As a coach, I want to make offense as simple as possible so that players can focus on making plays. The Read & React does this in a very simple and straightforward manner. I have dedicated a completely separate blog to my experiences with this offense. There is a time when set plays are important. There isn’t one silver bullet that solves everything, but I believe this style of play helps us spend more time teaching and emphasizing defense while making us hard to prepare for and to defend.
If you want all the details about this style of play, feel free to read all about it.
Basketball is a fast paced, team oriented sport that requires all of its players to execute all of its fundamentals at some level. Unlike many sports, players must play offense and defense. Numerous games are lost by teams who may have one player with more points or rebounds than anyone in the game. A balanced team will win more often than the unbalanced one. All-star players are great as long as they help and allow their teammates to shine as well. This analogy holds true in life. Whether in relationships or the work place, successful teams consist of people contributing to a common goal without seeking personal gain.
Learning how to play the game is better than learning plays. Physical and mental effort will win more games than any specific play. An aggressive mentality combined with unselfish effort will translate to good team defense, relentless rebounding and cohesive team offense. Team offense should be built around proper spacing, movement, unselfishness, and decision making as opposed to a specific pattern. Combine effort with proper execution of fundamental skills and any team will be competitive.
I prefer to play a brand of basketball that is centered around tough man to man defense and positionless offensive basketball. However, the abilities of the players on the team may not be conducive to such a style. I would recruit players to fit my preferred style of play, but it is a coach’s job to make adjustments as necessary based on the situation at hand.
High school players are rarely fundamentally sound in all areas of the game. In order to be successful, players must enhance their strengths and develop their weaknesses into strengths. I will make every effort to help players improve their abilities, This starts with recruiting players who are eager to develop their weaknesses and can positively influence their teammates to do so as well.
The Read & React
Playing offense is what most players love to do. Most players play defense because they have to and play offense because they want to. The ball seems to be a magical pill. When players have it in their hands, they always seem to find energy when just a few seconds earlier they looked tired.
Players should be taught how to play offense and then be allowed to play. Players should be encouraged to make plays not run plays. The Read and React offense allows the player with the ball the freedom to make the best decision. It does not dictate any action by the player with the ball. It is the coach’s job to help teach players with the ball what are good decisions for them in particular situations. At the same time, the Read and React offense provides simple, structured, and well thought out reactions to the actions of the ball handler. These reactions must be executed precisely and aggressively. This provides an unpredictable offensive continuity that will generate numerous scoring opportunities.
Players must be encouraged to be aggressive. Players who are aggressive with the ball increase their chances of getting fouled. They consistently force defenses to help which creates other opportunities to get the defense out of position as they recover. While it does force ball handlers to make more difficult decisions, they can be confident that they will have players in certain areas when they attack. Even if they can’t see the player, they can learn to trust their teammate is there.