Motion Offense Question #3

Would you please tell me the difference between your eBook "How to Develop a High Scoring Motion Offense" and the "Read and React" offense that Coach Rick Torbett is teaching?

Thanks for your question. I will be honest with you. I have not seen Coach Torbett's "Read and React" offense. However, in my now 28 years of coaching I am sure that I have seen 100s of motion offenses that are the same or similar.

As stated in the text, I believe that a motion offense is a motion offense. They are really all the same. What is different in the offenses would be the rules that they are played with, but to a larger extent, the philosophy that is imparted to the players by the coach. There are only but so many things that you can do on a basketball court but the differences are in why you do them.

The famous Princeton Offense is just a motion offense. Coach Van Breda Koff, who taught it first and later Coach Carrill, who refined it, just managed the cuts and wanted to throw as many passes as they could until they got a particular cut (backdoor). It is interesting to study that offense pre and post 3-point shot and shot clock. Now, they have added another option where some players can take early, open 3s. Now it looks like a completely different offense. It is exactly the same as it was 30-40 years ago, just the philosophy has changed.

Roy Williams and Dean Smith run the same motion at North Carolina. Coach Smith had some rules about how many passes you had to throw before they looked for a jump shot (it was said that the only coach who could stop Michael Jordan in college was Dean Smith) where Coach Williams encourages more early 3s.

Coaches often attach names to things to help them promote and sell it, whether it be commercially or to their teams. It is not that the offense is any different than any other offense, just the names are different. The new rage in offense is Vance Walberg's "Dribble, Drive, Motion." When I was the head coach at a Div. II school in the 80's, our women's coach ran the exact same dribble drive offense. He just didn't have the foresight to give it a name.

Coach Torbett has come up with a system and a philosophy that he is comfortable and has had success with. He also wants to share it with other people. That is why he teaches HIS offenses. If you agree with those philosophies, with the right players, it might be successful for you, too.

It is important to understand that our book is not about MY offense. It is about motion offenses. Nowhere in the text are the rules and philosophies that I use with my teams. That is not what the book is for. I try to expose the readers to range of theories and philosophies. I have tried to encourage readers to come up with their own philosophies and rules. I do list some sample rules and philosophies in the text to give you an idea of what you may do.

Don't be afraid to experiment and adjust. Your offense will be better if you come up with it as opposed to copying some else's. The teaching will be yours, the adjustments will be yours and the team will be yours. Instead of trying to figure out someone else's offense, why don't you come up with the "de Borja Bump" offense. Then people with be comparing your offense to someone else's.

Do you have any questions or suggestions for this article? Let us know by leaving your comments...


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Joe Haefner says:
3/29/2011 at 8:36:27 AM

Coach Butler, maybe it's not a motion offense. But I've known coaches who have had offensive systems that they call motion offense that was very similar to the read and react. The coach had offensive philosophies and rules, then he taught them in a sequence. Maybe they shouldn't have called it a motion?

I thought the difference between the DVD and what I've seen other coaches do is that Better Basketball developed a product and did a good job of organizing it and sequencing it, so it easy to teach.

And also for the motion that we teach, it's also all drills. Everything ends with a shot. 1-man, 2-man, 3-man, etc.

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Coach Butler says:
3/29/2011 at 2:21:00 AM

The "Read and React" offense is not just a motion offense. The old motion philosophy requires players to read what others are doing. in R&R you are just reading the ball and reacting with simple movements. I use it for my whole travel program from 10U through 14U. Every player is involved and every player learns to move without the ball. I go from 3-2 to 4-1 to 5-0 at will. We went from a lower level program 2 years ago to now having multiple teams at elite status! The greatest thing I found is how my girls playing this, on defense they kill motion teams because they see it happening before it happens because of natural reactions. Practice is all drills!!!

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Coach Reynolds says:
7/29/2009 at 2:54:34 PM

I have not studied the R&R in great depth, however, it is a motion offense like stated above. He has just created his rules to motion offense and they are basic and fundamental in design. I was fortunate to play motion offense in hs and college. Each was unique but in hindsight, both were fundamental skills of basketball. That is why I always favor a motion offense. I have just learned to break my offense into three parts 1) primary break 2)secondary break (a designed action if no fast break is available and this is by a called play from sideline) 3) default to motion after a breakdown in fastbreak or secondary break.


frank bennett says:
12/4/2008 at 7:23:01 AM

I think the read and react is great. It allows you to teach the offense in sequences, this allows you to explain why players need to do certain things. Circle movement is a forgotten art, when you teach your players this, they will definately get open shots. I love it because it allows you to teach players to read defenses and screens. this ups their bball iq. most players today are taught to move like robots with no understanding as to why they are doing what they taught. this offense allows us to TEACH basketball and explain why we do what we do on the court. it will absolutely change a players confidence level and execution abilities on the court.

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