O.D.O. – A Transition Training Drill

fastbreak-running game

Offense-Defense-Offense ( O.D.O.) is a drill I used to work on our half court Set or Motion Offense while still keeping the principles of Fast Break, Early Offense, and Transition Defense involved.  It is actually an extension of Rebound and Run, discussed in an earlier blog article, but should only be used after a coach has installed at least the basics of a half court set or motion offense.  Otherwise, Rebound and Run will work just fine until an offense is in place.

This 5 on 5 Drill starts with one team running its half court set offense against the other team’s best-effort, half court defense.  An “out-of-bounds” turnover causes the drill to start over; otherwise, it proceeds as a regular controlled scrimmage.  The object of the drill is to play full effort, fundamentally correct basketball, with no turnovers, for three lengths of the court.  Thus, the team with the ball first will be on Offense, then transition to Defense, and then back again on Offense. (O.D.O.)

Assume Team A (numbers in Diagrams) has the ball first.  They will start by running  a half court offensive set or motion (Diagram 1), followed by transition to half court defense (Diagram 2), and finally, either a primary break or secondary break leading to a quick score, early offense and/or set offense (Diagram 3).  If Team A scores on both of its offensive possessions, they get to start the drill again on offense.  If not, Team B gets to begin the drill and try for two scores that will allow them to keep the ball.

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Team B (x’s in Diagrams) starts with half court defense first. They will try to stop Team A from scoring by forcing a turnover or missed shot and getting a rebound which leads to a fast break situation.  If Team A scores, Team B will run a secondary break which could lead to early offense and/or the set offense.  Their third trip will be transition defense back to the original end where Team B again tries to stop Team A from scoring.  The drill ends on the original starting half court end. If Team B stops Team A from scoring on at least one of their possessions, Team B will then be on offense to start the next drill cycle. (Diagram 4)

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Here are some things I wanted to see in the O.D.O. Drill:

A.  A sharply run set play or motion, with fundamentals emphasized.

B.  The defense using all principals we have taught & playing their best D.

C.  Eight players hitting the boards on every shot attempt.  (5 Defense/3 Offense)

D.  Transition Defense always full speed to mid court, then searching for man and ball, and adjusting from that point.

E.  Transition Offense having the three lane runners sprinting out hard.

F.  Point guard looking sideline, then middle, then cross court.

G.  The Early Offense checking inside first, then swinging it if possible.

H.  Point guard making sure his team gets into Early Offense and/or Set Offense when appropriate.

I.  Everyone at near Top Effort at all times. 

It is helpful to have an assistant who can watch the rebounding, another who can check on the defense, and maybe even a third one to help the offense.  But I coached many years by myself and found that I could pretty much watch all nine points listed above without too much trouble.

This was an 8-12 minute drill in my practices.  I tried not to do drills that took longer than 10 minutes and I liked breakdown, fundamental review drills that only lasted 3-5 minutes.  For me, the key was to keep it short, require great effort, and repeat the drills on a regular basis.  I would rather have a team scrimmage “full-out” for 10 minutes than have a 30 minute scrimmage with players in “cruise control” half of the time.  “Playing Hard” and “Transitioning Hard” are habits I wanted to instill in my players.

I often used O.D.O. right after the Rebound and Run Drill mentioned in an earlier article.  This gave us a 15-20 minute block of intense training on the speed game, first emphasizing rebounding, and later our half court offense. They were two drills I used almost every day in practice so that we maintained great transition on both Offense and Defense. If I noticed the players getting tired during the drill, (especially early in the season or later in league), I would say, “Let’s end on a good one now.” Then I stopped the drill as soon as a good offensive play happened.  Ending early on a good note is always great for the morale of the group. 

Key Teaching Points:

  1. Keep your drills short (5-10 minutes each) and ask for full effort. 

2. Run a simple Set Offense so you don’t spend too much time working on it. 

3. Work more on your Fast Break and Early Offense than the Set Offense because the first two will occur more often in your Speed Game.

4. A turnover out-of-bounds in O.D.O. gives the ball to the defensive team automatically for the restart. 

5. Suicides (Line Drills) are a waste of time for conditioning.  Put the effort into Fast Break Drills and Transition Drills that are game-like. 

6. Playing hard in blocks of 10 minute increments is more productive than 30 minutes of scrimmaging in “cruise control.” 

7. Make your Captains and/or Seniors responsible for the practice effort. 

8. Always try to end drills and practice on a good play – a high note.

9. Instead of scrimmaging, O.D.O. is a better way to prepare your team for game-like efforts.

If you would like to read more on my thoughts about Offensive and Defensive Transition, you can check out my book You Can Run With Anyone.  It’s available in ebook or paperback.  You can preview it or order below.





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