Train Your Team to Score Quick on Offense
Every team wants to score more points. That's just a proven fact. The other proven fact is that every team prioritizes winning over scoring points. Some teams will pass the ball 30 times per possession if it results in a score. There are multiple metrics that go into points per possession which include paint touches, passes from side-top-side, into the post, kickouts, and skips. There are entire offensive systems built on these metrics.
This article however is based entirely on helping your team score more points quickly.
Let's break down some obvious points on the ability to score quickly.
Obvious Ways to Score Quickly
Score Off Turnovers
This is probably the most obvious way to score more points, quickly. There are a lot of teams that apply a great deal of pressure in the full court with the sole purpose of speeding up the offense and trying to have the ball handler make mistakes or force bad passes. These can quickly become turnovers and turn into scoring opportunities. Some teams run a 1-2-2 full court press pushing the ball into the coffin corners. Other teams run a 1-3-1 full court press with traps in the corners, and denying the ball reversal. Other teams run a 1-2-1-1 "Diamond" press most notably made popular by Shaka Smart with his time at VCU, whereas the Rams made a tournament run causing "HAVOC" against other great perennial powerhouse teams.
In the Grinnell Basketball System, the goal is to get early offense by getting early looks before the defense is able to set. Grinnell historically averages close to 96 shot attempts per game. They push the ball up the sideline and look for post touches or early 3-point shots before the defense is able to get back and set up.
Another strategy is to run with a short shot clock. In states where a shot clock is not present, you can still get your team accustomed to a quicker pace and practice with a shot clock. This is frowned upon by a lot of programs that like to grind the clock and look for the absolute best shot. There is validity in looking for the best shots, and making over 50% of your field goal attempts, which limit the other team's attempts and those who are more efficient tend to win. There are obviously other aspects such as missed boxouts, losing 50/50 balls, or turning the ball over yourself.
There are libraries, programs, and coaching clinics designed specifically to help coaches learn how to score off of inbounds plays. These are typically quick-hitters, or something that gets your best scorer into their favorite spots. There are thousands of inbounds plays one can run to get a quick layup, mid-range jumper, 3-pointer, or post-touch - depending on your team's offensive system and style of play. The Xavier Men's Basketball Program used to have a newsletter that went out each week chock full of inbounds plays, side-out-of-bounds plays, full-court buzzer beaters, etc., which they practice regularly to make sure they have something in their bag for each situation.
Keys to Training Your Teams to Score Quick
Time Your Drills
One of the best methods of measuring improvements is to track your times and makes in your practices. If you're doing a layup drill, track the number of makes you can compile in a specific period of time. Then, work every practice to beat your time. This can also go for shooting drills. Track the makes in a specific period of time, and work to beat that number at each practice. Example: full court layups, 22 makes in 2 minutes. Next practice, try to make 23, and so on. Keep the athletes accountable, and they can perform pushups, run a down and back, or some form of sports-specific movement for missing the mark. This compacts the performance into a time-frame that is trackable and measurable.
Track Your Makes
Another variation is to track your makes. If you give them a 2 minute time frame, they have to make 20+ shots or 20+ layups in that 2-minute time period. This keeps the ones that sit back and jog from jogging, everyone on the team must complete the 2-minute timed drill and score 20+ times in that period of time. This is a more suitable option for teams that have a great scorer and those that need additional work. For example, you may have a great shooter and they can make 20 3s easily in 2 minutes - meanwhile, the rest of the team can only get to 12 or 13. This keeps every single individual accountable for their performance.
Make All Drills Full Court
This is another concept very few coaches utilize. All of the drills can and should be completed using the full width and length of the court. This strategy minimizes the need for spending precious practice time conditioning on a line doing wind sprints. You incorporate your conditioning into your drills and the athletes must dribble or pass to navigate around the court. Now, we're incorporating multiple skills into each drill.
Incorporate Drill Stacking
One of the buzzwords that came to the surface in 2018 was Drill Stacking. You can see skills trainers on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat doing drills with their athletes that include a crossover dribble, slapping a wrestling pad, hopping over a chair and 7 other movements as they finish a layup. This is something we do not subscribe to at Rising Stars Basketball.
Our goal is to structure drills that every player can participate in that includes:
+ Full Width and Length of the Court
+ Ball Handling
If we need to ramp it up, we'll put out some cones for the athlete to navigate through with the crossover, a defender at the time to contest, but this in itself is plenty for the athlete to navigate through to improve their skill. No need to slap a wrestling pad or jump over a chair or climb underneath anything.
Developing Players vs Developing Plays
There are a lot of programs that focus exclusively on plays, and trying to draw up the best plays to get the best looks. Other programs are focusing on the players.
Chris Webber, member of the Michigan Fab 5, and NBA Legend states, "Players should be working on ball handling, scoring, shooting, and passing regardless of their size and regardless of their level." He goes on to state, "Would we have Kevin Durant today if he was stuffed in the post, because some coach said he's tall and needs to be in the post?"
Both styles see great success and it is up to the coach to make that determination for what works best for their program. As a program, Rising Stars Basketball, has witnessed the fastest development and quickest realization of confidence when we focus on developing the player versus developing plays. While our program is exclusively focused on player development, we do see area schools adopting this style of coaching. They're playing faster, scoring in the 70s, 80s, and 90s in some games.
We don't have definitive data on which system works best, we do know that the players that play in faster systems and score quickly do see a noticeable increase in number of athletes reaching 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, and leading their conferences in scoring.
Wins Supersede Scoring, Right?
For most high school programs, you're absolutely looking for win more games than you lose, and climb the conference to win a conference title or earn your way to the state tournament. We're simply talking about those that wish to start looking at scoring at a faster pace. We implement the Rising Stars Basketball Offensive System, which is predicated on space and pace.
In the podcast, The Old Man and the 3, JJ Redick goes on to state that the game is changing and the programs that are seeing greater successes are those that implement space, and pace. "Some of these programs are running the same sets, the same plays and the same schemes I grew up watching, I grew up playing against and grew up running. The teams that are the toughest to stop are those that play with space, and increase their player's skill levels."
The emergence of the Read and React offense came to light in 2008 when Coach John Calipari ran it in the National Championship game against the Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas went on to win the National Championship but social media was buzzing about the 5-out system Coach Cal implemented to throw off the Jayhawks defense.
In 2018, nearly a decade later, we saw the emergence of the Dribble Drive Offense which incorporated many of the aspects of the Read and React, but used a "Dunker" on the opposite block of the drive. This system has become the standard in today's high-performing high school programs, and high level college programs.
While there are still case studies of programs seeing success with the Princeton Offense, Flex, Wisconsin Swing, and UCLA horns sets - those programs are built from youth levels and grown into as they reach the high school level. If we're talking collegiate play, those particular players in those systems are recruited to play in those specific systems, based on their skills, abilities, and tendencies - as well as success.
The idea and concept behind positionless basketball is that you can develop a player that can adapt to any system fo play, perform in a slow-paced offense, fast-paced offense, motion, attack, or otherwise.
Rising Stars Basketball