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3 Drills for the 'Tagging Up' System

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

Like many coaches I have plans to implement the 'Tagging Up' offensive rebounding system. In this system we are going to buck the current trend of sending everyone back on defense, and place a high emphasis on attacking the offensive glass. Of course we also want to place our players in a position to 'Tag Up' or 'Match Up' with a player immediately as to not negatively affect our transition defense. This is a method that I have studied in depth this offseason and am very excited to introduce to our players this winter. If you are interested in our 'Offensive Rebounding Study' and details about the system please read my blog post from earlier this Spring.

In this blog post I wanted to share three practice drill ideas that I plan on using next season to emphasize this concept. In each of the drills I am hoping to drive home two basic goals; 1) The techniques of 'Getting to the High Side' & 'Pinning our Man' and 2) 'Tagging up' with a man immediately. By placing emphasis on these two aspects I am hoping to both improve our offensive rebounding and reduce our opponents transition opportunities.

1/1 Technique

In the 1/1 Technique Drill we would be trying to get players to develop good Offensive Rebounding habits from typical spots on the floor. Given that we run a 4 Out, 1 In offense; rebounding from the Drop Spot, Corner, Slot & High Post become the most typical areas in which we would start a crash. In this drill the defense passes the ball to the coach and then has to attempt to box out the offensive player.

One organizational note that I thought might help those programs that have assistant coaches is to have a group of 'forwards' that might go down one end of the floor and work from the drop spot and the high post. This way another coach could work with guards and rep the more common corner and slot starting points.

Teaching Points:

A) Harp on Players fighting to "50/50" and doing it on the 'High Side' not the Baseline.

B) Players crashing from the Slots need to 'Pin' their Defenders.

3/3 Closeouts

The 3/3 Closeouts drill would present a 'Closeout' scenario where the offense would get a shot to start the repetition. On the shot this drill would present the offense with a rebounding opportunity from the corner and the slot. Once again the teaching points from above would apply:

Teaching Points: A) Harp on Players fighting to "50/50" and doing it on the 'High Side' not the Baseline. B) Players crashing from the Slots need to 'Pin' their Defedeners.

The expectation in this drill would be that if the A) Offense Rebounded: they try to score and if B) Defense Rebounded: they play it live down the other end.

4/4 Movement Scripts

The 4/4 Movement Scripts Drill is a way in which to get a more realistic offensive rebounding repetition. In this drill we would give the offense a scripted movement to conduct before having a coach randomly blowing his whistle. On his whistle:

1. The Ball is Passed to the Coach for a Shot.

2. The Offense Crashes.

3. Live Play Ensues employing the 'Tagging Up' concept.

All of the teaching points discussed in the post so far would apply to this drill as well. Whether crashing from the Corner, Slot, or anywhere in between we would place high priority on getting to 50/50 on the High Side, Tipping the Ball Out, and Pinning our man in the paint.

Recommended Resources:

Aaron's Ferne's 'Tagging Up System -

Three Great Podcast Suggestions -

Concluding Thoughts

This Offensive Rebounding philosophy was something that attracted my attention because it presented me with a problem: A) Do what you've always done or B) Dig into the Data and challenge it. After charting our 'Missed Shot Possession' and examining the numbers I believe that if we can implement this system we will gain a statistical edge we have not done previously. I would love to hear feedback on the blog post and perhaps other drills that coaches are doing as well.

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