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PostPosted: 16 Jul 2014, 11:38 

Posts: 900
larschristianalm wrote:
This is one of the better videos that explains the basics: video is Layer 1 of the Read & React Offense, a system that I have used for four years. Allthough you can find some of the actions of R&R in motion offense, motion offense is not the same as R&R. The differences are who can make decisions and who can not.
Ah, my misunderstanding, for some reason I was under the impression that you hadn't used any motion type offense. When you asked, "Cut and replace: who does this, at what time and why?" I thought giving you a quick clip of the R&R Layer 1 would give you an idea of what that looks like on a cut and replace motion offense.

Sounds like you've run a version of a motion offense if you've been running the R&R pass and cut for four years. The R&R offense is a motion offense, imo, with several added tweaks and specific rules. I think Jim Torbet just called it Read and React, which was smart on his part. A good motion offense should have that read and react element.

I Guess I'm trying to explore the differences between these two ways to play the game.

So if I have understood correctly: Decision-making in Motion Offense:
1. Player With the ball: has freedom to choose the following actions: shoot, pass, dribble

2. Perimeter players and post players without the ball:
has the freedom to choose these actions at any time: do any type of cut, set or use any type of screen

3. Players who pass (both perimeter players and post players):
have the freedom to choose these actions: any type of cut, stand still, Space away, to an open spot, do any type of screen
Like Jeff said, I think you're on the right track. It depends upon which motion offense you decide to use (e.g. 5 out cutters, 4 out 1 in, dribble drive, etc..) and the skill set of your current players.

There's really no perfect way to run a motion offense, I customize mine based on the current skill sets of my players and have a few simple rules/guidelines so they know when to cut, etc. A good example would be your point #2 above. If I'm running a 5 out motion offense and my perimeter players are allowed to cut whenever they feel like it, I could run into a lower corner cutting at the same time a wing decides to cut, or two wings cutting at the same time, or a post running into a cutter. So, I establish a few rules, like the R&R rules. If a player is one pass away they can or should_(fill in the blank)_ type thing.


PostPosted: 16 Jul 2014, 14:23 

Posts: 18
If all 5 five players at any given time can make so many independent decisions doesn't that make it hard to keep them coordinated? I mean, they could become quite unpredictable to each other. You would have to have players With very high b-ball iq to make good decions, and that would be hard to find, or what?

and I'm quoting Rick Torbett when I say this, but when players have so many decisions to choose from make doesn't that slow down their ability to become decisive and aggressive? For example a perimeter player passes and spends time thinking "what is the best action I can take now?", Reading the ballhandler, Reading the defense, Reading his teammates (without the ball)

I like the rules in Torbett's R&R offense: players without the ball are demanded to read the ballhandler and react With just one pre-drilled action for whatever action the ballhandler takes. That makes players decisive. The ballhandler has freedom to choose his actions, and players located in the Paint and all post spots are free to choose their NeXT action. Torbett calls it the "Decision Box" (the Paint and post spots).

I'm still a Young Coach and fresh off my playing days, though my playing days are definitely winding Down even though I'm just in my early 30's. When I was a teenager my team was taught Motion Offense by Our Coach, and I remember the rules were pass & screen away for a perimeter player, and after that perhaps basket cut. But on the topic of players in M.O. having so many decisions to choose from, a Coach can LIMIT the players decisions without the ball right? He can tailor how many decisions he allows his players to make?

PostPosted: 16 Jul 2014, 15:33 

Posts: 900
Exactly! As a coach, you customize your offense (and defense) to fit your current players skill sets. It depends on your age group and skill level, but I chose to use a 5 out and 4 out 1 in motion offense. Both had simple rules and I added more freedom as the players gained experience. I also threw in a few set plays that could be run out of those basic sets.

If you have limited time to practice and the skill level of your players is more in the "developmental stage", a 5 out pass and cut motion offense with a few simple rules is a good base. This also allows for more ball touches and movement than having set plays, so all the players get opportunities to dribble, shoot, pass, cut, and screen, not just a select few.


PostPosted: 17 Jul 2014, 06:02 
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It does seem like with 5 players having freedom you could have a mess. But I'll tell you that it just usually works out if you emphasize spacing. When it comes to it, as long as players have great spacing, ball movement, and player movement... does it really matter what they do? Why try to control everything? Just focus on those 3 things, give players freedom, learn along with them, and see them IQ and playmaking soar as time goes on.

