This is an excerpt from our eBook that accompanies Don Kelbick's Motion Offense DVDs.
This shows you the step-by-step process that Don Kelbick uses to implement a motion offense.
We have also added videos and article links to help demonstrate some examples.
Step 1 - Three Basic Rules
These three basic rules for motion offense will govern any situation that your players find themselves in, and should be emphasized at all times. The first step in implementation is to explain these rules to the players:
1. Share the Ball
2. Do What You Do Best, and Recognize What Your Teammates Do Best
3. Create Space
Every movement and decision a player makes on the court should adhere to these rules at all times. Players may find themselves in a thousand different situations, some of which you may not have covered in practice, but these three rules will always apply.
Step 2 - Select Your Cuts and Screens
As a coach, you must decide what offensive actions you would like to incorporate into your motion.
In this video, we identified 28 different screens and cuts that could be utilized in your motion offense. You can use as many different options as you are comfortable with. Those may also change depending on your personnel, the type of team you have, or the opponent you are preparing for.
It may be helpful to create a list of the cuts and screens you want to emphasize in your offense. Prioritize your list so that those actions that are the most important to the success of your offense are at the top of the list. This list may change as your offense evolves over time. However, it is a useful tool to help organize your skill development drills and practice time.
Here is a video of 17 basketball screens for your offense. You can also view the full article:
Step 3 - Drill in Pieces - 2v0 Drills
After I have identified the cuts and screens that I want to incorporate into my motion offense, I begin my implementation by drilling in pieces. I do this without defense so that the offense can become comfortable with each action without being distracted by what the defense is doing.
I like to begin by having players learn the screens and cuts that I think are important within a two-man game. The motion offense video demonstrates a number of 2v0 screening and cutting combinations. These provide the structure to learn the movements within the motion offense, and will give you a context for your skill development.
Once you have chosen what actions you want to emphasize, you can begin to design drills to reinforce those screens and cuts.
Here are some examples of two player drills that you use to initially teach cuts and screens at the beginning of the season:
Step 4 - Drill in Pieces - 3v0 Drills
Once players begin to understand the scoring actions in the two-man game, I add another offensive player and put them through as many situations as possible in a three-man unit.
Again, while we are in the teaching phase, I do this without defense so that the offense can focus on their coordinated movement without worrying about how they are being defended.
As we progress through the teaching process, I will determine the options within each drill until the players become more comfortable with what actions are available to them.
Step 5 - 3v0 Dummy Offense
It is not possible to go through every situation that will happen in a game. Therefore, the next progression is to allow players the freedom to make their own decisions without the coach dictating what actions to take. This allows players to interpret what they see on the floor and do something that is appropriate. Players learn to react to different situations instinctively which makes for a more fluid motion offense.
Step 6 - Play 3v3 Live
Once players are comfortable in 3v0 Dummy Offense, we immediately add defense and play live. I may place offensive players in common situations to start each possession, but once the ball is in play, the offense is free to do whatever they want as long as they share the ball, do what they do best, and create space.
An alternative version of this drill is called the "Continuous 3 on 3".
Step 7 - 4v0 Dummy Offense
After players become comfortable operating as a three-man unit, I add a fourth offensive player and return to playing Dummy Offense. With four players on the court, new situations will arise that were not possible previously.
It is important to note that I utilize Dummy Offense more frequently during the teaching phase of my implementation while players are still learning how to incorporate the various cuts and screens into the offense. In this stage, I require them to make more passes before taking a shot so that they learn to move in concert with one another.
Step 8 - Play 4v4 Live
As players progress in 4v0 Dummy Offense, I add defense and allow the players to compete in live situations. I will continue to utilize various restrictions on the offense to emphasize the need for multiple passes, ball reversals, post touches, etc.
Playing 4 on 4 gives the offense great spacing, and provides everyone an opportunity to handle the ball. We utilize this in implementation and throughout the season to practice our motion offense.
Here is an example of a drill that requires three ball reversals before a jump shot. For a deeper explanation of the drill, you can view this article:
Motion Offense Drill & Brad Stevens' Secret To Better Offense
Here is an example of a drill that requires the designated player to shoot the basketball. For a deeper explanation of the drill, you can view this article:
One of the best motion offense drills that you will find (even during games)
Step 9 - Drill in Common Situations with 4v0 Dummy Offense
As I continue through the implementation process, I not only use restrictions, but I also drill in common situations. I do this by returning to 4v0 Dummy Offense. However, I now orchestrate the player's initial action and alignment so that players learn to act appropriately in situations that happen most frequently in games. Numerous examples can be found in Chapter 4: Common Situations.
Step 10 - Drill in Common Situations with 4v4 Live
Once players begin to understand the options available to them in common situations, I add defense and play live.
Step 11 - Play 5v4
The implementation phase, I add a fifth offensive player before adding a fifth defender to allow the offense to explore their options as a five-man unit. I will, however, restrict one offensive player by not allowing them to shoot. The open player now learns how to create scoring opportunities for the other four players who are defended.
Step 12 - Play 5v5
Players are now ready to compete in a five-on-five situation. You may use restrictions or scripted entries to hone the skills that your motion offense requires.
We use restrictions and contraints to polish our offense and solve problems like:
- Get more ball reversals
- Improve shot selection
- Create better shooting opportunities
- Get the ball inside
- Make crisper cuts
- Play more decisive
- Get more player movement and less standing
- Improve screening fundamentals
You can see how we solve these problems and use contraints in chapter ?.
Beginning with Chapter 8, I present other aspects of the offense that you may want to incorporate into your program.
These include dribble entries, various player alignments, quick hitters, and transition options to provide you with different ways to get into your motion offense. Consider what entries will be most successful for your team and begin to utilize them to initiate your offense in both drill and competition.
What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...