If you are trying to win games (and what coach or team isn’t) you need to understand the impact of offensive spacing. How to screen effectively, and the types of player movement that can help you work toward victory are important parts of the game. If you know how to keep on the offensive through the proper use of these skills you can keep the other team on the defensive. Then you are on the winning end.

The first point to look at is your team’s spacing. Although specific plays may call for changes to the spacing that your team keeps, proper offensive spacing is between fifteen and eighteen feet. If you properly place your offensive players they can interact well. This will force the other team to divide their efforts and this can seriously undermine their defense. Also, you should think about trying to keep your offense ahead of the three point line. With your players so far forward, when they do get the ball they will start in a better position to move in to score. However, this may need to change on occasion, especially if you are planning on performing a screening maneuver.

You can divide screening into a few different types. Knowing how and when to apply these types is critical to your success as a team. By performing a successful screening action, you force the other team to respond to your movements instead of you reacting to what they are doing. The keys to effective screens are positioning and timing. Through positioning your offensive player properly you can complete effective on-ball and off-ball plays, if you want to open him up for an easy shot. Remember to always ensure the screener remains stationary when he come meets with the defender. This will prevent your player of being charged with a foul.

Effective movement for your team means that you are always moving towards the opponent’s basket. If you are dribbling, move forward on a straight or diagonal line. You need to make sure you resist the urge to move back and forth on a horizontal line. This movement does not help you get anywhere. By simply moving back and forth, it gives the opposing team the chance to get into an effective blocking position. Getting past them may be a bit more difficult then. It can be tempting to try to pass and get out of an unfavorable situation. However, you should always try to and make sure you are clear for a pass. Don’t try to force the issue and end losing control over the ball.

A good coach educates his players effectively on the importance of screens, spacing and movement. Through running focused drills and skirmishes you can fine tune your athletes to perform. This will help achieve a better overall playing strategy. Try taking the time to educate yourself on the finer points of each of offensive spacing, screens and movement. This will help you lead your team to victory on a far more consistent basis.

Picture credit: bryce_edwardsCreative Commons Attribution

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