Sometimes players will get messed up, that's ok. Why does that matter... other than the coaches ego? They get out of sync for a bit, fix spacing, and continue. No big deal. The more they play together the less that happens. But the unpredictable nature of an offense also makes it harder for the defense, so there are advantages.

When teaching offense, spacing is usually the thing you coach about most. Then ball movement (which usually means players need to move more). Beyond that, resist the urge to over coach and control too much. Otherwise players can start thinking too much and get hesitant.. which leads to your next point.

You are right, having too many decisions and choices can slow the decisiveness of a player. But thinking about what to do based on what the ball does requires thinking at first too. You must get tons of reps to get the thinking to go away.

With a free form motion, your offense can be ready in 20 minutes. Just show spacing, player movement, and ball movement and you're ready. Now as time goes on, I do think you need to drill certain things so players make better decisions and make those decisions without thinking.

Spacing off the ball is an example and helps a lot. I like to use shooting drills to help players learn and develop good habits when it comes to spacing off the ball when dribbled. R&R does this early on, I think maybe in Stage 1 (can't remember for sure).

This is one time when I do think you need to react to the ball. And the R&R does a good job of teaching that. We do that too. Just in a slightly different way. Again, spacing is a big emphasis for the motion.

As long as you don't have too many rules, players can be decisive in a free form motion. Just move. What thought does that require? Players learn they need to move and each guy settles into a couple things. You might have one player on the team that basket cuts almost every time. Where other guys mix it up pretty good with screen away, basket cut, hand offs. Every single kid is different in what they pick up.

Hope this helps. Regardless of what you run exploring other options is helping you grow as a coach. So this is a good thing.

Jeff Haefner

PostPosted: 17 Jul 2014, 06:17 
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Posts: 3139
We ran an Open Post offense and I always told my players that if they got "messed" up / having more than one player in the same area.... its very simple.... find the open spot on the floor and get there.... you can always makea basket cut first if you think its open. Pretty simple.... and trust me, there are many times that the spacing is not correct.

Our rule was simple, keep moving even if its cut and replace. Like Jeff said, it doesn't take long once they know the spots to go to. We had 5 basic spots to work from, didn't mean that were glued to those.... I wasn't crazy for my players to be on the baseline but it happened alot and we git drves and back door moves from there too,

Our basic set was all 5 players aboive the free throw line.

PostPosted: 17 Jul 2014, 07:12 
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Posts: 337
Location: Winter Garden, FL (Orlando suburb)
Good discussion going on here....

The beauty of the motion is that you can make up whatever rules you are comfortable with...

For example when I teach motion to youth and high school players, I start out with a simple pass and cut offense.

I taught the offense that I ran in high school and the offense I saw a team as a freshmen in high school win the state championship. I also saw St. John's use it to upset Duke a few years back.

I call it "Cutters". It's very similar to this one:

When overplayed, go backdoor. Spacing... move to open spots on dribble penetration, etc.

I've tweaked some of the rules since posting it 5 years ago on the site, but it still holds the basic premise.

I usually start out with that as our base. Then once I see the kids start to have this down, I go on to screening.

At first, I teach pass and screen away. You keep the same rules, except when you pass, you screen away.

I give the cutter two options: curl or backdoor. I know there are more possible options, but I believe it actually makes the offense less effective.

Jeff and I have even talked about the idea of eliminating the backdoor at the beginning and just emphasizing curl. At the college level, I see players that just CURL as hard as they can no matter what the defense does and they still have success. Even though, they make the wrong read.

Now to your decision-making question. When I have coached teams, I like to introduce these as two separate offenses at first.

1. Cutters
2. Screeners

As time goes on, I introduce #3... motion and I allow them to make a decision off the pass. Pass and cut or Pass and screen away. I tell them that they want to mess with the defender's head. They want to keep them off balance. Fake cuts, then screen away. FAkes screens, then cut. Cut 5 times in a row, then screen away.

After time, I might add some ball screen options. However, you have to be careful with this. You don't want to add too much too quick.

Like above, the only option I might give them is to pass and ball screen. Then after they get it, I might open it up to motion.

That's what I'm comfortable with and I've also noticed coaches with less experience tend to be more comfortable teaching that way. There is more structure for them.

Joe Haefner

PostPosted: 17 Jul 2014, 07:24 
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Location: Winter Garden, FL (Orlando suburb)
Also in reply to Torbert's offense, you'll notice that he says he eliminates decisions off the pass, but then he says the options off the cut are endless.

