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Training with Read & React Trigger Actions

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.

For example, play 5 on 5 with all defense dummy until someone feeds the post, then it’s live. In that situation, feeding the post is a trigger action. This gives your offense a chance to get into a flow (build confidence if necessary) and then start a live sequence when they’re ready.

It can also train your offense to wait until that trigger action is most effective.

Here’s what I mean. If the trigger action is feeding the post, why would I want to start the live action when all defenders are in good positions: that would be starting live action for live action’s sake without any attention to strategy.

A smart player (or team) would move the ball and players, cycling through actions until the defense is out of position. Only when a good scoring opportunity has shown itself would they feed the post and flip the switch from dummy to live. This enforces knowledge of the offense and strategic intelligence – two items that translate directly into points in real games.

Here’s a list of other trigger actions to get your imaginations working, but it could really be anything you want:

  • after the first time the ball is dribbled
  • after a Pin & Skip
  • after 3 post feeds
  • after a Dribble At
  • after a Bounce Off Dribble

See, it’s not that complicated, but training this way can pay huge dividends.


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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.