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Coaching Basketball's Zone Attack Using Blocker-Mover Motion Offense

Coaching Basketball's Zone Attack Using Blocker-Mover Motion Offense

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Coaching Basketball's Zone Attack Using Blocker-Mover Motion Offense

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Dec 26, 2015


Coaches looking to improve their existing zone attack offense, learn how to use Blocker-Mover Motion Offense for their all purpose offense or to pick up new drills to teach zone attack skills and tactics will find Coaching Basketball's Zone Attack Using Blocker-Mover Motion Offense will solve their problems.

With over 400 illustrations in 300 pages, Coaching Basketball's Zone Attack Using Blocker-Mover Motion Offense addresses:

- Common types of zone defenses and their strengths and weaknesses
- Zone attack principles (offensive building blocks any zone attack can use)
- Thoughts on teaching and practicing zone attack offense
- Strategy and tactics for attacking a zone defense
- Drills to teach key offensive fundamentals
- Drills to teach zone attack tactics
- The inside game against a zone defense

Coaches interested in using the Blocker-Mover Motion Offense to attack a zone defense will find over half the material in the book dedicated to using the Blocker-Mover offense to defeat a zone defense. Chapters include:

- Reasons to use the Blocker-Mover offense
- Adapting the Blocker-Mover Motion Offense to zone attack
- Screening the zone with Blocker-Mover offense
- Using alignments to distort the zone defense
- Attacking with the dribble
- Overloading the zone defense
- Using fakes to freeze and shift the zone defense

This companion volume to Coaching Basketball's Blocker-Mover Motion Offense: Winning With Teamwork and Fundamentals (Volume One covers attacking a man-to-man defense using Blocker-Mover offense) covers the other half of quarter court offense. Using Blocker-Mover offense makes it possible to attack any common half court defense using one offense, allowing more practice time for shooting, defense and fundamentals. Blocker-Mover offense can be used by boys or girls and once learned, allows players to "play the game" instead of running set, controlled plays.

Dec 26, 2015

Sobre el autor

A 25 year veteran of the coaching profession, with twenty-two of those years spent as a varsity head coach, Coach Kevin Sivils amassed 479 wins and his teams earned berths in the state play-offs 19 out of 22 seasons with his teams advancing to the state semi-finals three times.  An eight time Coach of the Year Award winner, Coach Sivils has traveled as far as the Central African Republic to conduct coaching clinics.  Coach Sivils first coaching stint was as an assistant coach for his college alma mater, Greenville College, located in Greenville, Illinois. Coach Sivils holds a BA with a major in physical education and a minor in social studies from Greenville College and a MS in Kinesiology with a specialization in Sport Psychology from Louisiana State University.  He also holds a Sport Management certification from the United States Sports Academy. In addition to being a basketball coach, Coach Sivils is a classroom instructor and has taught U.S. Government, U.S. History, the History of WW II, and Physical Education and has won awards for excellence in teaching and Teacher of the Year. He has served as an Athletic Director and Assistant Athletic Director and has also been involved in numerous professional athletic organizations. Sivils is married to the former Lisa Green of Jackson, Michigan, and the happy couple are the proud parents of three children, Danny, Katie, and Emily.  Rounding out the Sivils family are three dogs, Angel, Berkeley, and Al.  A native of Louisiana, Coach Sivils currently resides in the Great State of Texas.

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Coaching Basketball's Zone Attack Using Blocker-Mover Motion Offense - Kevin Sivils


The information provided in this book is on an as is basis. The author and publisher shall have neither the liability nor the responsibility to any person or entity with respect to loss, damages or injury arising form the information contained in this book. 


Using This Book

Why Attack Zone Defense With Blocker-Mover Motion Offense? 

The Father of Blocker-Mover Offense – Coach Dick Bennett    

The TEAM Concept and Zone Attack Offense     

You Get What You Emphasize

What is Good Offense?

