In this week’s edition of All Access, we take you to Palo Alto, California for an exclusive look at a Stanford University women’s basketball practice. Head coach Tara VanDerveer leads her squad through a variety of shooting and passing drills during one of the first practices of the 2010-11 campaign.
First, VanDerveer’s squad runs through “Cut Passes and Driving” before moving into partner passing and shooting drills. The squad finishes off the session with an effective passing warm-up called “Showtime Passing.”
The Cardinal squad is currently 24-1 overall this season and ranked No. 2 in the country in both ESPN and AP polls.
The drill begins when one player flashes to the free throw line. This player immediately receives the ball from a wing player. Next, this player then makes a bounce pass to a cutting player (starting from up top) and hits a layup in stride (with a coach as the defensive presence).
Meanwhile, that flash player who dished it off then immediately catches a pass from a coach/teammate, dribbles down the lane and hits a pull-up jumper.
Tips: Switch sides to which you pass and cut. Guards must go full speed to the basket. After going through layups, switch to short pull-up jumpers. Look to make good passes and knock down your shots.
This drill can be conducted right down the middle of the court. Players work in pairs and should be set up about 15-20 feet away from each other.
Start with a bounce pass. Make a “T” with your hands. After catching the pass, players simply go through their shooting progression. No baskets are in play. Step in and take a nice jump shot. Every time the ball touches your hands, you should be looking at the basket.
Tips: Try to get a good rhythm going. Remember the fundamentals and deliver nice passes. Get your feet set and be ready to shoot. Eventually, switch things up to chest passes and then change partners.
Next, we’re shooting three-pointers at game tempo. There should be one rebounder and one shooter at each basket. Start with the shooter in the corner. The rebounder passes to a coach or teammate and they pass right to the shooter. After one minute, the players switch. Eventually, work your way around the perimeter.
Tips: Look to get a ton of reps with this drill. Players should always be stepping into their shot. Catch the ball looking to shoot. Push up and follow through and remember your footwork. Repetition is key in every shot you take.
Showtime Passing starts at the baseline. The first player up (Player 1) passes to a wing player (Player 2) and then immediately passes to Player 1 cutting up the floor. Player 1 delivers a pass to the next player (Player 3) in line at midcourt. Players replace each other and follow. The same passing technique continues now with two midcourt players. The passing moves all the way around the half-court area and ends with a layup on the left side.
Tips: Start the drill going to the left and then switch to the opposite side. Catch and pass the ball quickly. Players should always be moving and communicating.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Stanford Basketball Practice with Tara VanDerveer.” To check out more videos in our All Access lineup, head over to our basketball library.