I could easily make this point using other Read & React coaches that I have had the fortune of observing. But it’s much easier to talk about myself, because I’m guilty of COACHING ABOVE THE SKILL LEVEL OF THE PLAYERS!

I know what the entire Read & React System can produce. I’m attracted (like most coaches) to the beauty of watching a smart player set a Pin Screen, read the defensive adjustment, and slip the screen for a lay-up! I can’t tell you how good it feels to empower a player and lead them to this level of basketball I.Q.!

I love seeing a team link the layers naturally to the adjustments and rotations of good defensive teams. Example: We try to feed the mid-post, but the defense stuffs it; the ball is passed uphill from Wing to Guard; the Wing cuts and the Post steps out and screens for the cutter; the defense switches to stop the lay-up; the Post shapes up to take advantage of the switch; the Post sweeps the ball and drives baseline; the defense rotates from the weakside to stop the drive, our opposite wing fills the opposite corner for the Natural Pitch; the defense makes another rotation to stop the shot; the corner makes a quick Extra Pass to beat further rotation and the weakside wing shoots a wide open 3!

I’m cheering as I write this!

But many times, due to my enthusiasm, I rehearse the team into actions beyond their skill level. The players can execute the action 5vs0, but when it’s 5on5 LIVE, they cannot make the passes; they cannot catch the passes, they cannot score – they cannot FINISH with these actions! You’ll know you’ve reached too far when your turnover rate and your frustration level is too high to bare!

I must admit, that the hardest thing for me to do is stop adding the next Layer of the Read & React, take a step backwards to the actions and layers that the players could execute without turnovers, stay there, and GO DEEP.

GO DEEP: I’m going deep into Player Development with only the actions they can execute without turnover. I’m going to break down the scoring opportunities of those actions into drills where we can measure our progress.

The good news is that this is usually enough to win! You don’t need to be able to do everything in the Read & React, no matter how well you know how to teach it! It’s not about you or me or our knowledge of the game. It’s about what your players can execute successfully!

Stop adding. Subtract to your team’s level of competency, and put down roots!