This drill was posted by bshutter in the forum and it was so good that it needed to see the light of day on the Tribe. So, I pulled it out of the forum, shined it up a bit, added some diagrams and now here it is. Thanks bshutter and if you want to see the original forum thread, check it out here.

This is a great drill to train the Read Line. Even though the Read Line can be simple to teach and simple to learn, players could begin to cheat by cutting to the basket whether or not the defender is over the Read Line. Emphasizing a drill like this will help clean up that slippage.

You can use this drill as it sits or you can use it as an idea generator and tweak it to your own needs. For example, in this version, a player is the defender and the rotation acknowledges that, but you could easily make the defender a coach and have players only focus on offense. Just a thought.

And, by the way, the blue shading simply represents the 4 OUT spots. If you like this drill, check out the Expanded version here.

Read Line Drill Frame 1

Start with two lines – one on the right guard spot, the other on the left wing spot.
Put the ball(s) in the right guard line.
5 must fill the empty spot.

Read Line Drill Frame 2

Option 1: If x6 steps over the Read Line, 5 basket cuts and gets the pass for the lay-up.

Read Line Drill Frame 3

5 then gets his rebound, passes to the back of the right guard line, and becomes defender x5.
x6 rotates to the back of the line with the balls.
1, the passer, rotates to the back of the fill line.

Read Line Drill Frame 4

This is just a diagram of the new alignment following the rotation.

Read Line Drill Frame 5

Option 2: If 5 fills and x6 does not step over the read line, then 1 passes to 5.
1 must basket cut (he doesn’t get the ball) and fills out to the back of the left wing line.

Read Line Drill Frame 6

5 passes opposite to 7 and cuts. (By the way, here is a place where you can train Front Cut or Rear Cut depending on how the defender plays the pass. I know, this drill is great, right?)
7 passes to 5 for the lay-up.

Read Line Drill Frame 7

5 rebounds the shot, passes to the back of the ball line, and becomes x5 on 7.
x6 rotates to the back of the right guard line.

Read Line Drill 8

And, once again, a diagram of the new alignment. This rotation simply continues for the duration of the drill.

The above diagrams were powered by FastDraw. For a free trial of FastDraw, click here. Or to buy it for just $35, click here.

7 Responses

  1. Coach B – Have you heard of a “gauntlet”? In any drill that finishes with a lay-up, place 6 players near the goal like this: Create a funnel with 3 players shoulder to shoulder on one side and 3 players on the other side facing them. There’s enough space between the two lines such that if both sides held their arms out straight, there would be about 12 inches between each pairs fingertips. This funnel covers the space between the offensive player picking up his/her dribble and going up for the lay-up. (By the way, you can work on finishing the lay-up off of one foot or landing on two feet.)

    The Gauntlet players hold out their arms with varying degrees of resistance. The offensive player will feel contact on both sides of his/her arms and shoulders as they finish their lay-up through the gauntlet. Teach the Gauntlet 3 degrees of resistance: MILD – like spaghetti noodles; MEDIUM – like tree branches; TOUGH – it’s going to leave some marks! This way, you can build them up or even change the Gauntlet depending on the player.

    Offensive player takes the place of one Gauntlet member who rotates to the offensive line.

  2. Hi, in my case, i would probably have both lay up person and defender fight out for the rebound. if defense gets the rebound as they are recovering, then they come out to an offensive line. If offense makes the lay up then they would be the ones coming out to an offensive line (opposite of the one lay up line). but you must either score of get defensive rebound to get out. That way players determine the rotation on a more realistic way. WORK HARD or FINISH in order to get the outcome you want. score on offense or a stop on defense.

    When I say in my case here is what i mean. I am finding that my team just go through the motions they understand the concept but just run the drills. When we play in games, the other offensive players assume lay up is made. If missed the player who took the lay up doesn’t work hard to get rebound back, and everyone else don’t crash the offensive boards. Therefore leaving us to a one and done.

    Another problem i am coming acrros is that in a game, defense will not allow us to get to the basket without contesting, helping, pushing or shoving (making us alter our shot). So our practice shots and game shots are different. Right now we are scoring 15 out of 61 shots taken. No doubt the shots and good looks are there in the system, i just don’t see the same team at practice that i see in the game. if any of you have some ideas on adjustments, please post.

  3. @Scott, I didn’t think about option #2 when I made my suggestion. Good point!

    I think I would keep with the same rotation scheme for the left line regardless of which option occurs: Defense->Offense->Rebound-dribble ball to end of right line.

    In the scenario in your figures, player 7 just gets to make an extra pass before it is even his “turn” in line. When 5 makes his layup, he still gets his own board and dribbles to the end of the right line. x6 moves from defense to offense. 7 now becomes x7 and plays defense.

    I think I’ll try this drill out at my next practice. Getting players to make the proper “read” is huge. Thanks again, bshutter for the drill and Scott for highlighting it.

  4. This might work a little smoother if players in the left line play defense first, then offense. That way, once they fetch the rebound, they just dribble the ball to the end of the right line (instead of fetching the rebound, passing it through a crowd, then scrambling back to play defense while everyone is waiting for him).

    Nice drill!

    1. @Magic – I like this idea and thought about it for a while (I was actually in the process of altering my diagrams), but there is a problem with that rotation.

      Let me see if I can explain it: In Frame 3, 5 dribbles to the end of the right line. That totally works – no problems there.

      But, if x6 becomes the fill cutter and 7 becomes the defender, then x7’s next rotation is back into the fill cutter and 6’s next rotation would be back into the defender. 6 and 7 will just constantly switch places. Good work for them, but not for anyone else in that line.

      Now, I tried it will 7 becoming the defender and x6 rotating to the back of the right line, which works for a while, but eventually everyone will have rotated out of the left line and into the right line. Then, you’d have to pause and even up the lines.

      The only rotation that I can see that works while keeping the lines even is the one in the post. If anyone else can figure out one that works more smoothly and keeps the lines even, I’m all ears and will happily adjust the drill (I want it to be as good as possible). And @Magic, if I’m not understanding your rotation correctly, let me know as well.

      Any thoughts, let me know in these comments.

  5. Coach Ginn:
    Good afternoon. I like alot! Reason being, it gives you the opportunity of s continuous flow which really builds automacy and builds the necessary habits of “reading and reacting” to a defender in terms of the p&c (layer 3) principle. Kudos Coach bshutter!

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