Get Better at the Fundamentals

Fundamentals are Required

The offensive system and style of play described here include the individual and team fundamentals of offensive basketball. Fundamental skills and athleticism are the ingredients for success. They are not the icing on the cake. The offense is a means to score points in game situations, but also a way for improving players on both ends of the floor.

The system is simple and complicated at the same time.  However, the system isn’t complicated because of the individual layers. It’s all about the execution of the fundamentals.  The list of fundamentals for offense is quite long.  Defensive fundamentals make this list longer.  As a result, coaches need an organized and detailed plan for the instruction of the skills required to be a good player and to build a good team. The game is simple. The game is not complicated. However, there is an art and a science to teaching the game of basketball well.

Learning Fundamentals

Players and teams who are strong fundamentally will pick up the offensive concepts quickly and will enjoy playing this way.  Players and teams who are not fundamentally strong will probably struggle initially and it may take a while for them to be good at it. Additionally, successful execution of this system requires the team concepts of spacing, floor balance, and movement, along with the individual skills of ball handling, passing, cutting, and footwork. Naturally, successful offense requires all of these things.  The offense allows coaches to teach these fundamentals with every repetition of every drill. Coaches will have to be patient through the team’s struggles. 

Remember, changing habits is tough and can take a long time.  The habits and instincts that constitute the Read and React can take time to learn. Just as every player learns math at a different pace, the same applies to these habits. The only requirements are time and repetition.

Successful offensive teams will execute the offense because they are executing the basics. Regardless of a coach’s defensive philosophy, the Read & React system provides opportunities to teach defensive concepts as well. The lack of predictability in the offense helps prepare defenses for opponent’s offenses. Defending an unpredictable offense in practice makes defending a predictable offense in games easier.

Teaching Fundamentals

Players learn through detailed teaching which reinforces the importance of the basics. Teams will achieve offensive success when they consistently execute offensive fundamentals in conjunction with good movements and positioning.

Coaches don’t have to teach the skills separately from teaching the offense. Teach them together. Every offensive system requires fundamentals. However, many coaches stress the movements and positioning of offense instead. We want to teach fundamentals in everything we do, not just as a few drills that we run at the beginning of practice. When implemented properly, this offense will improve the skills of your players as well as the effectiveness of your team.

I know you’re waiting for some more specific details. However, the fundamentals are more important and so it is important to cover them first.  The next post will start talking about offense.

Promise.

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