- fill the perimeter.
- post up
- back screen the corner
- back screen a wing
- go back and set a ball screen (not sure if this was in there or not)

So there are still plenty of decisions to be made.

I just remember him listing 5 or 6 options after the player makes the cut. To me, that's saying the same thing as your options are to...

1. pass and cut
2. pass and screen away
3. pass and ball screen

The only difference is the rhetoric used and the preferences he has for offense.

Don't get me wrong... I'm not bashing his offense. I think it's better than 95% of the stuff currently being used at the youth level. At the same time, I think a lot is overkill for most teams at the youth and high school level.

You'll also notice that he lists a ton of options and lets you customize it for your team. That's pretty much what everybody here is giving you. They are telling you to take all of these options and customize it for your team and your comfort level.

Personally, I like to do things a little differently than his offense because I want the players that I coach to be prepared to play at the next level... whatever that might be.

And I believe in teaching Bball IQ.

I want them to be able to make different reads off dribble penetration. I want them to do different things off the pass.

While sometimes this can look messy if you compare it to a coach who likes more structure, I think your players and your team improves the most teaching motion. You may start to see the benefits half way through the season. It may take a couple of years if you coach younger kids.

However, when I see the teams that I coach beating teams that are more talented at the end of every season, I'm either extremely lucky or I have copied the successful motion coaches very well.

Joe Haefner

PostPosted: 17 Jul 2014, 07:32 
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Location: Winter Garden, FL (Orlando suburb)
Also, I hope that last sentence didn't come off arrogant. I don't think I'm a great coach.

I just coach against teams at the youth level where the coaches tend to have less experience than I do. When I've coached over 10 years and probably close to 15 seasons, you tend to do a few things more efficiently than the parent who is coaching in their second year.

Joe Haefner

PostPosted: 17 Jul 2014, 09:06 

Posts: 214
Awesome discussion.

I think the motion offense is best built through progressions. Like Joe was saying, begin with one layer. Pass and cut or Pass and screen. Early in the year, when we do shell drill, once the defense looks good defending stationary offense, we let the offense pass and cut, with no dribbles. Once they are running this, cutting and filling spots without much thought, we add more elements, like giving the player 3-4 dribbles.

Once that first layer of pass and cut is engrained in their basketball brains, we'll start showing them another layer. For me personally, last season we did almost nothing but pass and cut, then towards the end of the season we added ballscreens. This was 4th grade girls. We also worked on screening away, but they preferred ball screens.

We'll do shell drill a ton because I think this helps them understand basketball and I think it's one of the best drills where you get the live scrimmage action element, but also the control to stop something and walk through something for immediate fixes and pointers.

We also work on 2 on 0 or 3 on 0 offensive drills to emphasize the layer we are teaching. Then progress it to shell.

It takes time to build a nice looking offense. There were times early in the season where my assistant and I wanted to blow our brains out watching our team scrimmage itself. But as the season went on, things started clicking, the girls began playing with a higher comfort level, knowing and understanding each other's movements and tendencies.

This summer we've gotten together for skill workouts and to play 3 on 3. We split the teams up, give them a ball, then just sit around and watch them play. At water breaks we pull players to the side to show them something new and then they work on that in the next scrimmage session. a couple weeks ago we started showing a couple girls how to really work in the low post and showed everybody how to use Laker cuts. Sometimes the girls will huddle themselves together and draw up plays of their own. Once my daughter and her teammates drew up a fake ballscreen where the screener faked ballscreen and darted to the hoop. They just "invented" the slip-screen on their own. Proud coaching moment.

After a while you begin to see that the players will just start to play basketball, the thinking is gone, the reactions and reads become clear and concise. I've stopped worrying so much about how ugly it can look at times because I know they'll be able to correct themselves because of all the drill work we've done on just a few simple concepts.

PostPosted: 17 Jul 2014, 10:53 

Posts: 900
Agreed, great discussion. The cool part about a motion offense is the layer aspect. You can add or subtract layers depending upon your player's ability to execute. Same with the rules about when to do something. As you work through the motion offense, it will become clear how much the player's can handle when it comes to the layers and decisions.

Regardless of the offense you choose, my experience has been that it boils down to your player's abilities to do the little things right within your offense. Like I mentioned before, if player's don't sprint cuts, wait for screens, come off screens properly, set up cuts, and so on, it really won't matter which offense a coach chooses to use.

If there's one thing I've learned over the years as a coach it's that everything looks good on paper. Sometimes you're cooking and feel like laminating those papers to immortalize your brilliantly laid plans and other times you're looking for the shredder.


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