Home Forums Topics Systems & Strategies Actions vs Sets- A Read and React brainstorm Actions vs Sets- A Read and React brainstorm


I changed coaching positions two years ago( a major rebuild at a larger school) and for the last two years we ended up going down a road with set play dominate offense with our HS varsity. This is not a style that I prefer to play it was out of necessity because of lack of skills, basketball IQ, etc… our sub varsity kids have been brought playing more of a read and react style.

 I used my pause during the pandemic to really examine our man to man offense. I examined a lot of programs, attended virtual clinics, talk to various coaches on how they get good offensive flow. Mike Neighbors at Arkansas and Doug Novak at Bethel were probably the most influential, a few other guys on the virtual coaches clinic beside the read & react stuff that I have used with our younger players.

My staff and I developed our own terminology (The Words We Use) for our actions that are one word verbiage, similar to football teams. I made a blueprint of how we will move through the GO (transition offense) and the FLOW (1/2 court offense) to implement it. We also names areas of the court. So our set plays now would be mostly called on dead ball situations. Our FLOW formations will either be 5 out or 4 out 1 in (DDM) spacing.

We have our core actions in the FLOW but we can dictate a not so much used actions or desired actions on dead balls. Mike Neighbors give several reasons why not to call stuff out during live action.

An Example of a call later in the offense. 1-2 “Rub” (Dribble HandOff) 5-2 “Slugo” (Side Ball Screen) 4-3 “Pin” (Flare Screen).  Right now we can 1-2 “Rub” 5-2 “Slugo” to “Pirate” (Post Up), which a post feed can lead to a Laker cut.  

So far our kids have really picked up on it and really like it. I like it too as the flow of the offense is much better for us. 

Late Game or Clock we still have our sets to get multiple actions as needed.

I am excited to see how we progress in this style of offense and how effective we are in games. Also our zone offense will be the same style of offense so no major changes from one to the other. 

I would like to hear your thoughts on this topic.