How to teach basketball players to read their defender
Here you will find three effective ways to score depending on whatever your defender does in order to avoid a screen by a teammate. I have always called them the
curl, flare, or pocket cut.
|Read the Defense |
This is a good drill for teaching the offensive fundamentals of reading your defender. The way the defender moves dictates three counter moves:
- The Curl
- The Flare
- The Pocket
The drawing illustrates some of the passing options available during the exercise of this drill. In the beginning, the coach serves as the feeder and as he teaches ... always catches the ball in a triple threat position.
Once players become adept to this drill, the feeding position can be filled by #8 or players rotate clockwise, whichever if preferable. The purpose of this drill is to teach players the proper way to use screens by teammates.
|The Give and Go |
Drill starts with #1 being closely guarded, making a crisp two-handed chest pass to the coach, and cutting to the basket. If open, he/she receives a return pass, jump stops, and lays it in the basket. (The coach must insist that all these are executed properly by every player.)
The coach is the feeder in the beginning; however, players are introduced once the players understand the proper execution of this drill. (This also becomes a good drill for teaching young players to properly execute the jump stop and prevent charging calls.)
All players must take their time using screens. Keep in mind the player receiving the pass can hold the ball 5 seconds, dribble it for 5 seconds, then hold it another 5 seconds. This is a long time! (Use this to illustrate the importance of taking your time. At least, in most cases, it is desirable for every ball handler to hold the ball long enough for a scoring opportunity to present itself.)
I always told my players to imagine the screener (5) as a big tree rooted in the ground. Simply play hide and seek with your defender.
|Flare Cuts |
All players must take their time using screens. Keep in mind the player receiving the pass can hold the ball 5 seconds, dribble it for 5 seconds, then hold it another 5 seconds. This is a long time! Take time for a scoring opportunity to present itself.
As the player comes off his/her screen, he/her, in this case calls, "Flare!" The player catches and shoots. For variety, the coach can have player, shot-fake then shoot, or shot-fake and drive. (Try to make this drill as game like as is possible. Add defender at the post position, for example.)
|Curl Cut |
If the defender tries to follow around the screen, the curl cut give the cutter an open path to an easy basket. As the cutter recognizes this, he/she shouts, "Curl!", as he/she executes the cut.
|Pocket Cut |
In this diagram, the coach has dribbled in order to allow more time for a scoring opportunity for #1 to develop. Player #5 helps obstruct the defender's route to the elbow. Teammate #1 catches the ball at the elbow and shoots. (As with the flare cut, the a shot fake and drive can be substituted for variety. Make this drill as game-like as possible.)
Run drill on both sides of the floor.