

Bottom line: whatever you do in practice, use the R&R to get it done and you’ll always be collapsing time frames. If you run practice the traditional way: 10 minutes for fundamentals, 10 minutes for fast break, 20 minutes on defense, 20 minutes on offense, etc., you’ll never have enough time to create the most powerful aspect of the Read & React – the automatic, this is how we play, natural read and counter actions that can handle any defense.

Adding defense: Your practices will and should change as you progress through the season. The first day of practice, I would probably be teaching the drills without defense. But I would quickly progress to drills + dummy defenders, and then drills + dummy + “live” defenders. Eventually everything you do with the R&R can have a defensive component to it. If you have the luxury of a good defensive coach, then you have the best situation. You can keep your attention 100% on the offense while the defensive coach keeps 100% of his/her attention on the defense. Even if your emphasis was on learning something new with the R&R, like staggered screens, the defensive coach can be coaching the defense the entire time – even if the action is not “live”. Iron truly sharpens iron.

An example of a hybrid between drilling and “live” would go like this (and it’s one of my favorites): As long as the offense passes and cuts, nothing is “live”, i.e., the offense cannot score and the defense cannot touch the ball. You could be in any formation and you might be drilling more than just layer 1; you might be also be drilling Post Passing and the 4 cuts that go with it and/or the Pin and Skip. But when the offense takes ONE dribble, the action turns to “live”.

Think about it, the offense uses the passing components of the R&R to try and shake the defense out of their positions. If and when they do, they can attack off the dribble.

Think of the dynamics that are going on defensively: How many passes can you make the offense take because your position is so good that they see no openings to take advantage of?

Offense: How many cuts and passes does it take to shake the defense? Are you cutting hard enough? Are you using your screens properly? Is the defense that good??!! Great dynamics!

Please share your questions, comments, thoughts, experiences, etc. in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section below…


Read & React 5-Player Coordination Drills

Enter your email address to get an inside look at teaching the Read & React Offense with the drills in this free video.


Become a More Confident Shooter

From our friends at PGC Basketball — PGC’s Shooting Specialist shares 3 FREE video trainings for scoring more points & getting more playing time!  Enter your email to get started.



about rick torbett

Rick Torbett has taught thousands of coaches to win more games through his innovative approach to the game. He has created powerful training for coaches at any level so they can coach their best and win more games.

Follow Us

Read & React 5-Player Coordination Drills

Enter your email address to get an inside look at teaching the Read & React Offense with the drills in this free video.