Moving WITHOUT The Ball for Miami Youth Basketball Players

high school basketball trainingOff the ball Play

Basketball is a game of movement, not a game of stand and watch. The majority of a game, players spend their time playing without the ball. Off the ball movement is probably one of the most important aspects of running a successful and efficient offense and should be taught to every young kid looking to learn the basics of basketball.

We all know the main goal in basketball is to make the ball inside the basket. As we all should know, it is much easier to make a shot while being in an open area.  This is why it is crucial for young players to learn and develop good habits of moving without the ball to fill in these open areas for better scoring opportunities.

Keys to playing off the ball:

Be in proper basketball position: Although there will be times when your body is in awkward positions, most of the time all players should be with their knees bent, feet should width apart balanced weight on the balls of you your feet, and arms just above waist high ready to catch a pass.

Good peripheral vision: Learning to keep good vision of all players’ movements on the court. With this you can begin to anticipate and make smarter decisions off the ball.

Anticipation: Understand how the flow of the offense is being run. Basketball is a lot of intuitive play. Make sure kids understand how to read what the defense is allowing in route for better judgment.

Change of direction: With good footwork, this creates wider (more open) passing angles as it should get defenders to be misdirected most of the time. You want to be moving (and looking for a pass) in the opposite direction of the way the ball is moving.

Spacing: This will allow all players to have good vision of what is happening as well as spreading the defense out. In turn it creates easier routes for penetration and kick out lanes for players getting to the open spots.

Communication: This is extremely vital. Both verbal and non-verbal communication should be happening at all times during an offensive set (Probably more non-verbal).

Well made Cuts: V-cut, backdoor cut, flash cut, and cut & curl are just the basic types of cuts that should be taught to everyone looking to better their offensive game. These cuts will get players in good position to create easier scoring opportunities.

Screening: Most kids love the attention of having the ball in their hands. Although this may seem fun, I’ve noticed kids get surprising happier when they realize how easy a basket can be made coming off (or after setting) a good screen. Stress the importance of good screening and kids will love the results. This helps kids build stronger bonds on the court too.

Good off the ball movement will create high percentage shots, put more pressure on defenses and is an underrated skill that every player will benefit from. In time, players will see that they are exerting less energy on the offensive side of the ball and building stronger bonds as a team. Preach this to all kids and you will see much more progress in your teams offense.  We are committed to training kids to move well without the ball to maximize their potential, to get them to understand how to play (rather than more plays), to impress their coaches, and to increase their scoring average.