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Get more out of practice time - teach defensive AND offensive with Shell Drill

By Bill Winfrey

The Shell drill has been around for years. I've always used it as a defensive drill... but there's a way to make it a valuable part of your team's offensive development as well. I'm sure others figured this out long ago, but the simple solution is to make the offensive motion within that drill ... to be the exact same motion as our go-to motion offense.

With all the offensive motion happening within the Shell drill... its such a waste to not utilize that as a useful team offense opportunity. If you do so, you'll gain an extra 20 - 30 min of practice time... and make things simpler for your players as well.

I see 2 options:

1) separate your current motion offense into progressive steps and use them to teach defense in the Shell drill

2) use the offense below that Im about to share

Shell Drill - 4 Out Motion Offense

This offense just a combination of different aspects of running a Shell drill motion ... and some Read and React principles sprinkled in. It has plenty of motion, fewer basket cuts than the Read & React, and is easy to add in advanced options (like ball picks, back picks, etc). It even can triple as a Secondary Break offense... more on that later.

In a nutshell... it's 4 out /1 in, where every time a player passes on the perimeter, he/she picks away... except when the ball goes to the wing, then it's a basket cut.

Written out in more detail, the rules and a few exceptions are...

top to wing pass.png


  • pass to wing = basket cut and fill (by the top player on ball side)

  • other passes = pick away

  • exception... wing to top pass (the wing has no one to pick away so he V-cuts and comes back to the same spot)

  • Catch within 22 feet ... (if you're guarded at arc, simply pick away)

2 sec max ... (if you're 1 pass away from the ball, and don't get it, pick away)

  • Think 'sharp change of direction' ... quick cuts, well timed


  • Roam in 6 spots … 3 on both ball and weak side

  • Short corner

  • mid lane (to low block)

  • Elbow

  • 80 / 20 Opposite side … stay on opposite side 80 % of time:

  • to open space for others on ball side

  • to be able to flash to ball side after reading what’s open, making flashing to the ball count

  • to be able to set weak screens

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