Offensive systems

Written by Super User. Posted in Building an offence

thunder drawing a play

A team’s offence can be structured in myriad ways with different alignments, sets, emphasis and methods of execution. The offence can be as complicated or as simple as a coach wishes or the ability of the players allows.

Over the history of basketball, several standard offensive plays such as the Flex, Shuffle and Triangle have been used with great success as a solid foundation for team offence. They are built on standard patterns and if some of these standard patterns are learned, they will provide a good basis for a team offence.

I encourage coaches to develop their own philosophies within the context of a thorough understanding of the game. I will devote more detail to what has become known as the Melbourne Tigers Shuffle but also include other well-known methods that have brought success to many teams over many years.

The following examples of standard offences have been tried and tested over the years. If you base your own offence on any of them, choosing those that particularly suit your players and your philosophy, your chances of success will be improved.

Implementing a team offence

Implementing an offence can help your team with its structure, balance, performance and results. By offence, I mean an offensive structure or set play that is used to get players open for good shots.

There are many offences in the world of basketball, though several seem to have been in the game forever and have certainly stood the test of time. I will discuss some of the standard offensive plays. If some of these patterns are learned they will provide a good basis for a team offence. I will devote more detail to what has become known as the Melbourne Tigers Shuffle but also include other well-known methods that have brought success to many teams over many years.

Coaches should be encouraged to develop their own philosophy within the context of a thorough understanding of the game. While the following examples of standard offences have been tried and tested over the years, you can adjust them to suit your players and your philosophy so your chances of success will be improved.

The development of an offence takes time and requires considerable patience. There are no short cuts to success. The first step is to select a style of play that will suit the team and your own philosophy. The whole picture of the offence should be clear to the coach and he should make sure the players understand it. Once this is established the offence should be broken down into its parts that can be drilled. Two-man drills and three-man drills are used to develop the elements of the offence and then advance to four-on-four and five-on-five.

The structure of some offences may be quite complicated so coaches should be cautious about trying to include too much. It is preferable to include fewer elements and execute them well rather than try to include too much and execute them poorly. It is not advisable to change the offence constantly for this may create doubt or confusion in the players’ minds, but it is also undesirable to be too rigid to allow modifications to be used. The coach should be prepared to move with the times and make adjustments as the players’ skills improve and athletic abilities increase.