In this week’s edition of All Access, we take you to Richmond, Virginia for an exclusive look at a University of Richmond men’s basketball practice. Watch as head coach Chris Mooney walks through several team warm-up drills for you and highlights overall strategies, general tips, goals, and player movements.
This behind-the-scenes glimpse comes from the first few days of practice during the 2009-2010 basketball season. Also, watch as the cameras go into the locker room where Mooney and his staff discuss practice plans and player adjustments for the opening days.
This warm-up is exactly how Richmond basketball starts practice every day — a series of fundamental drills that work on all player skills. The team begins with dribbling and five minutes is placed on the clock. Everyone gets a ball and dribbles as if they are a point guard, even if they are 6-9 forwards. Players imagine that a defender is on them and work on making good hard moves.
Coach Mooney and his staff really likes to vary speed and direction in all of their drills. The team emphasizes dribbling with the big guys because they’re out on the perimeter a lot in the offense. Dribbling shows up everywhere, even for post players, and it’s key that everyone is able to dribble.
The coaches also teach the players to dribble nice and high so the ball is in their hands for as long of a period as possible. The squad also talks about using the whole court; make a move and get somewhere. It’s not just beating a guy to a spot, but it’s also about using the whole court and setting up and making sure that the offensive players dictate what they’re going to do.
This warm-up usually sets the tone for practice. You get the chance to work on individual skills, but it also shows the kind of energy you will have during the course of practice.
Notice how quickly the team transitions between drills. There’s no gap. Next, the squad moves from the star drill to multi-option layups. According to Coach Mooney, it’s important to do many types of layups during practice — right handed, left handed, reverse, dunks, etc. The team focuses on not doing the same ones every time.
This first drill is a pass and cut drill. Players should be fast and make quick cuts to the basket. Notice how there are a lot of righty layups being shot on the left side, and reverse. Try and master every kind of layup there is – and do them as fast as possible.
Next, the Spiders move into dribble layups. Players catch the ball and imagine making a move in the open court. It should be a good hard move as players look to finish as close to the rim as possible. Be sure to finish in all kind of ways. Remember, in a game, you never know what kind of layups will be presented, so it’s better to master them all. Don’t slow down, fly in there. It’s key that you don’t have any misses.
Finally, the last set is a drive down the baseline for a layup. Players should lower the shoulder and look to hit all kinds of different layups from this angle.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Basketball Practice with Chris Mooney.” To check out more videos in our All Access lineup, head over to our basketball library.