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Archives by Tag 'Motion Offense'

3 Fundamental Shooting Drills Building On the Motion Offense

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The motion offense is a highly-effective system particularly useful at teaching the fundamentals of lacrosse. Suitable for teams at every level of lacrosse, this distinct pass and move system makes each player a threat with the ball and maintains optimal field balance. Led by Limestone head men’s coach JB Clarke, the following drills all revolve around the motion offense and will serve as perfect practice additions for your lacrosse team.

Attack Shooting

This is a simple catch and shoot drill focusing on accurate passing, catching, cutting, and shooting. Start with two opposite lines behind the net. One player has the ball and starts the drill by cutting up towards the GLE as his drill partner comes around a cone placed about 7-10 yards in front of the net. The ball carrier dishes to the shooter, who gets off a quick shot on cage in front.

Try this drill with only attackmen to start practice. Look to get a ton of shots in a short amount of time with this drill and switch sides each time with the catching and shooting. Also, shooters should aim low at the net, point their off shoulder at the feed, and choke up on the stick when down low.

Tips: Remember to communicate early so your teammate knows where to throw the ball. Shooters, turn your head, pick a spot, and finish hard.


Spill It Scoring

This drill puts the motion offense in play. First, the ball starts up top with a middie and he will dodge hard down the alley before making a circle rollback. Next, try to square up in the top center and throw it to a teammate vacating out of the crease. for a high percentage shot. This is the motion that the offense takes when dodging down the alley.

It’s crucial to make a good hard initial dodge. One of the keys for the guy carrying the ball is that he turns and actually circles back. Otherwise, the defender will be right in his hands. When you roll away, you can get your hands free and this allows you some space from the defender and you can throw that feed.

Tips: Remember to run this drill in both directions and get a lot of realistic shots within the motion offense. Look to attack at the defense’s weakest, which is right after a dodge in this situation. You can add a hitch to the shot, too. This helps when defenders are flying out on the crease player and then you can hitch, step around them, and score.


1-on-1’s (in a 2-on-2 format)

This 1-on-1 drill puts the players in more realistic formats. Start by putting your crease guys in there as well so the drill takes on a 2-on-2 format. From wherever you start the 1-on-1, the dodger must go with his head up and can’t just go running through the crease. You can also put the players behind the net and on the wings to get a ton of reps from different angles. The crease guys have to anticipate what’s really going on.

Rules: The crease defenders are only allowed to slide but can’t double the ball. The dodger cannot throw the ball to the offensive guy in the crease until the defense slides.

Tips: The first part of any good motion offense is that you have to run by someone and force the defense to slide and that creates a 5-on-4 situation. This should be a main goal of what you do; creating unsettled situations behind the ball. Take the time to teach your players how to dodge, make good moves, and get in good positions to score.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Building Your Motion Offense” with JB Clarke. To check out more videos featuring offensive systems, head over to our lacrosse DVD library

The 5-Out Motion Offense: Overview and Key Rules

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The 5-Out Motion Offense is a unique system that has proven to be extremely effective for longtime Villanova head women’s basketball coach Harry Perretta. The versatile offense revolves around a number system that specifies particular actions to be made by the players. This “No Mistake” offense also allows teams to play loose yet aggressively, plus gives them the ability to easily spread the floor and put control in the hands of players.

In this week’s team development feature, you’ll learn basic sets of the offense, key rules, strategies, and options within the system. See what you can pick up and then start immediately implementing with your own squad.

5-Out Motion Offense: Brief Overview

The 5-Out Motion Offense involves five people leaving and filling spots through typical basketball cuts and movements. Each one of the specific cuts is numbered. For instance, 1 is a basket cut, 2 is a curl cut, 3 is a backdoor, 4 is a slip, 5 is a back screen flare, 6 is a pick and roll, and 7 is a handoff.

The object of the numbers is to communicate with the players what you want them to do without having to call a timeout or stopping the flow of the game. Villanova is big on continuous play, so the less the team can prevent stoppages, the more confusion the they can cause for the defense. By using the numbers, Coach Perretta can also say, “start using more 2’s, or mix in some more 3’s.” You can also play where you use a combination of numbers within a possession.

The basic set of the offense is a 1-2-2. It’s important that you keep the court as spread out as possible. Additionally, you’re looking to get more drives out of this offense and get defenders running at you, so keep the lane open. Also, get drives even though you may not be quicker than opponents to force defenders to have to run at you.