Key Offensive Fundamentals

Common Types of Zone Defenses

Strengths and Weaknesses of Common Zone Defenses   

Why Does the Opponent Play a Zone Defense?      

All Zones Become a 2-3 Zone

The Mental Approach to Attacking a Zone Defense     

Zone Attack Principles – Offensive Building Blocks           

Spacing and Gaps

Move the Ball and Move People


Use of the Dribble to Attack   

Screen the Zone 

The Inside Game Against the Zone 

Planning to Rebound and Floor Balance 

Principles of Attacking – Strategy and Attacking a Zone Defense 

Adapting Blocker-Mover Motion for Zone Attack Offense     

Alignments Versus Zone Defense   

Attacking the Gaps of Zone Defense With Blocker-Mover       


Distort the Zone Defense 

Take the Defender Away (Use of Dribble to Attack)   

Overload the Zone Defense 

Blocker-Mover Zone Attack Motion Using Screening Concepts   

Use Fakes to Freeze and Shift the Zone Defense   

Putting It All Together 

Applying Zone Attack Principles to an Existing Zone Attack Offense 

Thoughts on Teaching and Practicing Zone Attack Offense   

Thoughts on Teaching and Practicing Blocker-Mover Zone Attack 

Drills to Teach Key Offensive Fundamentals   

Drills to Teach Zone Attack Principles and Concepts   


About the Author

Contact the Author 

Using This Book

At every coaching clinic I have ever attended the coaches present have wanted information about attacking zone defenses. It is a topic both veteran and new coaches are interested in.

As a young coach I struggled to help my teams effectively attack zone defenses. The information in this book is a result of years of effort on my part to learn effective principles of offense for use against attacking those pesky zone defenses.

A significant portion of this book is about adapting the Blocker-Mover Motion Offense to attacking a zone defense. The rest of the book is really about taking the zone offense you run and making it more effective by adding the zone attack principles and tactics that will best fit your particular zone attack offense, your personality as a coach and the personnel available for your team.

Some coaches are leery of changing the offense they have learned and had some success with. I am not asking you to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Take what ideas you think will work and add them to what you already teach.

One of the chapters in this book is dedicated to providing ideas on how to go about taking a simple zone attack offense and adding some of the principles described in this book. Also included are drills designed to teach some of the essential fundamentals for sound offensive play.

If you have any questions about attacking zone offense and would like more information, just check the page with information for contacting me, the author, and I will do my best to answer any question you might have.

Much of the content of this book has appeared in my previous book Fine Tuning Your Zone Attack Offense. I strongly believe in using sound offensive principles to attack any defense. This book is full of sound zone attack concepts, any of which can be used to run Blocker-Mover Motion Offense as a zone attack offense or to improve any other zone attack offense you as a coach may already use and feel more comfortable with.



Why Run Blocker-Mover Offense to Attack a Zone?

Set plays, continuity based offense or rules based free-lance offense? The argument has been raging among basketball coaches since Dr. Naismith invented the game of basketball. Both approaches to the game have their advantages and disadvantages.

The inventor of Blocker-Mover offense, Coach Dick Bennett, has long been an advocate of Motion Offense and all the benefits of running this type of offensive system. The creation of Blocker-Mover hails back to Coach Bennett’s days as the head coach at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Every offense is more efficient with better players. Coach Bennett’s challenge while at UW-Green Bay was how to win with only a few good players. Many of his athletes were of a D-II caliber or were converts from other sports. His son, Tony, was the lone exceptional player.

The answer for Coach Bennett was the creation of the Blocker-Mover offense, an offense he claims is rooted in his love for and fascination with the Green Bay Packers.

The offense is based on the idea of running as simple a version of motion as possible with specific responsibilities for positions while at the same time providing as much flexibility as possible. Bennett decided to use only two positions, blockers and movers.

