I think about the Read & React A LOT.

I mean, it is my job. I answer questions about it, write articles about it, I edit all the scripts, and as scary as it sounds, Rick and I talk about it over meals, on the flights to clinics, and in too many other situations to feel good about.

This constant emersion in the R&R has changed the way I think about basketball, but it’s also changed the way I think about almost everything. I see things and read things through a R&R lens. So, a couple of days ago, I read a blog post by Seth Godin that asked the question, Why jazz is more interesting than bowling? You can read it here – it won’t take long, it’s literally 76 words.

A certain line struck me, “Jazz is non-linear and non-predictable, and most of all, it’s never perfect”. In a nutshell, that’s why it’s more interesting than bowling – all the dimensions involved.

Replace “jazz” with “Read & React” and you have the perfect definition of the Offense – the one I would have come up with had I been a better writer.

Can you sum up the Read & React (or your favorite part) in one line? Let me know in the comments.

6 Comments

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  1. Jon says:

    When the read and react offense is played truly variable and random, it is impossible to guard.

  2. Mark says:

    R&R doesn’t teach plays, it teaches how to play.

  3. CoachP309 says:

    Scott I completely agree. The abstract nature of jazz translates perfectly. Everybody gets a solo. Even the bass player! It makes for a much happier band. In traditional offenses, music genres or bowling, everyone has to hit the same notes perfectly every time for the set to go according to plan. If someone looses there place on the sheet music, the results are sure to be depressing.

    We had our first game this week and there were several times it looked like the wheels were falling off during offensive possessions and they ironed it out all on their own. When we watch the film, I would laugh at those parts. The players asked “what was so funny?” and I told them “It was a lot of fun to watch the initial action we were looking for fail and see them use their R&R skills to Jazz up the play and score.” They are learning to play the game,not just run plays. As a musician my self, I like to create my own music, not play other people stuff. Maybe that’s why I like R&R.

    The Jazzy flow of R&R is unpredictable, and my players were first afraid of it. But now they understand how much happier the rest of the band is because they get to play solos too. Such a neat concept to me. Thanks Scott.

    1. Scott Ginn says:

      @CoachP390 – You’ve stated it perfectly! I had never even considered the concept that “everyone gets a solo”, but it fits in two ways that I can see.

      First, since all players at some point will be making attacking moves to the goal (cuts, dribble penetration, post slides), everyone (even the weakest players) have opportunities to score.

      Second, all reactions are determined by the initiating action of the ball handler – he gets to choose which notes suit him best and the rest of the team has to fall in line. When you have the ball, you have a solo and the rest of the band must conform to your lead.

      Awesome. Thanks for helping me fill out the analogy – I’m definitely going to be using it again.

      1. Arden says:

        Scott on your “Second” above I like the point that the ball handler get to choose the notes. I look at it this way, as in jazz. everybody’s personality sees what is in front of them differently thus changing the direction from player to player. Sure a coach teaches things the way they see it, but each of the members of the team is allowed to add their personality twist to what is perceived by that player.

        Keep up the good work.

  4. Arden says:

    It’s funny that the line”it’s not perfect” comes up in this blog. Just the other night at our practice two of the girls reacted (one textbook reaction and one that was off by one level) to an action and ended up in the same place and my response was “I don’t care if this isn’t perfect. It only makes it more difficult for the defense to stop you. Communicate, refill the spots and continue to run the offense the way we teach you and you will score.” I love that the R&R gives the players a choice of actions as play develops and smooth, legitimate cover ups when a mistake is made.