Motion Offense Drill: Developing Skills & Teaching Cuts and Screens At The Beginning Of The Season (And 3 Rules For Motion Offense)

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In this video clip, Coach Kelbick demonstrates a motion offense drill that you can use to teach cuts, screens, and concepts when first teaching the motion offense to your team.

Personally, I like to use drills like this at the beginning of the season for maybe one or two practices depending on my team's skill level and experience.

With a group of experienced players, you may be able to skip it altogether. That's based on your coaching philosophy.

This video is from Don Kelbick's Motion Offense DVD.



Motion Offense Cuts and Movements

As you probably know, there are hundreds of cuts and movements that players can make in a motion offense. In this video, Don Kelbick highlights:

  • Pass & basket cut
  • Pass & screen away
  • A slash cut off of the screen for a shot
  • Curl cut low off of the screen & the screener rolls back high
  • A slash cut and the screener rolls back low to the ball
  • Opposite wing cuts to the ball for a shot

There are numerous cuts and movements you can use in this drill. As your players start to master the skills shown in this video, you can add other cuts and movements like:

  • Screen down & slash cut for a shot
  • Screener roll back to the ball for a shot
  • Back screen
  • Screener pop out for a shot
  • UCLA screen for a shot
  • Backdoor cut
  • Flare off of a screen for a shot

This drill is a great implementation tool for your motion offense. It helps to illustrate that everybody's movement creates opportunities for yourself or someone else. 

In a practice setting, you'll want to split your players up to ensure more repetitions.  For the purpose of filming the video, only one basket was used.  

The Three Rules of a Motion Offense

This drill is great because it helps your players follow Don Kelbick's three rules of a motion offense:

  1. Share the ball - This drill focuses on different cuts and movements, but also hitting cutters and players coming off of screens with good passes in their shooting pocket. Sharing the ball is the #1 rule of this motion offense, and this drill helps to emphasize that.

  2. Do what you do best, and recognize what your teammates do best - By adding different cuts and movements in this drill, your players will begin to not only recognize their strengths within the motion offense, but also their teammates' strengths.

  3. Create space - An effective motion offense is all about having proper spacing so that your offense flows. By teaching the different cuts and movements with this drill, your players will begin to recognize when their spacing is poor and the movements they need to make to remedy that.

Running an Effective Motion Offense

Coach Kelbick likes to start with 2 vs. 0 drills and progress to 3 vs. 0, 4 vs. 0, and 5 vs. 0. This helps players identify cuts and movements without having to be distracted by what the defense is doing. This provides structure for players to learn the motion offense.

Once your players have developed a better understanding of the motion offense, you can add defenders.

Don Kelbick's Motion Offense DVDs do a great job of breaking down the motion offense into pieces. There are numerous drills and situations you can use for your practices to help develop an effective motion offense for your team.

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


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Garry says:
12/20/2016 at 8:45:01 AM

This is a dumb drill and there are much better ways to accomplish what the coach is trying to accomplish. Have players passing the ball to practice passing, have a static defender so you can practice cutting off a defender and the top of the key line is pointless. Have the entire line on the left wing and as they fill the space at top of key then they receive pass from layup and then pass to wing and cut. Maybe it's a bad video clip but so many better ways to accomplish this skill


Elfron says:
12/19/2016 at 10:48:06 AM

What kind of drill would have a screener not open to the ball??

  1 reply  

Joe Haefner says:
12/19/2016 at 12:19:04 PM

After the first screening progression, the next two progressions had the screener open up to the ball by cutting high, then cutting low.

  1 reply  

franklin says:
12/19/2016 at 3:27:58 PM

Joe: If this an indication of the quality of the teaching and drills in this DVD - yikes! In most situations passers should 'be a cutter first' by stepping towards the pass - if this cut is not defended (defender doesn't jump to the ball) continue the cut for give and go, and if defended, by defender jumping to the ball, you have created a screening lane. On each of these drills there should be two passers so both cutter and screener get shots; never pass up opportunities to get shots and encourage the proper action. No verbal communication - anyone who has taught motion knows the importance of communication; these drills would among the first taught (and not for very long) and therefore communication should be emphasized.

This is another classic case of 'skills in isolation' - there is no reading of defender, no challenge to spacing or timing that is created as soon as defence is in the equation. If you are teaching screening you need defence.

Certainly would not purchase this DVD based on this video clip.

  2 replies  

Joe Haefner says:
12/19/2016 at 5:12:01 PM

Franklin, those are a lot of assumptions based on a two minute clip of a 4-hour DVD package.

These are beginning drills in a step-by-step process for building a motion offense. There are game-like drills with defenders present in Coach Kelbick's teaching progressions.

In the article, we mention that as you develop an understanding of the concepts, you add defenders to practice the concepts in a game-like situation.

Also, keep in mind, our audience ranges from coaches that work with 7 year olds to professional coaches that work with adults.

The 7 year olds might spend a considerable amount of time just learning the basics without a defense. While a pro team might cover these for a few minutes at the beginning of the season. That need to be kept in context.

And the reviews for the DVDs have been very positive:

Maybe I chose a poor video clip that is not representative of the quality of the DVD set... If so, thanks for the heads up. :)


Jamie says:
12/19/2016 at 9:16:00 PM

lol. there is no perfect way to teach the game, franklin

Skills in isolation is actually fine when you are developing the basic foundations for a skill set or sequence of moves. Decision training can then be added in later. It sounds like you want to go straight to the decision training. That's your choice, but it isn't the only way to teach the game


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