Other well-known coaches liked the Blocker-Mover enough to create their own hybrid versions. The Blocker-Mover is believed to have influenced Coach Knight’s thinking in regards to his pairs version of motion offense. Coach Don Meyer developed what he called Screeners-Cutters and openly attributed a great deal of the conceptual ideas behind this as coming from Bennett’s Blocker-Mover.

I first used the Blocker-Mover out of necessity, for the same reasons Coach Bennett first created the offense. I had a good point guard and one good offensive player with a lot of hard working role players. The Blocker-Mover gave us a way to create shots for our best player and yet be very adaptable. Since we already ran Motion Offense, it was a logical adaptation.

Why Coaches Like Blocker-Mover Motion Offense

The Best of Both Worlds

Coach Bennett’s creation is a mild compromise between the certainty and control of set plays or continuity offenses while retaining the random and free-lance nature of rules based offense. Bennett accomplished this through the use of alignments and Blocker areas.

One Offense for Everything

Well, sort of. Blocker-Mover can attack any variation of man-to-man defense, hybrid defenses such as a box and one or a triangle and two and with some alteration in tactics, a fair number of zone defenses.

This leaves more practice time to work on fundamentals, fast break, shooting or defense. It increases player confidence due to familiarity. They do not have to learn a new offense just to face a particular defense for one game.

Efficient Use of Practice Time

Fundamentals are critical to the success of Blocker-Mover offense, particularly the fundamentals of screening and cutting. The same is true for every other effective offensive system but, sadly, most coaches don’t pay attention to the details of cutting and screening, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the offense they teach.

With careful planning and drill selection, all drills used to work on Blocker-Mover offense and the fundamentals of cutting and screening can be used to work on both half court offense and fundamentals at the same time, making more efficient use of practice time.

Difficult for Opponents to Scout

Every time the offense runs Blocker-Mover in a single half court offensive possession, it is unique. Less knowledgeable opponents present to scout leave with little to go on or believing they have to prepare for 40-50 well executed set plays.

Teaching Game Instead of Teaching Plays

For Motion Offense in general and Blocker-Mover in particular to work, the coach must teach players how to play the game of basketball instead of how to run set plays.

High Degree of Carryover

Installing Blocker-Mover offense takes time. Once players learn how to run the offense, the level of retention is high. Without realizing it, players will run the offense when playing pick-up games, games during open gym or other unstructured situations. Why? They have learned how to play basketball instead of running set plays.

This absorption of the concepts of offensive basketball means when it is time to begin the next pre-season, the returning players have a much higher degree of offensive readiness than most players. Your team will be further along in preparation for early season games due to the high degree of carryover from one season to the next.

Player Coaches on the Court

Smart players are essential for high-level success in the game of basketball. Running an offense like Blocker-Mover forces players to become students of the game, to think like coaches on the court. It also forces coaches to do a great job of teaching the game of basketball, not just how to run set plays.

Adaptability During Games

Things always come up during games. They just do. With Blocker-Mover offense it is not necessary to invent a new play during the game. Simply communicate with players what offensive building blocks to use or change alignments to attack the opportunities the defense is presenting.

On the surface, it may appear like major adjustments have been made. The reality is a shift in focus on how to attack has been made. Since the players have developed an understanding of offense, a change in alignment or restriction on offense helps them focus on how to attack the opportunities the defensive pressure is creating (All defensive pressure is vulnerable. If the defense takes something away, it must give something up.).

Why Players Like Blocker-Mover Offense

Blocker-Mover Maximizes a Player’s Abilities

Players with limited skills but good basketball IQ can be significant contributors in the Blocker-Mover system. Blockers must be intelligent players but do not necessarily have to have a complete basketball skill set, just a willingness to put the team first and recognize limits

Movers are freed up to attack and best take advantage of their offensive skills. They are not limited to the confines of a set play or a continuity offense.

Skilled offensive players can be either Blockers or Movers, depending on how their skills can be best put to use for the benefit of the team.

