“The general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought”

The questions that Read & React coaches collectively have on their minds as they begin their respective seasons seem to be centered around practice planning. For those who have the Planning the R&R Practice DVD Set, you are probably ahead of the game already, and have a great idea about how you want to operate your practices.

The number one thing I am asked as a High School Read & React coach is, “How do you prepare for your first game with only 12 practices to do so?”

We work very hard to collapse time frames and have put 3 years of trial and error into our Master Practice Plan. It outlines everything we want to cover prior to tipping off against our first opponent. We use this plan to stay on track while scheduling our individual practices, and alter it slightly each season based on the experience and skill level of the players we have returning. We view every drill in each practice as another brick we want to lay perfectly on our way to building something special over the course of the season.

Please feel free to download the Master Practice Plan I use with our team. I will be discussing each brick in more detail beginning today.

To further get the mental juices flowing, here are some past Tribe Posts with video that talk about practice planning:

We are going to spend a significant amount of time over the next few weeks talking about the R&R Practice. We’ll be posting practice plans and drills, answering questions, and giving you thoughts and ideas to consider as you embark on your season’s journey.

Please fill up the comment section below with any questions you have regarding practice planning and we will try to cover them all with responses and/or posts.

If you would like to submit practice ideas to be used on the site, please e-mail tribe@betterbasketball.com

42 Responses

  1. Coach,

    Since we met in Atlanta 2 years ago, I have used your practice planner each year. This year, we have added to our chart the color codes we want implemented each week and also a goal for “Layers of Mastery” for the end of each week. It has really helped me make sure I am hitting on the right layers but also in helping my staff plan as well.

    1. Coach would you mind emailing me the color coded chart so I could take a look at it? I coach in Nebraska and we are implementing the read and react. Thanks!

    1. Awesome! I was wondering what that was. Thanks for sharing your 2 week master plan. This template will be very helpful to my planning this weekend. First day off try out is on monday.

      Coach Aaron

  2. We are implementing the read and react….again. Last year the head coach, high school girls’ basketball, wasn’t ready to go all-in, but this year she claims she is. Already the girls are having trouble going through the “clutter” as they call it. Perimeter players pass, start to basket cut, panic, and retreat back or screen away. I taught the read and react to 5th-8th graders, but for some reason the high schoolers are having more trouble. What can I do to convince the girls, in 5 days, to get through the perceived clutter? By the way, she coaches 3 out 2 in and is not willing to change.

    1. My experience with teams feeling like there is “clutter” is that the passer does not watch the cutter all the way to the basket. The ball becomes a hot potato and there is no spacing.

      What we have done in those cases is play 5-on-5 No Dribble, defense has to let the perimeter passes go through. In addition, we add “Play by Play” for the offense. When cutting to the basket players must be yelling “Cutting, cutting, cutting” Fillers must yell “Fill, Fill, Fill”, and the PASSER must yell “Looking, looking, looking” as they watch the cutter.

      That last part usually does the trick and teaches perimeter players to be patient and let the offense unfold and look for spacing and intelligent drives. Most drives happen once that cutter has left the “Decision Box” so we remind the passer that you have at least 12 seconds (4x4x4) after you catch the ball before you have to give it up!

      P.S. For 3 out 2-in, the same exercise will work, you just have to really drill your post slides!

      1. Thank you. I will try this out. The other challenge is playing against the zone. I have the Zone Attack DVD and we went to the clinic last fall in the Hartford area, but the hook and look and pin and skip wasn’t getting the job done. I am trying to combine components of zone offense without breaking the rules of the Read and React. Any suggestions in that area? Typically we will be up against a 2-3 zone. The defenses don’t shift much, but rather pack and sag…unless one of our shooters have the ball.

        1. Tim, I am curious what you ended up doing to remedy the “hook and look” not getting the job done vs the zone? Would you like to share?

