In this behind-the-scenes session, we visit Williamstown, Massachusetts for a Williams College men’s basketball practice. Watch as head coach Mike Maker leads his squad through a series of game-like ball handling and shooting drills, including “Fast Stop Fast” and “Alleys.” Take this opportunity to pick up some new offensive drills for your upcoming basketball practices this season.
Fast Stop Fast
According to Coach Maker, it’s critical to work on this opening drill in order to be a good ball handling team — especially since (at the time of filming) the team has three guards out of the lineup with injuries. The team picked up this drill from Chris Mooney at the University of Richmond.
For each player in the drill, the key is to change speeds in the backcourt, going fast, stopping, and then going fast again. Look to make a simple move when you crossover/slow down. Down the length of the court, players (one at a time) will make a series of three moves before making one final move against a coach waiting at the opposite foul line. After that final move, players will then take it in strong for a layup. The next player in line goes when the first player gets to half court.
Tip: Remember to land on two feet on the layups. Also, while waiting in line, work on your stationary ball handling. It can be a combination of anything really. Just keep active and working on your skills.
*Note early on that players are not going hard enough or fast enough through the drill. It’s essential that you go at game speed at all times. Meanwhile, don’t get yourself into trap areas (e.g. the sideline). Use your imagination and make this drill as game-like as possible.
Players start at the top of the key and will go one at a time. Players will dribble drive and make a strong move to the basket for a layup with a coach/defender in the paint initiating some contact. It’s a very realistic drill that simulates players driving to the hoop and making contact along the way. The series begins with straight line drives going to the right side of the rim.
Tip: Since the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, make sure players are not “banana-ing” when driving to the hoop.
Players should then switch to left-side layups now. Notice that they are using a dominant hand finish though. Coach Maker firmly believes in shooting layups with the dominant hand unless someone proves they are very proficient using their off hand. It may be a new concept, but it’s works well for the program and the players learn to adapt.
Finally, the series wraps up with drives from the wing area or slot. Players start on the left wing, drive into the lane, and then finish on the right side with a layup.
Tip: Coach Maker believes the three most important shots in basketball are the layup, free throw, and making 6 out of 10 baskets unguarded. Maker’s squad has adopted this philosophy. For the program, this third shot would be an open three-pointer.
In this week’s edition of All Access, we take a trip to Dallas, Texas for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at an SMU men’s basketball practice. Follow along as Hall of Fame basketball coach Larry Brown leads his team through the ‘Iverson Drill’ before moving into various sideline out-of-bounds plays.
The Iverson Drill
In this individual shooting/scoring drill, players will start along the wing and then, one at a time, sprint hard across the top of the key and just beyond a cone set up on the floor. At this point, players will use proper footwork to turn and face the passer (at the top of the key) and then receive the pass. From here, players will crossover or rip it across, make a strong move at the basket, and then finish with a layup. After working both sides of the floor with layups, players will eventually get into a series of pull-up jumpers.
Coaching Points: Players must make a strong crossover. Put the ball down quick and make two bounces only before exploding to the rim. Get the weight on your pivot foot.
Sideline Out of Bounds into Offensive Sets
In this next segment, players work on various sideline out of bounds plays that transition right into the team’s offensive sets.
The blue team has possession. Player 3 takes it out of bounds. Player 1 is on the nearside low block while player 5 is on the near elbow. Player 4 is on the farside elbow and player 2 is in the farside corner.
Watch as Coach Brown ensures that the players know their roles in the set (even taking one player aside to go over specifics). Meanwhile, this particular out of bounds play involves backdoors, post ups, and many other options. Once the offense takes control of the ball in the half-court set, the unit goes into a “Fist” set play directly from there.
As far as the defense, all five players are in a three-quarters denial mode and staying on their man tough. Once the offense gets possession and runs through a first play, the action going 5-on-5 from there (whether a miss or make).
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Basketball Practice with Larry Brown.” To check out more All Access videos, including new releases from Scott Drew and Greg McDermott, click here.
