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Read & React Diagnostics: Testing Layers 1-4

We’ve recently posted a lot about Read & React diagnostics (Testing Layers 1-3 and Testing Layers 1 & 4). There’s a good reason for that.

Most coaches don’t know when to add more layers, stick with the ones they have, go deeper with their current layers, or even which layers specifically are holding their team back. These diagnostic tests are designed to help with that determination.

In the clip below, Rick Torbett asks the girls to do a series of Read & React actions in a specific order. This tests a few concepts… see if you can pick them out.

This clip is taken from Read & React Clinics: Planning the R&R Practice – a 5 DVD set based on last year’s clinics walking you through five practice templates for different times during your season and your Read & React progression.

There is certainly less teaching in this clip than in some of the previous clips, but there is still a lot to learn.

The first question that should be coming to your mind as a devout Read & React disciple should be: “Why the specific order? The Read & React is supposed to be about improv and hunting for openings. This looks too much like a set play.”

Great question.

By requiring a specific order of actions, this test demands a few things that an organic order would not.

First, the girls must communicate with each other. No one said that they couldn’t call out the next action (or, even the action as it’s taking place) in order to keep everyone on the same page. This isn’t a game of memory, it’s a game of reactions. And, as always in basketball, the more communication the better the team chemistry.

Second, as the coach you will see throughout scrimmages in practice or in games certain layers that your team never links together regardless of what the defense does. Perhaps, it would be beneficial to sometimes Dribble At immediately following a Bounce Off. Or, maybe penetrating right after a Laker Cut looks good to you as a coach. You can spot those weaknesses and train your players to look for those opportunities. This test is the perfect way to do that. Think about the Draft Drive – you must train your players to look for those openings otherwise huge opportunities may be missed.

Third, you’ll definitely see where your players are making mistakes with their reactions and under which circumstances they occur most often. Maybe they Circle Move correctly when the Dribble Penetration is in isolation, but fail when the Dribble Penetration occurs twice in a row, or when it happens from the Wing, or right after a Dribble At. Once you determine that, you can create a basketball drill that trains them in that situation specifically. Doing so will dramatically improve their ability to react correctly every time.


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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.

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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.