Some basic notes we’ve prepared on how to attack a zone.

Zone attack to me is so much more about how you play than what you run. It’s really about what you emphasize against a zone.

When you teach zone attack, try either starting the offense in a stagnant 1-3-1 alignment with no movement, so the kids get used to playing against a zone and not running an offense, or start by running your man offense against it. Don’t put in your zone offense until you teach them how to play against a zone.



  • Why are they playing zone?
    • Slow you down
    • Keep you out of the paint/Stop penetration
      • Lack of size – swarm the post
    • Force you to shoot 3’s
    • Keep you from running your offense
      • Change your rhythm
    • They can’t guard you


  • Zone Attack = What you emphasize, not what you run
    • Ball Movement
      • Play both sides, make the zone shift
    • Inside/Out
      • Get paint touches, make the zone collapse
      • All inside touches – Basket, inside, opposite
    • Behind The Zone
      • Make the zone turn
    • Expose The Gaps
      • Ball movement, inside-out will create gaps in the zone
      • Cut hard and sit
      • Slow to quick
      • Cut to score – don’t drift!
    • “Both sides, inside-out, expose the gaps”


  • Screen the zone
    • Slow down to screen
    • Let your teammate show you who to screen
      • Slow to quick
  • Slip to expose the gaps
  • Offensive rebounding vs. zone
    • Defined, consistent approach
    • Go’s and Get Backs
      • How many?
      • Spots
  • What Zones want from you:
    • Walk the ball up
    • Stand
    • Ball sticks
    • Drift and slide
    • Play on the perimeter
    • Shoot a lot of 3s
    • Play one side of the floor

Teach them how to play against zone, not what to run against it

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