Attack Dribble: Offensive Fundamentals

This entry is part 3 of 24 in the series Dribbling Actions
  • Ball Handling
    In order to attack with the dribble, players must be able to handle the ball well with both hands. From protecting the ball, to attacking with the ball there are plenty of small things to teach within ball handling. There are tons of resources out there about ways to teach and improve ball handling.  There could be a whole blog dedicated to ball handling. I’m going to leave that alone…..for now.
  • 1 on 1 moves
    In order to attack off the dribble, players must work on their 1 on 1 moves.  Players must be learn how to beat the defender in front of them in order to draw a secondary defender to help. These 1 on 1 moves should be practiced in a variety of different ways: off the catch, off the dribble, off a rip through.  They should also be practiced on both sides of the floor with players learning to make moves with both feet as pivot feet. Players must also spend time playing 1 on 1. They are a ton of different ways to play it, and they should play it in as many ways as they have time. Maybe I’ll make a list of those later.
  • Pivoting
    Maybe one of the more underrated fundamentals in the game, pivoting is important for a number of reasons.  In this layer, it is especially important to teach the ball handler how to use their pivot foot in a 1 on 1 situation as well as how to reverse pivot so they can pass to the safety valave without travelling or getting the ball stolen.
  • Catching the ball on two feet
    When possible, catching the ball with two feet in the air and landing on two feet is highly advantageous.  Whether this is upon receiving a pass or off the dribble, players who can learn to land on two feet have many more options than players who land on a “1-2 step”. Not to say that the “1-2 step” isn’t useful, but catching on two feet makes players tougher to guard.
  • Passing with the correct hand at the target and on time
    Players must learn how to deliver a well timed pass to their teammates when the defense is drawn. Players must be able to make a pass quickly and on target. The best way to do so is with the dribbling hand.  So if a right handed player is driving left and draws a defender from the left, they should be able to make a left handed pass to their teammate.
  • Rotation footwork
    A person attacks.  The other players must get from point A to point B as fast as possible while always being in a position to receive a pass and do something with it.  The most critical receivers are the ones in the direction of the drive.   Teaching players how to rotate from one spot to another is critical.  Do they sprint to the spot?  Do they slide?  It’s up to the coach. I prefer an aggressive slide so that they always see the ball.  They can start and stop quickly, and they are always square to the rim.
  • Finishing
    Inevitably, this layer of the offense is going to get players scoring chances around the basket. Finishing these opportunities is critical.  Perfect offensive execution ends with putting the ball in the basket.  Many times this must be done through contact or in traffic. Players must learn how to finish with either hand, even if they are fouled.  We want to shoot 1 free throw instead of 2.
  • Shooting
    Shooting and finishing are similar but different. They are similar in that they refer to getting the ball to go through the hoop.  However, shooting 3’s and mid range jumpers is quite different from taking contact around the basket before or during a field goal attempt. Teams who can make shots have a huge advantage over teams that can’t. Some defenses will make it difficult to get in the lane by standing in the lane and daring teams to shoot.  The best offenses have players who can make shots. Shooting is a skill that must be practiced every day.
  • Rebounding
    Everytime a shot goes up, box out.  It’s pretty straight forward, but it must be emphasized.  Your players will shoot a lot during these drills. It’s a good opportunity to teach rebounding.

There are obviously a lot of details that have been left out of this section. There could be whole blogs on each of these topics individually. There are tons of books and movies and drills surrounding these topics. Maybe I’ll expound on those topics at some point. For now, I just want to point out 3 things:

  1. All these skills relate to this layer directly.
  2. All these skills can be taught and drilled with this one layer.
  3. Great players have most if not all of these skills.

Let’s talk defensive fundamentals for just a minute before we get into the details of Circle Movement.

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