There are many plays that can be utilized in order to develop a team’s offensive skills. In basketball, coaches always emphasize the importance of running without the ball. This is used to either fake an offensive move, or execute a cut into the defense of the opponents. This is what basketball call as motion offense.

Its relevance is well understood. This is why most coaches use this type of offensive play. However, it is never easy to accomplish its proper execution. A lot of things should be brought into consideration before a team can fully develop this type of offense. Aside from being totally conditioned to play the game of basketball, the following are major keys in building an effective motion offense.

1. Improve your offensive skills
If a team attempts to improve its motion offense, the initial thing to do is to enhance the players’ offensive skills. The team can make use of some offensive drills. Each player must go back to the fundamentals of shooting and dribbling the ball. An offense cannot always be a catch and shoot. By this time, motion defense is being pointed out. And so, players must learn to dribble and penetrate into the basket.

2. Visualize the entire field
A player must be able to see each player inside the court. The movements of each player must be carefully studied. This will give a player the idea on where he should position, and where he would pass the ball. In addition, if a player has a clear visualization of the opponents’ movements, he can anticipate, and discern ,when to give a screen to open up a space for a teammate to go through for an open shot.

3. Be quick to decide where to go
Quickness is a major plus in executing a motion offense. An opponent may find it difficult to see what you are going to do, and where you are going to go and pass the ball. If you have observed, players who creates nice cuts into the point comes swiftly out of nowhere. Opponents can just look at them up in the air draining a shot.

When you are in an offensive possession, a player can have many options on what to do with his offense. The key here is being quick in decision making. A player must know what he should do. He must think fast and execute it directly.

4. Proper rotation of players on court
This is important in motion offense. The ball should not stay long enough in a player’s hand. This can cause a momentary lapse in your offensive play. There can also be a tendency that the ball handler will be trapped in a double team defense. That is what you get if you carry that ball too long in your hands.

Pass the ball from player to player. And the players must also run in all sides of the court. This will ensure a good access for a possible pass, and can confuse the opponent on how you are going to make your offense. When your opponents get confused they have the tendency to loosen up their defense, leaving an open shot for you to take. However, avoid making too much passing. You might get yourself to a shot clock that is over the time limit of a possession.

5. Allow other members of the team to establish their positions
Other members may not be as quick as you are. Wait for them to establish a solid position. If you pass the ball with them not in rightful positions, you may have an out of bounce, or a steal, as a payment for your recklessness. You will see when they are ready to receive a pass, when they try to raise out their hand, signaling you that they are in position for an open shot.

6. Create a marginable space between you and your opponent
When you try to shoot the basket, create a marginable distance between you and your guard. It will be difficult to extend an arm for a basket if you are too close to your defender. Remember that this is their goal, to keep near you at all times. When you are able to create a space between you, you have a greater chance of moving around until you get to a point where you can freely jump and shoot that basket. The space will allow you to move from side to side to get your defender off his feet.

7. Emphasize the role of each member
The members should know their specific task for the team. For example, one player can do one screen at a time. If too many players do a screen in a moment, it leaves other areas of the court well guarded, especially if the opponent plays a zone defense. It is important to emphasize each member’s role in the team.

8. Always move without the ball
Running without the ball is like running and placing your hand in a position wherein you seem to be ready to receive a pass. This is effective in creating offensive cuts into the basket. You will always be ready to catch and shoot; or catch, dribble, and shoot the ball when you execute this type of basketball skill.

9. Display mental toughness
A player has the tendency to rattle, especially when you are playing in a very tight and intense game. Mental toughness should come in display at this point of time. This can enable the players to focus on making an effective motion offense. The thing is – always keep your head in the game.

If the above keys are given special attention, a team can be confident in establishing a new and refreshed offensive attack. Again, practice is the key to mastering plays like this. A team should help each other and function as one unit in order to make their motion offense work.

Picture credit: DeusXFloridaCreative Commons Attribution

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