Remember, there are no mistakes in this offense. If you make a technical mistake, you just have to fill one of the spots. Once you fill all of the spots, you just continue play from there.

As for the basics, let’s start with the point guard passing to the wing and making a 1 cut or basket cut. The elbow player fills the spot. Next, the player with the ball passes to either one of her nearest teammates. If we are still doing 1 cuts, the players keep making 1 cuts and players continue to fill the spots.

If you make a wing pass and then screen opposite, you’ll want to make a curl cut. So as the screen comes, the opposite player makes a curl cut around the screener. Then we replace.

Rules for the 5-Out Offense

As we are running this, any time the ball gets passed up top, the direction that the ball came from is referred to as the strong side. So we tell players up top to often look back to the strong side (the action seems to work better). Meanwhile, the players on the weak side should delay. Next on the strong side, there’s a screen down by the wing player to the corner player. The corner player makes a 2 cut. If this isn’t open, we can then look back to the weakside because of their delay and we get a chance to go both sides.


All the while, you can play two different ways within the offense. The first is that the players are allowed to play options, where they can play and pass the ball using whatever number they want.

The other way is that you can play where the coach calls out a sequence of numbers, especially if he/she notices that the opposition is trailing on all screens. So the coach may say “do all 2’s” or may say “go with 25”.

With 25, you’ll start by doing the first number twice. Now the kids know that 2 is the first number, so start the top kids a little tighter and the bottom players a little wider for better screening angles. Next, the top players come and screen down and the first move is 2. They curl and replace and hit someone with the pass.

The second time around we do another 2. Now look back to the strong side and then the weakside delay. Now you should move to the second number which is a 5 or flare screen.

Tip: Teach your kids to set opponents up on screens. Also, have the players call out the numbers to each other.

Offensive Keys & Slips

Look to use the numbers 1-5 together, and 6 and 7 as separate. Villanova uses any sequence of 1 to 5. Coach Perretta likes how in the flow of the game, he can change things up without disrupting the action. In this case, Coach will run through “15” quickly to show you it looks and keeps the flow together. Check it out in the video below:


Note: You can use a 4 (slip move) any time you want aside from when curling or backdooring (or else you will run into each other). If you do 4 but there’s nothing open, simple fill the spot, pass, and get the ball up top. The 5 play can also lead to a lot of slips.

The previous clips can all be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “The Unstoppable, ‘No Mistake’ 5-Out Motion Offense.” To check out more videos featuring set plays and specific systems, simply visit our basketball DVD library

Winning with Undersized Players: Essential Drills and Offensive Sets

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Teams equipped with smaller, less athletic players often face an uphill challenge when they go up against bigger, more powerful squads. However, teams can still turn this perceived weakness into a strength by implementing specific strategies and sets on the basketball floor.

With 2010-11 Naismith National High School Boys Basketball Coach of the Year Kevin Boyle leading the way, learn about different ways you can win with undersized players. Boyle provides an overview of his offense before getting into specific team drills to practice the key concepts.

Motion Offense Overview

For undersized teams, the goal here is to spread the floor after we get over half court. However, the first problem is getting the ball up the court against pressure. You might have a lot of trouble even getting into your sets and plays.

First, you want to stretch high and wide full court against a more athletic team. Stay out of the corners so that guys have the opportunity to fade to the corners and drive when necessary. Second, look to keep 15 to 18-foot spacing between guards and 15 to 18-foot spacing between the wings.

With this first motion offense, we have a few simple rules: 1) If you pass below, you cut through, 2) If there is no post player on the ballside, aim for an inside cut looking for a layup or quick cut behind the defender, 3) When the passer cuts, the opposite guard fills in for him and the opposite wing fills in for the opposite guard, 4) If you pass the ball out, replace yourself, and 5) If you pass across, cut to the rim hard and fill the wing’s spot on the same side. Or, after passing across, look to get a little flare screen with the wing player screening for the cutter. You can also pass across and then screen down.

With these rules, you learn about spacing, cutting, and some simple rules to teach kids how to space the floor (especially against teams that are bigger, longer, and more athletic). The goal here is that we want to create good space for backdoors and gap dribbles.

