A. Positionless Basketball
B. The Read & React
C. An untraditional paradigm
Those are three difficult things to explain, and yet they are all tied together. If you explain one, you probably have to explain the other two. If you’re new to this, then don’t be surprised…
Don’t be surprised that the R&R creates scoring opportunities that your players cannot finish! Examples:A Read Line or Puppydog is executed perfectly, the pass is thrown perfectly (just like your drills) and your cutter misses the lay-up!
Pass-Cut-Perfectly timed Draft Drive follows and….he/she misses the lay-up!
The post is fed; Laker cut is made without hesitation; the post fakes opposite and gives a perfect pass – and the lay-up is missed!
Someone on the weakside sets a Pin Screen on the right defender at the right time, calls the Pin, the skip is made, the screener opens up to the ball, the pass is made inside – and the power shot inside is missed!
Don’t be surprised. Eventually they WILL finish these shots. Your team is simply going through one of many stages. (I can’t tell you how long it takes to get through theses stages – it’s different for every team).
STAGE 1: They learn the RULES of the offense. They can Shuffle the Deck and stay together, moving seamlessly from one action to the next. You might be using 3 layers or maybe 10. That depends on your level. However, you have a working offense and everyone knows where they’re supposed to go, when they’re supposed to cut, etc.
STAGE 2: Defense is applied and they must learn how to execute these same actions, make these same passes, dribbles, and shots when under defensive pressure. Don’t be surprised that things fall apart for a little while. That’s natural. You might have to teach them where to hold the ball and how to be tough with the ball; how to “fake a pass to make a pass”; how to sweep the ball or haircut the ball when driving against pressure defense; etc.
STAGE 3: Your reps are starting to pay off. Reactions are quicker; There’s less hesitation; Timing is better; Suddenly, the game SPEEDS UP for everyone! This is good; Your team is taking advantage of every mistake that the defense makes, but because the game has SPED UP, your players are missing their shots! DON’T BE SURPRISED! They will start making these shots, but they need reps at game speed under game conditions with game-like defense.
I’ve seen STAGE 3 happen on all levels. Don’t get frustrated and certainly don’t give up! It’s just another stage to go through!
There are a lot of coaches who expect STAGE 1 to be the only thing needed for Positionless Basketball. But the Read & React has always demanded continual, hands-on management from the coaching staff. But it’s worth it. Work through it and you’ll see.
When your team begins to make these shots under game speed and game conditions, there are other stages that will follow:
STAGE 4: Players must be taught the scoring opportunities that come with every layer, every action of the Read & React. And they must get a feel for those that they can use now (this season) and those that are best left to master in the off-season. They will try them, they will miss the shots, they will go through the same process – don’t be surprised!
STAGE 5: The team will begin to view the game in terms of COMBINATIONS of layers. Their patience per possession will increase, as they understand what it takes to break down certain opponents. Everyone does not arrive at this stage at the same time, but you’ll know you’re getting their when you see some of your players as “coaches on the floor.” It’s at this stage that we can begin to practically talk about “Basketball I.Q.”
Don't Be Surprised! (Part 2)
It is our sincere hope that we can provide you with every tool necessary to improve not only as a Read & React coach, but as a basketball coach as a whole. We look forward to working closely with you this season.