With over 30 years of coaching experience Dave Titmuss gives us some areas to think about when developing your offense.


Southern Area Basketball Conference 2006

Clinician: Coach Dave Titmuss

Coach T has been coaching nearly 30 years and is a successful International and Club career Head Coach in the British Pro-League and EBL divisions. He is the former Head Coach of the England Senior Men’s Team and has had two spells leading the Junior Men. He has studied the game in the ‘States and in Europe. He currently coaches Reading Rockets Senior Men in EBL Division One and led them to the National Championship Play-offs Title this year (06). He is employed as the Performance Director/Head Coach of the British Paralympic Team’s World Class Performance Programme, and recently led Great Britain to the Paralympic World Cup Gold Medal. This summer he Head Coached the GB Team (running game) at the World University Games in Izmir, Turkey.

Serious considerations put together by Coach Titmuss. They are done in note form and were presented to coaches following Coach Titmuss’s presentation at the Southern Coaches Conference organised and administrated by Bev Guymon

Some things to think about when developing your offense


Offence is five people working together to get a shot they can make. Move players to create high percentage and rhythm shots. Offence is not an equal opportunity proposition unless you have the personnel. A coach’s offensive system choices range on a continuum from strict pattern, to a rules-based system , to freelance. The more rules you put in the nearer you move to a pattern, the fewer rules the more you move towards freelance. Teach a style that’s appropriate for your group.

1)      How your team handles the moment of conversion from defence to offence and offence to defence will have a greater impact on the result than maybe any other aspect. Conversion to offence – quick break, post –up, trail/reversal, penetration to dish/post-up, to attack against the fully recovered defence. Conversion to defence – make the ball change direction, decide v particular opponent whether to guard from paint outwards or three-point arc inwards, ‘drop two’ to cover their break, work with posts on initial delay and getting back, challenged jump-shot is better outcome than even a pressured lay-up!

2)      Teach players to look and see so you can get the ball to the play. This might be the single most important offensive skill to stress and develop. When one guy has the ball he must actively see all of his teammates and be able to anticipate where the ball should go. ‘Tunnel vision’ and passing too quickly are usually the enemies of productive offence.

3)      Add screening to passing and purposeful movement and your offence will be tough to guard no matter what type of defensive coverage you are playing against. Setting and using screens is under-coached – flair, curl, back-cut, pop-up. Screens at the point of the ball (pick and roll, pick and slip).

4)      Teach and practice/overload individual and co-operative offensive fundamentals – teach the guy in the red vest NOT to pass to someone in a red vest but away from the guys in the white vests, in other words teach players to look and see the defence; ball-handling to reduce turnovers; use of the dribble; footwork/moving without the ball to create advantage. (e.g., getting open at wing, posting etc)., shot variety.

5)      In games you must know what you are attacking – pure zone, man-to-man, combination, stunt defences, etc., and how these defences are being played.

6)      You should teach players to recognise the importance of spacing and to co-ordinate the timing of their movements with each other (‘be half a second late on offence and half a second early on defence’!).

7)      Against any given opponent it is important to control the tempo of the game.

8)      Develop your offensive rebounders – their ‘value’ is greater than just the possession/put backs that they give you. The great rebounders anticipate the shot and get position first. Teach a technique (step and spin) to rebound from the foul shot.

9)      Think about how you can exploit mismatches – quickness v size (quick player v big player on the baseline v a zone for example); big v small on the perimeter and in the post; v the switch; AND affect the opponents offence by what you do on offence – take point guard into the post; bring a big to the perimeter as a screener or a passer; make their ‘star’ work hard on ‘D’ etc.

10)  Out-of-bound’s – the ball and players are precisely placed so, read the defensive reaction to movement and take advantage with a set play.

11)      Out-of-bound’s – the ball and players are precisely placed so, read the defensive reaction to movement and take advantage with a set play.