Fine Tune Your Fast Break – Players and TEAMs Will Do What You Emphasize

There are a good number of fast break offensive systems. Some are not very good and others are time tested and proven. Some coaches prefer a concept based approach and others prefer a structured numbered break. While I personally am a motion offense guy when it comes to half court offense, I prefer a structured, numbered fast break.

Regardless of the type of fast break system used, there are concepts that can be used to fine tune any fast break system. Here are just a few:

1) When filling lanes, get wide first.
2) Teach point guards to turn, look, decide and then go after receiving the outlet pass.
3) Use angles and straight cuts, not curves when running the fast break.
4) The outlet passer must be the “eyes” of the point guard during the outlet phase of the fast break.
5) Sprint the post on each fast break.
6) Always practice against the clock to create a game-like sense of urgency.
7) Use fast break drills for time as conditioning – your players will thank you for that!

It should also be noted, players never do what their coaches tell them to do. Players do what their coach emphasizes!

Often the difference between success and failure is the little things. If the coach emphasizes the players execute the “little things” and follows up to make certain this takes place, the fast break system will ultimately succeed.

Two of the biggest reasons TEAMs who claim they want to fast break and who are not successful at doing so is due to the coach not finding a way to motivate the players to fast break each possession or the coach does not truly believe in fast break basketball.

Players have to be taught the discipline it requires to run a fast break offense successfully. It is much more difficult than it looks in terms of physical effort, mental discipline and decision making and in some ways, courage. I believe a truly outstanding fast break TEAM is more disciplined than a well coached, deliberate ball control oriented TEAM who prefers to play half court offense.

Many coaches view fast break offense as high risk offense and fear the supposed high number of turnovers the such an offense generates. This is simply not so. Some of the highest scoring TEAMs in college basketball average the same number of turnovers as their half court offense oriented compatriots.

What does this mean?

It means the fast break TEAM takes better care of the ball than the ball control TEAM!

How can this be if they average the same number of turnovers? Quite simple. The fast break TEAM generates a significantly higher number of possessions per game, meaning the ratio of turnovers to possessions for the fast break TEAM is actually lower than the ratio of turnovers to possessions is for the ball control TEAM.

How do these fast break TEAMs achieve this? By stressing turnovers are not acceptable, being fundamentally sound, and emphasizing the little concepts, such as a few of those listed above, and instilling the discipline to execute every time, this kind of success can be achieved.

Never forget, it is all about what you, the coach, emphasize!

This entry was posted in Coaching Skill Development, Fast Break, Motivation and Goal Setting, Offense, TEAM!. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fine Tune Your Fast Break – Players and TEAMs Will Do What You Emphasize

  1. JMar10 says:

    Thank you for all your insight.
    Can you suggest a numbered break? How can I transition into a numbered break? We run a man2man defense and a “motion” offense. My uncertainty of where we will be on the court when we gain possession has made it difficult for me to transition into a numbered break. How do you do it? Thank you.

    • Coach Sivils says:

      I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of Coach Doug Porter’s book Coaching the System. If you want to find it really quickly on Amazon click here to go to my store to the link where you can buy the book.

      It will have a detailed explanation of the main systems of fast break attack including the vaunted Loyola Marymount system which is what I run with a couple of adjustments. This is a must purchase book if you really want to run and gun.

      I have a new book out as well called Fine Tuning Your Fast Break which has concepts that will improve any fast break system. If you can only purchase one, get Coach Porter’s. Click here to see this book.

      While not the clearest answer, here is what I do with my teams. After the kids have learned the numbered break I just stubbornly insist they run it and it does not matter where they are when we obtain possession of the ball – get wide first and run your lanes. Learn that phrase.

      We run to five spots on the floor and flow into our motion. We run a variation now of the Olivet Nazarene DDM.

      These two books would be a good place to start. Coach Porter also sells DVDs about his system which cost more but are good.

      Feel free to ask questions any time Coach.

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