The Most Important Team Skill That Needs to be Taught

The last blog I posted on The Grind was, What is the most important individual offensive skill to teach?

If you haven’t had a chance to read it, do so before you read this blog.

Now that we know what the individual offensive skill is, let’s dive into a team offensive skill that I strongly believe needs to be a staple in team offense.

Before we get into what the most important team skill that needs to be taught is, player development coaches need to grasp the concept of what it takes to have a successful offense. Personally, I think the five major components to a GREAT team offense is: 

  1. Ball Movement 
  2. Player Movement 
  3. Spacing 
  4. Drive and Kick
  5. Screening 

If you don’t have ALL or at least three of these in your team offensive philosophy then your team will struggle offensively. As a skill development Coach, you have to be aware of these concepts. It’s what helps your player/client succeed in their program. Your drills, workouts and emphasis must incorporate these concepts. 

My question to the masses is, WHAT TEAM SKILL IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TO TEACH? I posed this question to the masses on our platform. Most answered with shooting. Although I agree shooting is very important, the most fundamental team concept, that is the foundation of everything else is SPACING!

If your team doesn’t have spacing, you don’t have anything. I don’t care whether you are running a post up, set play, ISO, or ball screen action, if you don’t have good spacing, you have nothing. 

For the coaches at the novice and grassroots coaches, spacing is defined as the following: 

1) All players are at least 15 feet away from each other. 

2) The offensive players are spread out enough that two or more defenders will be drawn to cutting, screening or driving offensive players. In other words, the spacing creates advantages for the offense. 

3) Spacing allows the offense to SEE their teammates. There is enough room to make an easier play. 


Think about this, you may be a screening or shooting kind of Coach, which is great, but that won’t work unless there is spacing through your offense.

There are other coaches that love to run the read and react or dribble drive offense theory, but if you don’t have spacing, you have chaos and confusion! 

Nothing works without spacing, your team offense HAS to have it! 

I encourage you to teach: 2 on 0, 3 on 0, 4 on 0, using cones, circle spots or painters tape on the floor for players to see the spots they need to go to. This works very well and is easy for players to remember. 

Another rule you can incorporate in your 2 on 2, or 3 on 3 games is the 2.0 rule! If a player receives the ball,  they have two seconds to make a play! In two seconds they have to drive, pass or shoot. They can’t hold the ball longer than that. 

WHY? The longer we hold the ball, the more time the defense has to help. So when the offense holds the ball, the defense can set and rest. The defense needs to be moving and closing out to the offense for the offense to have an advantage! 

To all the player development Coaches, keep spacing in your “tool box” and curriculum. It is the foundation for great offense. 

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