Skill Building for Dribble Drive Motion Offenses

By Michael Lynch

These four drills build skills for Dribble Drive Motion offenses, and provide a structure to develop common skills for any offensive system.

Developing Skills to Fit Your Offense

Developing the “skills” necessary to excel within your offensive system is perhaps the most important thing coaches will accomplish on the practice floor. A good reflective practice for coaches is to take a look at your game film and ask yourself what skills are critical to improving your team’s performance. Then we must make time in our practice plans to develop those skills.

In a typical practice we dedicate at least one quarter of the practice time to developing offensive “skills.” Like most other aspects of our practices, the skill work is going to be done in a progression format. It will be introduced and taught “on air,” then guided defense will be introduced, and finally the involvement of live defense with decision making aspects will be added.

We run a Dribble Drive Motion offense with a heavy emphasis on the use of blur screens and dribble flips. So our “skill work” includes what is necessary to succeed in that style of offense. These actions that produce opportunities for shooters make up the bulk of how we develop our players:

  • Dribble Attacks
  • Dribble Stops Finishing at the Rim
  • Reading Help Defense
  • Quick Pitches

This post presents a sample drill that we run in four different areas: A) Dribble Attacks, B) Dribble Stops, C)  Finishing, and D) Shooting. Included are video clips for each area to show how these skills appear in our games. I believe that it is important for players to see that what they are doing on the practice floor is directly impacting their performance in games.

Click on a diagram to download the drill to your FastDraw library.

The Use of Dribble Attacks

These are quick and simple dribble attacks that we emphasize in both the half court and transition settings. Mainly we are looking at attacking a defender who is isolated in the elbow or slot area. We would like our players to make a quick aggressive move and attack that defender to the rim. The three Dribble Attacks that we teach are 1) In & Out Dribble, 2) Hesitation, and 3) Crossover.

Here is a simple drill that combines Dribble Attacks and Finishing at the Rim. The two versions represent two common tactics: sagging defenses and overly aggressive on-ball defenses.

1v1 Dribble Attacks Drill

1v1 Dribble Attacks

Using Dribble Stops as a Weapon

Good defenses will not be beaten by the first drive of a possession, so it is important that players know how to use “Dribble Stops” as a means to keep the pressure on the defense. We place heavy emphasis on the use of 1) Stride Stops, 2) Two Foot Jump Stops, and 3) The Use of the Bounce Out Dribble. These three Dribble Stops allow you make plays after a failed drive, and, in the case of the Bounce Out Dribble, allow players to keep the basketball moving.

Here is a 3 Man Progression Drill in which players land perfect Stride Stops, followed by perfect timing of Second Cuts. Once players have moved beyond the 3v0 portion of the drill, we can load the drill with defense.

3v0 Stride Stops Drill

3v0 Stride Stops 1 row

Teaching a Variety of Finishes at the Rim

What we are hoping for our players is that they can finish at the rim from multiple angles, and with a variety of finishes. The 1v0 Technique Drill below makes our players finish from the three most common angles within our offense: 1) The Slot Drive, 2) The Wing Drive from the Corner, and the 3) Baseline Drive. We want our players to feel comfortable finishing with at least 1-2 different techniques, from both their strong and weak hand. Over the course of the season, we will emphasize these finishes: 1) Extended Arm, 2) Scoop, 3) Inside Hand, 4) Stride Stop, 5) Jump Stops, and 6) Reverse Pivots.

The 1v1 and 2v2 Russian Drills are good once we have moved beyond the Phase A portion of finishing. Those two drills are not only fun for the players, but represent very common finishing opportunities within our offense, 1) The Slot Drive with an advantage and 2) The Drop Pass.

Finishing at the Rim Drill
Finishing at the Rim


Finding & Using Catch & Shoot Opportunities

On top of developing our players’ ability to attack, finish, and come to clean stops, we want our players to be able to make the “Quick Pitch” pass vs helping defenses. We want all of our players who are not involved in the drive to the rim to have a “catch to shoot” mentality. We place heavy emphasis on players catching the basketball with the ability to rise up and shoot immediately.

Here is a staple 2v0 Shooting Drill that is designed to shoot the three most common Drive & Kick opportunities that our players get. Players get 2-3 shots at each of the three locations, and then the same is repeated on the opposite end of the floor. This drill is one that could be easily tweaked and catered to fit your offense’s most common shots as well.

Chair Shooting Drill

Chair Drill

Again, these are skill building drills for our Dribble Drive Motion offense, but of course they can be adapted to fit any style of play as they are fairly universal basketball actions. I hope these drills help your team build solid skills!

Follow Coach Lynch on Twitter @LeicBasketball.

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Coach Lynch is a History Teacher at Leicester High School in Leicester, MA. He is the Boys Varsity Basketball Coach and the Director of the Leicester Basketball Clinic.

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