Purpose:

To teach screeners how to slip and ball handlers how to make the pocket pass.

Setup:

Players form two lines, one at the top of the arc with a ball, the other on the wing.

Player 2 steps towards Player 1 as if they’re setting a screen, then slips to the hoop

Execution:

  1. Player 2 sprints towards Player 1 as if to set a screen.
  2. Player 1 dribbles at the screen.
  3. Player 2 slips the screen and dives to the hoop instead of setting the pick.
  4. Player 1 makes either a bounce pass in the pocket or an overhead pass above the defense.

Coaching Tips:

  • This is a great set to use when the defense is loading up on the screen, using a hard hedge or switch screen defense. When the screener slips, it will catch the defense overcommitting and lead to an easy basket.
  • Emphasize the timing of the slip. The screener (Player 2) should initiate the slip action just before contact is made with the defender, catching the defense off guard.
  • Teach the ball handler (Player 1) to read the defense. They should recognize when the defense is set to hedge or switch, making it the perfect moment for the slip screen.
  • Focus on the precision of the pass. The pocket pass should be low and away from the defense, while the overhead pass should be high enough to clear outstretched hands.
  • Encourage communication between the screener and the ball handler. A quick call or signal can ensure they are in sync for the slip screen to be effective.
  • Practice different scenarios. Have defenders react differently (switch, hedge, or trap) so players can adapt to various defensive strategies.

Tips for Younger Athletes:

  • Start with the basics of setting a proper screen before introducing the concept of slipping the screen.
  • Use drills that emphasize footwork for both the screener and the ball handler, focusing on agility and balance.
  • Reinforce the importance of keeping the head up and eyes on the ball and teammates, which is crucial for making effective plays.

Tips for Older Athletes:

  • Integrate decision-making exercises. Have players read the defense and decide whether to slip the screen or set it solidly.
  • Increase the complexity by adding a rolling action for the screener after the slip for more dynamic play.
  • Work on refining the speed and accuracy of pocket passes in high-pressure situations, simulating game-like conditions.