I usually focus on the positives and what good teams and players look like but once in a while you need to show what you shouldn't do, as a teaching guide. I watched some Ivy League action tonight between NCAA bound Cornell against Penn.

The basketball wasn't particularly good but both teams played hard, which is about all you can ask for from your players. In this sequence from the first half, Penn shows you how you don't want to run a 3v1 fast break,

Sometimes, these things seem obvious to you and me, but sometimes for players you need to spell it out for them. So, what went wrong here? Couple of things,

- You must run wide. We always teach our players to go out wide, this increases the angle of attack and increases the space in which the lone defender must cover.
- Make as few dribbles and passes as possible. Everytime you dribble or pass, you waste precious time. You want to make a pass, take 1 dribble while running, force the defender to come out to defend you, then make the return pass (or just take it up yourself).

From this screenshot, this is what the Penn players should've done,

Excessive passing, excessive dribbling, they are all fast break killers. I've always liked the philosophy of 'no wasted motion'. Always move with a purpose, don't waste time on motions (passing, dribbling, running) that don't have a singular purpose.

Your team won't be a good fast break team unless your players practice it. For a brand new video that might be worth a good look check out Joe Mihalich's DVD on Practice Drills for the Fast Break. Joe Mihalich is the head coach at Niagara University. Be sure to head over to the X's and O's Basketball Forum to discuss this and more of your favorite basketball topics.