Although the offence encourages movement, young teams will often have players standing still as they take time to make a decision.

Coaches must be careful not to lose the focus of the motion style offence, which is to react to whatever the defence is doing, rather than using pre-determined movement. Therefore, the coach must adopt a “reads not rules” attitude, allowing players to deviate from the set rules. Implicit in this (particularly with young teams) the coach must also accept that at times players will make the wrong decision.

To assist the players to develop, coaches must:

  • Ask an athlete why they made the decision they did rather than immediately tell them that they did wrong. Remembering that the coach has a different perspective of the court than players do, the player may literally have seen the situation differently and accordingly taken a different decision to the coach.
  • Focus players on continuing to play – the more rigid the rules for offensive movement are, the more likely that if one player makes an incorrect movement that other players will stop, not knowing how to now react;
  • Give a lot of opportunities at practice for the team to play in contested situations with aggressive defence. The more the coach stops activities in practice the less able the players will be able to react to what happens during a game;
  • Reinforce to athletes that it is OK to make a mistake As coach Dean Smith19 reminds us “what to do with a mistake – admit it, learn from it, forget it”.
Coach Smith was the Head Coach of the Men’s program at the University of North Carolina for 36 years, where his teams won 2 NCAA championships and overall had a win-loss ratio of 77.6% (879 wins – 254 losses)