Let me tell you something that you already know: each one of your players is different. Each has a unique set of skills, a unique capacity for learning, a unique hype number, and of course, a unique personality.

But, are you treating them that way?

Please read as deeply into that question as possible, but for the purposes of this blog, I’m going to focus on what that means for you as a Read & React coach.

Players can be taught layers according to their own abilities.

That means you can have some players using Layers 1-6, some using 1-10, and some using 1-20 (or even, 1-6, 10, 14, and 15). As long as the foundation layers have been covered, those with fewer layers will not hinder the impact of those with more.

Let’s put this in a practical perspective. There are two types of Post Slides: Basic (layer 5) and Advanced (layer 16). There are also two ways to fill out after a player has cut: simply fill out (layer 1) or backscreen out (layer 10).

You can train one post player to only react with a Basic Post Slide and train another to react with the Advanced Post Slide based on their skill, ability, understanding, etc. (That’s your job to figure out.) And, the same is true with filling out and backscreening. Maybe a handful of players can’t (or won’t backscreen) – that’s ok.

My point is this: don’t keep high IQ players from going higher in the layers for the sake of team consistency. And, don’t slow the development of the team based on one player who can’t seem to master the early layers.

It’s all about layer identification. Some players are going to naturally gravitate toward specific layers. Some are going to naturally shy away from layers. It’s fine to let that occur organically, but remember, you as a coach have the ability to control it to suit your team’s needs.

Has anyone done something like this? Experimented with it? What did you find? Let us know in the comments section.

This post was inspired by a conversation started in the forum. Thanks to bryan, Rick, coachEd, and jqmoney for making it happen.

5 Responses

  1. I do have players that only know how to just pass and cut and circle move and cut after the post.

    I have 4 girls on my team who backscreen fill in the post and even do x-cuts.

    The weaker players that only know pass and cut didnt disrupt the more stronger advanced players. I did have a situation that came where My players knew how the 6 fundemental layers plus some and the new players on have layers 1-4 down. Didnt slow the offense down one bit. They actually look better then some of the girls on other teams that are running set plays.

    When i get new girls for the next season the stronger players will have all 20 layers the former weaker players will have the 6 layers plus some the the new players will work their way up

    Coach Justin Quarles
    Chandler, AZ

  2. I’ve been thinking about one player in particular (a football player) who I want to find a way to get on the floor. He’s limited offensively, but plays his ass off, loves to defend and is physically and mentally tough. Anyway, in our first season with R&R, we were never close to making the back screening layer a habit. In fact, it never happened on their own, as the emphasis was on the foundation layers. So if this is a player who doesn’t help us offensively, he absolutely could be a great screener. I think this is a case where he’s at least that one guy who is always backscreening. It’s a better start on the layer until the system is more engrained throughout the program. Any thoughts? Seems like a great way to identify roles to players.

    1. @Steve – You’re exactly right. Teaching that football player to always screen on the fill out is a great way to not only get him involved by helping others get open, he serves as a great model to the other players. If he is getting a lot of people open by backscreening his way out, maybe they’ll see it and start doing it too. Thanks for the note. The R&R is perfect for Role Identification and your is a great example of that.

  3. Thank you so much for this information page. I have some of my best players not getting the basic layers and newer players who are ready for advanced slides. I have been holding back teaching the other layers until the whole team adapted. I really like the information about adapting this offense and different layers based on your team. I had to quickly implement the 3 out formation to adapt against zone defense. It would be great if someone had a player assessment sheet/ tool to better determine the skill set of each of my players. I really agree with the individual development of the layers once the basic three are established.

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