Blocker-Mover Gives Players Freedom

Once players have learned to run Blocker-Mover, they are free, within the rules of the offense, to be as creative as they desire, so long as it is for the benefit of the team.

Blocker-Mover Provides Structure

While many players love the freedom a Motion Offense provides, they struggle with the lack of structure set plays and continuity offense provides. These players prefer the rigid nature of set offense.

Blocker-Mover is a compromise between the two approaches. The use of alignments that assign areas to Blockers provide enough structure that these players can adapt and flourish will not losing the random nature of a pure Motion Offense.

Players Can Play Every Position

Within limits, any type of Motion Offense allows players to play every position. Granted, the best ball handler will still bring the ball up and the best shooter will take most of the shots, etc, players can play a variety of positions and move to different areas on the court. Even though the Blockers are confined to their areas, they have the freedom to move about as necessary within the assigned area.

Players Must Learn Every Skill

There will always be position specific skills in the game of basketball, regardless of the offense used. Blocker-Mover requires every player to be able to dribble the ball twice, pass and catch, shot lay-ups, set and receive screens and to cut correctly. Every player must master these skills and the underlying movement skills to execute the skills correctly. As players improve their skill level, they experience an increase in confidence through demonstrated ability as well as more fun playing the game of basketball.

The Cons of Running Blocker-Mover Offense

Thinking Player’s Offense – Do You Have High Basketball IQ Players?

This is a thinking player’s offense, and for that matter a thinking coach’s offense. Players have to be able to see what opportunities and challenges the defense is presenting and then act accordingly. This means you as the coach must be a great teacher and you have to learn to trust your players.

One Selfish Player Can Destroy the System

This is true of any type of offensive system, but in a rules based offense, one selfish player who refuses to operate within the boundaries of the offense and instead does as that player pleases, chaos will soon follow. If you have a player, or players, who are not willing to put the team first at all times, this is not the offense for your program at this time.

Players Must Master and Use Fundamentals

Every offensive system is at the mercy of the quality of the execution of basic fundamentals, but this fact is multiplied in effect with rules based offenses. A missed screen in a continuity offense can be covered up as the players continue to execute the continuity. Over dribbling in a set play means the offense will have to reset and attack again. Neither is a desirable outcome, but nor are they the end of the game. In a motion-based offense, failure to execute fundamentals correctly at game speed for the welfare of the team means the offense will quickly bog down and fail.

Are You a Great Teaching Coach?

This is an offensive system that requires constant teaching and re-teaching. Are you as the coach up to the challenge? There are coaches who are great motivators, game managers or good at the promoting a program and attracting quality players yet are not great at teaching the game of basketball. Be honest with yourself about your ability to teach the game.

You Have to Let Go

Running Blocker-Mover effectively means no steady diet of calling set plays from the sideline. You have to let your players run the offense and make the decisions of how to attack the defense. Can you give up the bulk of control over the offense during games to your players? Your control is during practice when you are teaching and able to apply restrictions.

Blocker-Mover Offense Against Zone Defense

Mention motion offense and most coaches think in terms of attacking a man-to-man defense. Motion offense is an effective offense to attack any zone with so long as some simple adjustments are made. In the case of Blocker-Mover offense, there are many advantages in making the needed adjustments. Alignments can be used to distort the zone or line up in the gaps. The basics of movement, hunting for opportunities (gaps and screens), balancing the floor and maintaining spacing are very similar. The carry over from attacking man-to-man defense to attacking a zone defense is considerable, maximizing teaching and practice time.

Pros of Using Blocker-Mover Against a Zone Defense

Alignments are the Same for Attacking Every Defense

Players use the same alignments and start from the same positions, regardless of the defense being attacked. The less the offense has to remember, the more freedom players have to play.

The Rules Are Almost Identical

The players learn one set of rules to attack any defense, requiring only a few adjustments to be made

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