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In the latest edition of All-Access, we take you back to Knoxville, Tennessee for a look inside a University of Tennessee women’s basketball practice. Watch as head coach Pat Summitt – who has more than 950 career wins and eight NCAA titles to her credit – leads the Vols through a typical practice session.
To begin, Summitt leads her squad through a variety of drills. Full court transition drills, inbound plays, 5-on-4 drills, and offensive sets are all covered.
This behind-the-scenes look gives coaches, parents, and players a glimpse inside one of the nation’s most dominant basketball programs. You’ll also get a chance to see how practices are organized and conducted at the Division I level. See what kind of drills, techniques, concepts and overall tips you can pick up and immediately begin implementing with your own team.
Watch the Vols in action as the team works on full-court transition drills. Players start in a circle going around and around continuously (with the circle getting wider each second) until the coach throws a ball into play. The players immediately move into their 5-on-5 loose ball transition offense/defense.
Next, players cool down with a free-throw session before working on a number of inbound plays from under the basket, first against a ghost defense and then 5-on-5.
Here, the team works on defensive tactics against offensive ball movement around the perimeter. Players are preventing middle penetration, staying low, blocking out, communicating, and working on help defense.
From here, the squad transitions into half-court 5-on-5 defense, which includes blocking out and then transitioning to offense down on the other end of the floor. It’s continuous play back and forth and points are tallied for each respective unit.
Next, the team works on its offensive sets against a ghost defense. Notice that players are always crashing to the basket on a shot and at least one outlet person is getting back on defense to prevent quick fast breaks off the shot.
Also, pick and rolls are involved, plus a play called “Spin.” The team then moves into 5-on-5 action while working on those specific plays. Summitt eventually goes step-by-step through one play and reminds players about spacing, techniques, and more.
Notice the quick pace of practices as players are always hustling, communicating, and moving fast. Also, drills are always timed. All in all, each practice session is quite methodical and each player knows her role.