How To Run Motion Offense In Basketball

Learning how to run motion offense in basketball is a good way to hide your weaknesses on the offensive end while exposing your opponent's defensive deficiencies. The motion offense utilizes just that, constant motion. Every player on the floor continues to move, continue to try to get open. Don't mistake a motion offense for a free for all on the offensive side on the ball. No. On the contrary, motion offenses require that all players continuously help each other. Each player is an extension of the other. A team that runs a successful motion offense is a team that has developed into a true cohesive unit on the offensive side of the ball. Within the constant motion of this type of offense are intricate patterns and on the fly plays that are designed to get someone, or multiple players open looks at the basket. Let's learn how to run a solid motion offense in basketball.

  1. Teach the importance of unselfish play. Before you can even think about running a successful motion offense in a basketball game, your players have to know the importance of the total team game. Motion offenses are only effective when players think of passing and setting solid screens first. Shooting the ball is secondary, You're trying to create the best opportunity to score, which, could be any player on the floor in a number of positions. Your players need to know that it's about getting a good shot more so than who gets the shot.
  2. Motion Offenses require motion. The best way to exploit the defenses weaknesses is to constantly be moving in multiple intricate patterns that can be called on the fly. Your players can't be standing around waiting for the ball. There shouldn't be a moment on offense where one of your players stops moving. The motion offense only works if your guys continue to set screens, continue to make good passes, continue to move, and continue to look for the most opportune shot.
  3. Setting screens. This is one of they most important aspects to running a motion offense. Setting solid screens to create spacing makes it easier to get a team mate open to make a play. Your players need to know how to set good screens. No punk stuff. They need to become that temporary road block to help get their team mate open.
  4. Good passing. Good passing in a motion offense is just as important to setting a good screen. What's the sense of getting someone open if you can't deliver them the ball? Your guys should be like Robin Hood shooting arrows when they pass the rock around. As a matter of fact, after practicing different motion plays enough, they should know where their team mates are going to be and how long it takes them to get there so they can pass the ball at the perfect time. The other player should be receiving the ball right when he hits his spot. This optimizes the amount of time for taking a shot or making another solid pass.
  5. Your creativity as a coach. Motion offenses are supposed to be fluid. The best thing about them is how easy they can be manipulated to serve to your teams offensive strengths. Here's where your creativity comes end. Draw up plays within the scheme of the motion that'll get your players to their respective sweet spots. For instance, if you have a center with an unusually sweet outside jumper, implement some screens to get him outside. It'll help stretch the defense. If you have a guard that's bigger than his opponent, there's nothing wrong with setting him up on the block. Traditional positional roles don't really mean much in motion offenses. These offenses are designed to fit your strengths and hide your weaknesses. It's up to you as a coach to exploit that fact.
  6. Practice. As usual, practice, practice, and practice some more. The only way for your players to get comfortable with the motion offense is to run it early and often. They need to get the feel of one another. Remember, they need to be a cohesive unit to pull off an effective motion offense.
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