Pursue the 3-Point Basket!

Jackson 3-Point Shot

Offense sells tickets, defense wins games.  Have you heard that one?  While I generally fall in line with that thinking, I’ve been asked to coordinate the offense with most of the programs with which I’ve coached and spend a lot of time with offensive concepts.  One focus remains constant, the three point shot has changed the game and since its inception, I believe you have to Pursue the 3 whenever you can.  I didn’t say “just chuck it up.”  I mean chase the 3, find the 3, create the 3, and force opponents to defend the 3.  As a coach, you have to find ways to utilize the 3-point shot. That pursuit of the game changer also plays out in our lives and in our faith.  After we explore some techniques for creating 3-point shots on the court, let’s take a look at where else it applies.

BASKETBALL     Seven Tips for Creating 3-Point Shots

Certainly, you have to develop shooters throughout the year and motivate players to spend the time in the gym, but here’s a list of concepts to help create more 3-point shots and hopefully, more 3-point basket game-changers:

1.  Push the Ball, Move the Ball – By teaching your team to transition to offense quickly and to sprint the floor, you can exploit slow defenders and poor identification of shooters.  When the defense has two or more defenders back, we encourage our players to run to the 3-point line and find the open man, often times that’s for a three.  We teach quick reversals, skips, and quick screens.  A Transition Ladder drill consisting on 3 on 2, 4 on 3, and 5 on 4 is a great way to teach teams to find the open shooter.

2.  Draw & Kick  – Create 3-point attempts by teaching players to attack the rim and to constantly have an attitude of making more than one defender guard the player with the ball.  By drawing help defenders into the post, to help on drives, or to rotate and switch, teams can create quality 3-point shots.

3.  Baseline Drift – We teach early on in our practices that whenever our players drive baseline to the basket they can trust that their teammates will rotate to what we call drift positions.  If a driver cannot get to the rim, he knows there will be a shooter in the corner, a post in the paint, and open shooters at the top.  This confidence allows them to step over the baseline to throw a drift pass to the corner for a quality shot or reversal to a high shooter.

4.  Dribble Hand-Off – The DHO is an effective way to put pressure to communicate on defenders.  By teaching players to screen and separate, they can find open shots if the defense improperly switches or steps off of the hand-off.  We build DHO into a variety of sets and within our motion patterns, as well as focusing on execution in position and shooting drills.

5.  Rebound Kick Out – Some of the best 3-point opportunities come after rebound battles and loose ball scrums.  If a player does not have a direct rebound put-back, we teach spacing, kick the ball out and reverse it if necessary, but hunt the 3!  A great tool for teaching offensive rebounding is to use a Rebounder Bubble for continuous rebound action.

6.  Misdirection – There is a vast array of set plays and calls designed to create 3-Point shots.  One overlooked method is just simply misdirection.  Confuse an aggressive, ball-handling defense by taking the ball one direction toward one action, but trail or screen for a shooter behind the ball.

7.  Hide the Shooter – A similar aspect of many set plays, is to hide a good shooter by using him to set a threatening screen that the defense must respect and then popping him out or giving him a secondary screen.

The point is, there our lots of ways to Pursue 3-point shots.  Even teams that are not blessed with great shooters, can find ways to create good 3-point opportunities!  Click on Creating 3-Point Shots for related diagrams.

LIFE    What do you Pursue?

What about in your life?  What game-changers do you pursue?  Do you have a plan or do you just wait for them to happen?  Good coaches have a plan to create opportunities for their team.  For the important things in life, you have to have a plan, practice the plan, and pursue it.

For me the game-changer to pursue has been a strong marriage.  Kara waited four years for me to pursue our marriage, even though people told her she was crazy to wait around for me!  We fell in love quickly after we began to date, but fortunately, we both realized that there were a lot of steps for us to walk through to get our marriage off to a strong start, like me growing up a bit and working through the effects of my parents’ divorce when I was an teenager.  From the day we planned on marriage, we have worked diligently to keep our marriage strong and practice techniques like a daily talk-time, sharing financial planning duties, worshiping together, and making each other laugh.  And just like a basketball team, we have to plan it, practice it, and pursue it on a daily basis.

FAITH    Pursue God’s Wisdom

Through God’s grace I am already assured of my future when this life ends, but what about while I’m living in this world?  The first three chapters of Proverbs encourage us to search & pursue wisdom and knowledge, which only come from God’s word – not to save us – since Jesus already did that, but to allow us to live securely and free from fear (Prov. 1:33).

33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

That’s a game-changer isn’t it?  With all of the challenges in this world, wouldn’t be nice to live without fear.  So, why not pursue wisdom as if you’re searching for hidden treasure (Prov. 2:4-5)?

and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.

Why not pursue wisdom like we pursue 3-pointers on the court?  Develop techniques like daily devotions in scripture and spontaneous prayer and practice, practice, practice!

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