Up-Tempo Offense: Bob Knight’s Favorite Drills to Build Team Toughness

In our latest team development feature, Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Knight guides you through a pair of up-tempo drills that are vital towards building mental toughness. Coach Knight has incorporated these same exact drills with his programs throughout his career, from Indiana through Texas Tech.

11-Man Break

This highly-engaging rapid-fire drill starts with two defensive players in the paint, one high and one low. Meanwhile, two more defensive guys will set up on the opposite end of the court in the paint, one high and one low as well. Next, three offensive guys begin at midcourt attacking one end of the floor and the middle player has the ball. Finally, get one guy at each hash mark along the sides of the sideline (on both ends) for a total of four players.

“11-Man Break” begins with the 3-on-2 situation at one end. All five guys should go for the rebound. Whoever gets the rebound then joins up with the two nearest sideline hash mark guys to form a three-person unit. From here, they go 3-on-2 in the other direction. The drill continues like this back and forth for a set period of time.

2 Ball Shooting

“2 Ball Shooting” is a great drill you can implement across the lane, foul line, across the circle, on either side of the hoop, or wherever you’d like really. In other words, you can move the shooter wherever you want them to shoot on that particular day of practice. If you have a gym with six baskets, you can get 12 guys working at one time. When you say, “Change”, the players should switch up and immediately get back into it. 2 Ball Shooting is a tremendous drill for shooting stamina and for getting tougher even if you’re tired.

One player should be the rebounder the entire time while working with the shooter (and two basketballs). Be sure to shoot from different spots on the floor. You can even implement a fake before each shot. The shooter should always be on the move. Look to go for one minute before switching up.

Coaching Tips: Step into each shot. Always get set and don’t shoot out of balance.

The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Bob Knight: Practice Planning and Drills for Mental Toughness.” To check out more team drills in our Bob Knight catalog, click here.

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