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Mike Moran: Platooning & Practice Drills


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Mike Moran: Platooning & Practice Drills



Mike Moran: Platooning & Practice Drills

Discover the 'platoon' system and how it can be used to gain a strategic advantage!

  • Learn the nine advantages to utilizing the 'platoon' system as it pertains to substitution patterns
  • Observe how a practice's warm-up session can be tailored to multiple units executing differing strategies
  • See how to blitz and hedge ball screens to disturb the ball handler coming off of a ball screen


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with Mike Moran,
former John Carroll University Head Coach;
2017 Ohio Athletic Conference Coach of the Year - the sixth time he has won the award; 14x OAC Champions; over 450 wins

When a roster is loaded with equally skilled talent (ideal for high school or lower level colleges), advantages can be gained by utilizing the entire roster in a 5-in, 5-out 'platoon' system of substitutions. John Carroll University head coach Mike Moran has steadfastly 'platooned' for over 30 years. He's developed a system that not only maximizes the talent at his disposal, but also provides the opposition with tough decisions in terms of preparation efforts.

In a clinic setting, Coach Moran details the advantages to the system, while also demonstrating a mock-practice to illustrate how the planning stage can be tailored to feature multiple strategies.

Platooning Concept

Basketball historians will recognize Coach Moran as the true pioneer of this style of play. He details the thought process and advantages to his system, explaining them in a way that's digestible and easy to tinker with. He covers:

  • The trials and errors surrounding the creation of a rules-based substitution pattern.
  • The nine advantages gained by a substitution-by-platoon approach.
  • Practice preparation and how to get everyone involved on the same page.
  • How to manage and develop a coaching staff by assigning individual responsibilities that are aligned with the differing points of emphasis of each 5-player unit (1st team, 2nd team, 3rd team).

Tailoring a Practice Session

While confessing that the system is tailored more for the high school and lower college levels, Moran takes to the court in a clinical setting to quickly pace players through how a practice can be designed to feature five-player units and multiple strategies.

In all, 12 drills are on display to emphasize multiple points of emphasis, dependent upon the unit executing them. Teaching points include:

  • Using a practice warm-up session to reinforce strategies on a unit-by-unit basis.
  • Individual defensive points of emphasis pertaining to the opposition's personnel traits.
  • Multiple pick & roll defensive strategies to confound the opposition.
  • Managing/utilizing assistant coaches within shell drills to maximize coverage of the day's teaching points.
  • Varying full-court defensive pressure ideologies in order to provided multiple looks.
  • Increasing shooting accuracy via a full-court, 3-point shooting drill.

The guidance offered by Coach Moran is done with over 20 years of experience utilizing the platoon system. When everyone on your roster gets minutes, players are more invested in the team. They'll be sure to play harder, focus more in practice, and be more engaging teammates.

Produced at the Fall 2016 Cleveland (OH) clinic.

54 minutes. 2017.

See more products by: Mike Moran

See related products: Practice Planning and Game Preparation
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