Drill: Attacking Off of the Catch

Curry, LeBron, Durant, and Wade, all have a couple things in common. First: they are all recognizable by only one name, and second: they are all elite scorers. But what has made them so effective? Part of it has to do with their ability to attack quickly off of the catch.

Attacking off of the catch might seem like a rudimentary skill that will develop over time through game situations, but as you’ll see below even something as simple as the angle of your feet on the catch can make all the difference.

Learning to attack off of the catch will open up a number of options for players, it will increase ball movement, spacing, pace, and flow – and is just plain more FUN. Becoming comfortable with this skill allows young athletes to be more effective and confident with the basketball, and to unlock new skills they didn’t know they had!

Look at some of the great offensive teams in the NBA (like the Warriors, Spurs, Cavaliers, and Raptors) and how they opt for a more fluid version of basketball with cutting and ball movement (instead of sets and one-on-one). These teams thrive on attacking off of the catch as it allows the ball to remain in constant motion.

As a result, being able to attack off of the catch is becoming increasingly important for young athletes to learn, and will give your team another new element of competition.

Take a look at this fun and engaging drill from one of our favourite coaches, Coach Nick from BBALLBREAKDOWN to explain how to attack off of the catch. (Theory begins at 0:47, a drill explanation at 1:38, and  the drill in action at 3:24.)

Attacking off the Catch

DESCRIPTION Players line up along the baseline, starting at the edge of the key, with a coach at the top of the 3-point arc (as a passer). Players take turns blasting from the baseline to the wing. The coach passes the ball, and catch in a jump stop (allowing either foot to be the pivot foot). Players then attack the hoop (practicing using both pivot feet) to finish a lay-up. This drill can be performed anywhere within the 3-point arch.
SKILL FOCUS Cutting, Receiving, Footwork, Lay-Ups
AGE (STAGE) 10+ (Learn-to-Train)
PLAYERS 3+ (per group)
EQUIPMENT 1 basketball (per group)
VARIATION:
ADD A DEFENDER
Add a defender to challenge the offensive player. To start, have the defensive player freeze as the ball is caught, and let the offensive player go by. Once players are comfortable beating a defender off of the catch, have the defender play defense for two steps/dribbles before they freeze.

We love footwork drills just like this one, that build in other elements like passing or lay-ups. If you have any favorites, share them in the comments below!

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