If you feed the post, look to make a banana cut to the elbow with space, have players fill, and then pass it back out for the three-point attempt. It really makes a difference if you take the opponent’s big man away from the basket by having a high post instead of a low post. Remember, we aren’t screening a lot with this set because we’re relying on cutting.


Key Drill

Get two lines of players, one at the top of the key and near half court and the other on the ballside wing. Players on the wing will sprint off the screen and V-cut toward the pass. Look to create spacing.

Players will catch the pass, rip it, dribble hard towards the paint, jump stop, and then dish out to a flaring wing player in the corner. After players pass the ball, they should backpedal beyond the three-point line (for defensive balance).


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Kevin Boyle: How to Win with Undersized Players.” To check out more videos featuring set plays and drills, click here.

Fundamentals of the Motion Offense: Proper Spacing & Cutting

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For decades now, Bob Knight has been an influential figure in the development of the motion offense. Used at all levels of basketball, the motion offense utilizes frequent player movement and doesn’t follow a specific pattern. Rather, this offensive scheme is free-flowing and focuses on players making screens to get open. With Knight as your guide, learn about proper spacing and cutting within the offense, two crucial elements that are important to master in order for the offense to be effective.

Motion Offense Overview

The motion offense frequently uses reverse action, which is basically taking the ball back one way and then bringing it back another way. The offense also uses cuts that the defense will have a tough time playing and often forces the opponent to switch.

Meanwhile, the motion offense involves three key things: passing, cutting, and screening. As a coach, it’s important to teach your players how to get open, how to get their teammates open, and to also show them the possibilities as a screener and as a cutter.

Within the offense, we also use the screener a lot, including slip screens, where if a defensive player starts to help out on a cut, then the offensive player slips to the basket. This is an effective way to counter switching defenders. While the offense can be utilized against any zone or man defense, we’ll focus on man offense for this feature.

Proper Spacing

Spacing against the defense enables the offense to score points. When we talk about spacing, that means players should be 15 to 18 feet apart. It’s also important to remember that the baseline is as good of a defensive player as there is in the game.

Proper spacing also allows for the cutting and screening needed in order to get good shots off. Without this spacing, we’ll have too many guys too close to each other and playing in the same part of the floor. In other words, we won’t get anything out of it. The key is to maintain the 15-18 foot spacing, regardless of what the defense is doing.

Keep in mind that Coach Knight isn’t a big fan of having a post player way down low in the post. Rather, this player should go higher up in the lane.

Conversion (AKA Transition Play)

A good way to work on spacing is to implement a spacing conversion drill. This drill works on the transition area from defense to offense and setting up proper spacing on offense at the other end of the court.

Start out with all five of your players around the free throw line on the opposite end of the court. Then on “Go”, have the players sprint down the floor and get into position – all while maintaining proper spacing to get set up. Getting proper spacing in conversion is the first thing needed in order to set up the motion offense.


Post Position Tips

Post players shouldn’t be real deep in the paint. Instead, they should be in the middle of the lane. For instance, if a wing player gets the ball on the side and has the opportunity to drive baseline, but there’s a post guy down there clogging things up and he can’t go anywhere. But if the post guy is in the middle, then the wing guy can make a fake and then head down toward the baseline. Now he’s got a chance to get to the bucket or hit the post guy as he slides down the lane.

Also, if the post guy starts on the low block, gets the ball there and tries to go baseline, he’s practically under the hoop and has a harder shot. However, in the mid-post position with the ball and with a defender on his backside, the post guy can fake hard one way and then step back and head the opposite direction. He’s got options. It’s key to read the defensive man and use the pivot to your advantage.


Tips for Guards

Try to read the defensive man all the time. Remember, he can’t cover you in two different directions. Always pay attention to what the defensive guy is doing. This is an important part of cutting as well.

The drive to the basket is a result of good spacing. No matter where we are on the floor, we have to set up the defensive player. Meanwhile, seeing what’s available to the offensive player makes the offense go.


As we mentioned before, cutting is one of the most important ingredients in order to be effective against a man-to-man defense. When making a cut, you want to take your man one way and then you go the other way. If the defender is above you, then take him higher before cutting low (without a screen being involved). If the player is below you, then come down a bit before going up above him.


Stay tuned for future features covering the nuances of the motion offense and more tips from Coach Knight. The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Bob Knight: The Complete Guide to the Motion Offense.” To see more offensive videos, check out our extensive basketball library by clicking here.


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