I read a recent blog post on www.thecrossovermovement.com in which author and site owner Brian McCormick wrote an excellent interpretation of basketball fundamentals as it pertains to basketball intelligence. Brian’s post was based on an article entitled, “High School Basketball is Boring: Coaches not Teaching the Fundamentals.” The premise of the article is that coaches today are not teaching the true fundamentals of the game of basketball. Sure, most coaches work on a player’s ability to dribble, pass, and shoot (I hope), but how many coaches really break down the game and show their players how to read defenses, how to come off screens, or to make the correct decision with the ball when having a man advantage?
Over the course of the last year, I have researched, studied, and taught myself the dribble drive motion offense so that I could implement it with my basketball team. First off, I am a major fan of the offense’s capability (when run correctly) to get wide open shots (most of which are layups) every time down the floor. Beyond that, I believe that this offense really stresses the importance of fundamentals. Each player must be able to dribble, pass, and shoot, but also be able to read the defense and react to make the correct pass, the correct drive, and take the correct shot. The DDM is truly an offense that teaches the players to play rather than teaching them plays. However, a coach has to be willing to turn the control of the game over to his players. When on the court, they must react to what the defense gives them; a coach cannot instruct them on how to react during the course of play from the sideline. This is a hard concept for many coaches to grasp and an even harder one for them to let go of because it gives control to the player, rather than the coach.
Coaches run set offenses because they like to know where the shot is going to come from and by whom it will be taken. There is definitely nothing wrong with this philosophy as it has been highly successful for many coaches throughout history. However, if we as coaches are going to criticize this generation of players for not having the real fundamentals of basketball, shouldn’t we be willing to go out and do something about it? The Dribble Drive Motion may not be for everyone, but the basis of this offense or any motion offense, should be something that we as coaches are teaching at the youth levels of basketball. By doing so we may be able to fix the issue that is plaguing today’s basketball players…a lack of fundamentals.