In this behind-the-scenes look, we visit Jersey City, New Jersey for a glimpse inside a recent St Anthony’s High School basketball practice. Follow along as Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley leads his squad though a series of inbound plays and figure eight drills that are crucial parts of the team’s overall practice plan.
Out of Bounds Plays
Coach Hurley starts the action off by having the team run through three different out of bounds plays. Notice that two groups of players work on the plays simultaneously but on different ends of the gym. On the first call, the teams are running play No. 1 (“Michigan”) from underneath the basket before getting into No. 2 “Blazers” and then No. 3 “Kentucky.”
First up is Michigan, which features a pair of screens for a shooter and then a screen the screener situation. When the ball gets inbounded, a coach immediately makes a call and then the unit runs a set play from there.
Coaching Reminders: Jump stop on the screens. Get the knees bent. Put your hand on the hip of the player you are going by. There should be no room for the defense to get through.
Figure 8 Drill
The Figure 8 drill features one group of three players going back and forth down the court for one minute, resulting in a layup each time down the floor. The goal is to see how many layups these players can make in the timeframe. This is a terrific drill that works on conditioning, fundamentals, and bringing out some competitiveness in each practice.
Coaching Reminders: Every pass should be a two-handed chest pass. Every layup should be with just one leg. Remember, you don’t want to slow up and have people catch you from behind.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Basketball Practice with Bob Hurley.” To check out the entire All Access lineup, including new videos by Scott Drew and Larry Brown, click here.
In this week’s edition of All-Access, we return to Lawrence, Kansas for a behind-the-scenes look at a Kansas men’s basketball practice. Head coach Bill Self leads his squad through defensive stations, which includes back/fade screens, fronting the cutter, and down screens. Follow along with Coach Self and the Jayhawks and look for ways that you can implement these drills with your own squad this season.
First the team breaks down to three baskets for three different defensive stations. Essentially, each station breaks down the shell drill, which the squad eventually gets into later in practice.
Notes: Players must go full speed at all times. Also, every time that a player closes out, it’s critical to keep the hands high.
The action starts with the down screen station. Players go 2-on-2 with a separate passer and work on proper down screens (both offensively and defensively). Then the action moves into fronting the cutter, where in a 1-on-1 situation, the bigs must fight for positioning down low. Finally, we switch to back/fade screens at the third basket.
Watch below as the Jayhawks rotate through the drills and seamlessly transition to a different defensive technique. When implementing this drill on your home court, always look to switch sides of the floor in each rotation as well.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Kansas Basketball Practice with Bill Self.” Check out our entire collection of All Access videos by clicking here.
In this behind-the-scenes look, we visit Cincinnati, Ohio for a glimpse inside a recent Xavier University men’s basketball practice. Follow along as head coach Chris Mack leads his squad though a competitive team full-court transition drill called “War Rebounding.”
War Rebounding – Overview
For this drill, we’ll go 4 on 4. All four guys on offense must start beyond the three-point line. Meanwhile, all four defenders must be inside the lane with both feet.
To initiate the drill, the coach shoots the ball. If you’re an offensive rebounder, you can crash the boards. If you get the rebound, play it out at that basket. If the offensive team can convert quickly and easily, do it. Otherwise, set things up, get spacing, and look for a good shot.
However, if the shot goes up and the defense gets the rebound, they are allowed to push the ball down court. From here, play it out until there is a score, turnover, change of possession. If the (new) offense gets the offensive rebound and scores, stay right there.
Scoring: Keep track of scoring throughout for both teams. If you get an offensive rebound, it’s + 2. A three-pointer is + 3, a two-pointer is +2, and if you get fouled, it’s +1.
Overall Drill Goals: The entire goal for the defense is to not allow the offensive guy anywhere near the paint. If you’re an offensive rebounder, do what you have to do to get the offensive rebound.
Now watch as Xavier goes 4 on 4 at full speed. Notice that the team changes up the lineups after each down and back. Try to make your transitions as seamless as possible.
Coaching Tips: You must stay balanced to get the respect of the officials. Also, if you get the ball down low, especially after an offensive rebound, don’t put the ball back on the floor.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Xavier Basketball Practice with Chris Mack.” To check out the latest videos in our All-Access lineup, click here.