Part IIa: Limitations of 2 player building blocks

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Combining Actions

Two player building blocks have significant limitations. Combining actions with two players is important in building foundational layers of the offense. They are good for teaching fundamental skills in coordination with team concepts.  However, there are limits to their effectiveness.

One important point is that multiple actions must be strung together to execute successful offense. Secondly, defenses must learn to defend multiple actions as well.

Two player building blocks do not allow for more than 2 actions to be combined. The timing of the third and fourth actions is poor.  So while 2 player building blocks and drills are important to the instruction of offense, they are not the only part of the solution. Similarly while they can be used to teach defense, they do not lend to building strong defense. Defenses must learn to defend multiple actions.

A strict adherence to 2 player building blocks can create a number of different issues.  One issue is that players begin to think that they are supposed to be able to score after only 1 or 2 actions.  Offense will look more like quick hitters more than it will look like any type of continuity.  While that may be ok if good shots are being created, it may not be the best approach all the time.

Notice that in the list of 2 player building blocks, anytime an attack dribble is used, it can’t be followed by anything else.  There is already a notion that attacking off the dribble will end the possession.  While this may be true in some instances, it is important to me that players see attacking off the dribble as part of offense.  It isn’t the end of offense. Why can’t good passing end offense just as much as dribble penetration?

Let’s think about this from a defensive perspective as well.  How many defenders stop to watch a ball handler drive? They are stopping to watch the highlight.  They are hoping the possession is almost over so that they can go play offense.  As a result, they are probably going to be slow on a rotation and not ready to rebound.  As we teach defense, dribble penetration must take priority. Our teams must learn to defend the ball. If we do a good job of defending the ball, the possession will continue.  Defenders must learn to continue to defend no matter what action occurs.

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