I’ve seen the “Pick and Roll” taught in so many different ways by different people, some good and some bad. The way I like to teach these offense basketball plays is to get people moving, get them involved, and isn’t too strict.

There’s no point forcing the pick and roll if the guard cheats for example, so I tell my players to take the shot or the drive if it’s there.

You only need four players for this basketball drill, but you can use as many as you want and it’s better to have at least three people in each line to keep the drill going. The players can also shout encouragement or taunt each other!

It’s a 2v2 half-court exercise, with the two defensive players starting one side and the two offense on the other, arranged in a box. Line up the non participating players behind each line. The basketball starts with defense player 2. He passes to defense 1, who makes a long chest pass to offense player 2 who then finishes up by passing to offense player 1. As soon as offense 1 catches the ball, he can play. As soon as the ball leaves the hands of the defensive players, they must run across court to meet their respective matchup. As in a game, during half-court offense the ball gets reversed quickly to the opposite side of the half-court, and so this trails both the offensive and defensive players to react to this – how to close down on a player, and how to react to an approaching defender.

The emphasis is on offense player 2 setting a pick for his team mate, and then rolling to the basket. You should remind your players to keep dribbling, and NEVER to pick up the ball unless there is a clear pass. Too many guards coming off a pick take one or two dribbles and then pick up the ball looking for the pass. This is a godsend for the defense who will trap and smother the player. The dribble should be kept alive and another pick set.  Also, I have often seen that when very structured drills aiming to perfect one thing are repeated several times. If the offense does the same thing over and over, you learn to react – it’s human nature. So, to prevent this, the guards should look to read the defense every time. If his man is moving towards the screener, preparing to fight through, he should head + shoulder fake or jab step towards the screener and then drive the baseline to the basket. Also, if the defense is slipping behind the screener, the guard should look to pop back and take a shot. There are so many variations on the pick and roll, all of which can be incorporated into this drill.

Once a basket is scored, or the ball is turned over, the ball is passed to the corner, and the 4 players who have just taken part in the drill move clockwise to the next line. The drill starts again with the next four players.

The point must be made that this is not necessarily a new way to teach the pick and roll, rather it is how to quickly set a pick and react to the defense. Because the offensive guard catches the ball in the corner, and has defenders rushing towards him, this is how to teach players to avoid being trapped in the corner with the use of a quick pick and roll.