Combo drill that improves spacing, passing off the dribble, cutting, and finishing. In this drill we are taking a piece of our offense and turning it into a skill building drill.
String Spacing Explanation
With the string spacing drills, players should imagine that they are connected by a 12-15 foot string. If players get close together the string will sag and touch the ground. If players get too far apart, the string will break. The goal is to keep the string taut so it doesn't break or touch the ground. Players should move in unison.
This is a 2-5 player drill. The smaller the numbers, the more reps you get. We usually limit to 2 or 3 players per basket. You can also run the drill on both sides of the basket if you have limited baskets to use.
Variation 1 - Back Cut
1 dribbles towards 2. To improve spacing, 2 back door cuts as the ball is dribbled towards them (keeping the string taut).
1 then picks up the ball and makes a pass off the dribble to the cutter (2). 2 finishes with a lay up.
2 gets the rebound and passes the ball to 3. 2 then goes to the end of the line and the process repeats. (3 dribbles toward 1 and so on).
Variation 2 - Flare
If there's space in the corner, 2 could flare to the corner instead of back cutting. And then take the shot.
In a 5 out offense, there may not be space in the corner. And you may always want your players back cutting. In any case, flaring can be another way to maintain spacing.
Variation 3 - Penetrate and Circle or Flare
If 1 dribble penetrates, 2 can look to circle behind or flare for the kick out.
Both actions will create space. The action you use depends on your offense and can also depend on the situation (whether a teammate is in the corner or not). You may want to require players to always circle behind or let them choose.
If you have 3 or more players you can add a second ball to speed up the drill.
To mix things up, you can move the dribbler and cutters (ex: dribbler can start at wing and dribble to the top). This gets them familiar with other offensive situations that happen in a game and allows them to practice finishing lay ups from different angles.
Points of Emphasis
Don't move too early. Wait for the dribbler and read their movement.
Don't move too late.... move on a string keeping the string taut.
When passing you can either emphasize "ball pick up" and passing off the dribble. Or you can emphasis jump stops, pivots, and then passing.
Great drill! I am an aspiring coach and I love motion offense. Do you have some articles or videos on how to build and implement 4-out 1-in motion offense from the scratch? Please also cite samples on converting motion into set plays and vice versa in any situations such as sideline and baseline out of bounds.