5-on-0 Has Its Benefits… to a Point

5-on-0 offense. It has its place on a coach’s practice plan. However, I’ve seen it overused to the point it might actually be hurting more than helping players.

I say this because 5-on-0 is exactly what it describes: 5 players on offense, yet 0 on defense. What basketball game have you ever watched that has this sort of scenario play out? Oh yeah, that would be never. This practice staple does not simulate in-game scenarios.

The game of basketball, just like any other sport or life in general is about making choices under duress. A team can run all the 5-on-0 in practice it might like and feel prepared for its next match-up. But, come game day, that stress the players feel come via the defensive pressure in their face mid-game, is the true barometer of whether the whole offensive system works, or otherwise.

Recently listening to a podcast hosted by Basketball Immersion Founder Chris Oliver, who is a massive proponent of Basketball Decision Training (BDT), served as a catalyst for this post. Oliver’s BDT philosophy is designed to put players in as many game-like situations as possible so that they are more prepared to handle the schemes his team might come up against and how to weather those potential storms.

His methodology would seem to lie in direct contrast to the use of 5-on-0, for extended periods of time, since it does not involve players having to make decisions or quickly process information (i.e. the defender’s foot position, closeout, etc.).

Let me know what you think. How often do you use 5-on-0 in your practices? Do you think it helps more than hurts?

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