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3 out 2 in Motion Offense

The 3 out 2 in motion offense plays 3 players on the perimeter and 2 players in the post. This set works best when at least one of the post players can shoot a bit.

In the 3 2 motion, perimeter players space outside the lane (green area) while the inside is reserved for the 2 post players (blue area).

The post players can move in a high low post fashion or can work as a double low post. The two post players work together, screening for one another, trying to create offensive opportunities off one another. As they screen, they read the defense and react. For example, when screening, if the post cuts off the screen to a high flash, the screener roles low. If the cutter flashes low, then the screener cuts high.

The posts also fill gaps in the offenses spacing. For example, if there is no perimeter player on top, a post player can fill the spot.

Post players can also screen for perimeter players. The 2 post players are very effective setting down-screens, UCLA screens, flex screens, flare screens, etc.

Perimeter players can cut through the middle and off post screens but should leave the lane immediately. They can also pass and screen for each other. The presence of a second post player presents great opportunities for stagger screens for perimeter players.

   3-2-motion-offense-A (3K)

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What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


Simon says:
4/10/2011 at 10:23:12 PM

I really like the simple breakdown of the different set-ups for the motion offence.

Is the second illustration for the 3 out 2 in offence incorrect? It seems to be the 4 out 1 in, low post illustration.

Jeff Haefner says:
4/13/2011 at 9:32:29 AM

Thank you for pointing that out. The wrong images was showing. We fixed it. Thank you.

gerard says:
5/2/2011 at 11:13:01 AM

Hey Jeff, i work now in motion whith this offence and its a good one, in combination with your E-book off motion its really great, thx

Coach T. says:
11/4/2011 at 6:49:46 AM

Good day all

I wanna give thanks to the site managers,the information i get on here has helped my teams alot...I coach kids from the ages of 13-18yrs,and all the info i get here,has really helped our academy..

Motion offense is amazing kids pick up quick and drills are fun,thank you again.

Coach T.(Mahikeng Basketball Academy)South Africa

Coach T. says:
11/4/2011 at 7:02:42 AM

Good day all

I wanna give thanks to the site managers,the information i get on here has helped my teams alot...I coach kids from the ages of 13-18yrs,and all the info i get here,has really helped our academy..

Motion offense is amazing kids pick up quick and drills are fun,thank you again.

Coach T.(Mahikeng Basketball Academy)South Africa

lenny says:
12/7/2011 at 8:15:33 PM

started motion offense with 10 - 11 yr. old team any down side to having passer cut down lane than curl ball side corner instead of opposite where he can still have option of a return pass and have ball handler replace cutter in a 3/2 ?

Ken Sartini says:
12/7/2011 at 8:37:17 PM

We never did that... but you can try it out and see if it works for you... these are young kids.. use the KISS method here.

We ran a 3 out and an Open Post... in the Open Post we cut the guys down the middle a lot. I'm just wondering if that is going to clog the middle when you are trying to get the ball to a post player???

Steve Kern says:
1/19/2012 at 9:28:26 AM

Love this site. This is my second year coaching youth boys basketball, I'm coaching 6th graders now. Not many experienced players on my team so I figured I had to teach them set plays or they'd be running around like chickens with their head cut off. I felt I had to give them direction in where to go and when. They did great with these plays in practice but once they put the uniform on they forgot everything. I realized that they weren't learning basketball, they were learning patterns. But to them, remembering those patterns was too hard. They HATED our Motion offense, too hard they said. 3 out 2 in motion offense, guard passes to the wing, two closest to the ball would screen away, etc., etc. look for cutters. They couldn't get it and said it was too complicated. After getting beat BAD in our first two games trying set plays and some motion, there needed to be a change. So last night I told them we were using a brand new offense. I didn't give it a name, I just told them they have certain spots that needed to filled at all times, while many certain rules had to be followed, you can do anything you want (they loved that idea). They played great! Doing plays that I had tried to teach them earlier all on instinct and making their own decisions (give and go, pass to elbow and take a handoff, etc., etc) now they were learning basketball instead of being stressed about learning a pattern. At the end of practice I gathered them all around (all 14 of them) and told them they just ran a pretty successful motion offense. They stared at me in disbelief. Hopefully the year goes better and they'll learn more about the game. Took me a while, but you gotta keep it simple at this age.

Ken says:
1/19/2012 at 2:18:14 PM

Steve -

More than one way to skin a cat huh!

We ran a 5 out Open Post and there were few rules ..... there were only 2 basic cuts and 5 spots to fill. Keep moving, read the defenese and get open.

The younger the kids the simpler it has to be unless they have already played for several years.

Jeff says:
3/6/2012 at 12:03:28 PM

The reason you ran into problems with the motion offense is because you have to run breakdown drills and implement one concept at a time. Most of these concepts are typical basketball concepts that they need to learn anyway. You can think of it as a component that you utilize. Pick and roll and give and go are the two most basic concepts of basketball. Those can be part of motion offense. Once you get the essentials down and they are moving more fluid you keep adding. You do this in practice as drills and drill it until it becomes habit. For instance you create guard, post and combination drills where they execute the basic movements and it becomes routine, then you combine them on the floor when it is learned. Forcing a structured routine doesn't work because the defense can force you out of your entire offense very easily if everything has a dependency. What you get by drilling is they don't think about it like they do when you explain it as step 1, step 2, step 3, step 4, etc. You tell them, let's get the ball to the wing and run pick and roll or screen away or high low. What this does is create a series of actions that they don't think about. In the end, your problem isn't really the offense, it is the inability of the players to think and be physically active at the same time. Kind of like reading the entire chapter of a book and trying to memorize the whole thing rather than studying and understanding the message. Hope this isn't too much feedback.

Eric says:
11/30/2012 at 12:16:54 PM

hey there! i've followed a ton of advice from you guys, so thank you! I'm coaching 11-12 year olds, and they just can't transfer what they are learning in practice into the game. i'd say it's all my fault but my assistant is actually really solid and teaching the kids great fundamentals. so we think we're doing ok, and the kids are doing great in practice. soooo...what can we do on offense? the kids are having trouble even remembering to execute the first initial moves of the motion offense and it instantly breaks down into a free for all. We've tried not to complicate things too much.
thanks for any advice you might have!

Eric says:
11/30/2012 at 2:32:19 PM

actually, looking back and seeing Steve''s comments, that sounds familiar. i may try that method. thanks!

Jeff Haefner says:
12/1/2012 at 8:22:25 AM

Eric - Sounds like a good plan. If you still have trouble after following Steve's advice, let us know. I have no doubt you can make the motion offense work and if you get stuck we have plenty of tricks to help.

Ken says:
12/3/2012 at 8:44:21 AM

Eric -

Try to keep this as simple as possible.. how about pass and cut, then fill the open spaces?

These are young kids and they are just learning the game. Heck, I have seen some Vasrity players that get lost from time to time.

Like I said before, maybe an open post offense would be better? You know your kids better than we do.

Try the plan B ( (Steve's advice ) and then add / move on from there. Bottom line is that you are going to just have to keep teaching them a lot of fundamentals and hope they pick things up and learn enough to be able to play the game. Good luck

Eric says:
12/3/2012 at 11:46:37 PM

So far much better. Actually went with having the PG call out another position (2, 3, 4, 5) and that person picks where they go. They set a screen a player and that player moves to open position. At least it is getting them moving and easier to understand!

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