          Jason Norman

  3. Hi,
    I have just taken on the job of coaching U12 Girls, I have only 2 training sessions each week for a total of 3Hrs on the court. I have been a student of the R&R for a while now and am looking forward to implementing it with the girls. I have had my first session with them and tried to teach them Pass & Cut using just the 5 out spots and only front cuts, it sort of worked but there are a few problems.
    I do not have anything to mark the ‘spots’ and am not allowed to stick tape or anything else to the floor, so any thoughts on how I can mark the spots with VERY limited funds would be appreciated.
    Also any sort of help with a practice plan for the R&R that is relevant to my practice time (3Hrs per week)
    At this stage I am hoping to have Layers 1 & 2 functional before our first grading game in a couple of weeks.

    Coach Molloy

    1. Hi coach,

      In my experience I have learned that having them play after each layer is paramount. If they never get game reps of offense, they will never understand how it works.

      Also if anything you can use cones, chairs, objects, even other players to be able to use as spots. It still all works, as long as you emphasize spacing!

      Hope this helps

  4. Coach,
    this will be my 3rd year running the read and react offense. Love it. so adaptable to any kind of personnel. Last year as my first year as a JV coach, had no size and 4 guards, played either 4 out 1 in or 5 out. Did ok, 12-8. Now this year will probably have 5-6 kids 6’3 or better. My question today is in regards to tryouts. How do you structure your first few days of practice/tryouts until you get to your final team? I want to jump right in and begin putting things in less than 4 weeks until first game. See who picks stuff up. Kids from freshmen team know R&R from last year but not new kids. but don’t want to waste time trying to teach players stuff if I am going to cut them. Suggestions.

    1. I think coachability is an important trait to evaluate when selecting your team. We run a normal practice the first 3 days and have enough of a blend of teaching, fundamental work, and competitive play built into those practices to help us evaluate which players we may need to cut. You are teaching players you are going to keep as well as ones you are going to cut, so it isn’t a waste of time. We only have 12 days to prepare for our first game, and simply do not have enough time to waste 3 days on “tryout fluff”!

      At our lower levels, if we have a large number of players trying out, we do a lot of station work and then as the better players reveal themselves, we move them into groups where we do more teaching than evaluating.

  5. Coach, could you possibly send me the template of your plan. I ran he R&R last year and was pretty successful but I still have some kinks to workout. We finished 17-5 3rd in State in Jr. High basketball.

  6. Can I also get a copy of the master plan emailed to me? nyaeger13@gmail.com
    This will be my 3rd year running the R&R. I just accepted a coaching job at a new school so I will be starting all over again. I would like to be more organized this time. Thank you!

  7. Coach,could you send me a copy of the master plan at jv2m@yahoo.com. Have been using the r/r for 2years and have had great success with it. Just need to practice and drill the players more in the correct actions. Thanks for your help.

  8. Coach, If you could send me a copy of your master plan it would be greatly appreciated. jlindgren@lcamn.org

    We are starting our 3rd year of the R&R and we have loved it so much. Thanks for all that you are doing to grow the game of Basketball.

  9. Coach, if you don’t mind I would like to see a copy of these practice plans as well. I stumbled upon R&R last spring and have been running R&R this past year and really like the versatility that it offers. I have been creating my own plans using my beliefs about your methods, but would love to see how you are doing it. Thanks jlemley23@gmail.com

  10. I was looking for an offense that has a name similar to read and react. I stumbled onto the read and react and now after researching and buying a few DVD I really want to implement the Read and React. We have been running Dribble Drive for the last eight years and average in where from 63 to 72 points a game(which isn’t Bad for High School). The problem I am having is some years a few players abuse the freedom they are giving in the DDM and in a game at keep moments that abuse can destroy your runs and leads to a disappointing close loss. The other reason I am wanting to switch is DDM does not help your defense at all, if you look at any team running dribble drive their man to man defense is usually not very good. And in there leads to the problem it doesn’t matter how many points you score if the other team scores more you still lose the game. I think the Read and React will serve several purposes. 1. control tempo 2. better man to man defense. 3. Skill development. To ensure I do a great job I need as such information as I can get from anyone who runs read and react. If anyone is willing to share practice plans for just thoughts and ideas please email me at Coachr.bowen@gmail.com
    Thanks in advance…

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