In the latest edition of All Access, we head south to sunny Florida for a practice session with Montverde Academy head coach Kevin Boyle. Follow along as the former Naismith National Coach of the Year leads his squad through a variety of breakdown drills focused on man-to-man defense.
Zigzags & Catch up
Last month, we watched UConn women’s head coach Geno Auriemma take his team through a similar zigzag drill. This time, Coach Boyle puts a little wrinkle on the drill as players go with no basketball.
In this example, players must work on getting their head on the ball so they can turn the ball handler. It’s imperative that defenders get in front of the offensive player. It’s really the key to slowing down a team’s fast break.
So why no ball? Well, according to Coach Boyle, you find out that at this level, most players don’t handle the ball well enough yet to make this drill valuable for the defense.
Next, with “Catch Up”, the drill plays out similar to before, except this time defenders must run to a spot about three feet ahead and then beat the offensive guy to that spot.
Getting Under or Over the Screen
Next, get two players on each side of the full court to act as screeners. Defenders must be away of the screen coming their way and get either under or over it. Be sure to make this game speed. Don’t just go through the motions. As for the offensive player, really try to run the defender into the screen. This is good practice for realistic situations in games.
Tracing a Dead Ball
Finally, get two lines set up. Players will go 1-on-1. The offensive player will dribble and then get stuck somewhere on the court. The defender must play up their face and tough defense. The offensive player works on being strong with the ball.
Next, make the drill 2-on-2 and have the new defender deny a second offensive player. The dribbler will run into trouble on the fast break while his teammate works to get open. The deny defender will do everything he can to prevent the pass from happening. Offensive players should look to go backdoor in these situations.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”All Access Basketball Practice with Kevin Boyle.” To browse more videos in our extensive All Access lineup, simply head over to our basketball library.
In this behind-the-scenes look, we travel to Storrs, Connecticut for a glimpse inside a University of Connecticut women’s basketball practice. Follow along as head coach Geno Auriemma leads his squad though a number of team drills, including backdoor cuts and defensive zig zags.
With backdoor cuts, it’s essential to time these so we catch the ball and then throw a backdoor cut at the same time. For this particular drill, ball handlers should look to cross half court opposite of where we want to set up the offense, crossover, and then make our play before we reaching the other dotted line.
It only works if all three people work together effectively, so stay wide and spread the floor more. The wider you are, the better you will be. If you get wide, you will know immediately if you are being overplayed (especially if your opponent comes out beyond the three-point line).
To recap, one player dribbles up from half court, crosses over, and passes to a flashing player at the elbow. This player then immediately dishes off to a cutting wing player toward the hoop for a layup. There is also the option to dish back to the original ball handler for a layup or jumper.
Tips: Ball handlers must always follow their first pass. Also, make that cut so you can get the ball back for a shot or layup. Make the cut every time regardless of what your teammate ends up doing.
For this drill, players will go 1-on-1 down the court in zig zags. While the offense works on their ball handling, the defense must work on defensive slides and strong transition play. Do not just go through the motions. Don’t make this drill pointless with predictable movements. There is no point to it unless you do it exactly as you would in a game.
The defensive player should be taking the offensive player where they want without touching. To help, put your hands behind your back and use your feet to get where you need to go. Get your head right on the opposing player’s elbow. When you get to the lane, use your feet in order to turn the offense. Dictate where you want them to go.
Tips: Stay down low and always move your feet. Get your hands back. The offense should use this opportunity to work on ball handling. Don’t go so fast that you lose control. Stay balanced.
In the latest edition of All-Access, we return to Hyattsville, Maryland for a behind-the-scenes look at a DeMatha Catholic High School boys’ basketball practice. Follow along as team strength and conditioning coach Alan Stein leads the players through a number of vital warm-up drills before heading into the gym for a weight training circuit.
Before getting into the bulk of their basketball practice, Coach Stein starts the players with a warm-up designed to loosen up muscles and get the body ready for physical activity.
The first warm-up is called Full Court X, which involves two separate lines of players starting on the baseline (in opposite corners) and then jogging to half court on a diagonal (thus making an X). Later, a defensive slide is implemented as players slide across the baseline and then run the length of the court at 50 percent. On the way back, players will backpedal with their hands held high in the air.
Next, the team moves into lunges. Players spread out across the court and do five reps with each leg. After forward lunges, players switch to lateral lunges before finishing off with diagonal lunges, which is a great stretch to loosen up the groin.
Tips: Take big steps. Keep your foot flat. Keep your torso upright.
Weight Room Circuit
On one end of the gym, players immediately get into their elevator routine, which consists of a flat bench press, incline, and then steep incline. “On every set you do, make it challenging to get to 10 reps,” Coach Stein says.
Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the gym, players put sandbags on their shoulders and do one set of 10 lateral lunges on one side, 10 step-ups on each side, and then use smaller sandbags for a stiff leg dead lift.
By the end, everyone will do six sets of upper body workouts and six sets of lower body workouts. In terms of timing, players look to hit 12 minutes on each end.
Tips: Split in pairs and get a spotter for your bench press. Work at your own pace. Make sure you have plenty of room. Do everything to 10 reps and make it challenging each time.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access DeMatha High School Basketball Practice.” To check out more videos in our exclusive All-Access collection, simply visit our basketball library.
In the latest edition of All Access, we take you to Norman, Oklahoma for a behind-the-scenes look inside an Oklahoma women’s basketball practice. Watch as head coach Sherri Coale leads her players through a pre-practice film study session before the team hits the hardwood. After reviewing practice footage, follow along as the squad runs through a favorite transition drill called “Fast Break Shootout.”
We begin in the film room as Coach Coale talks to her players about how it’s important to be able to switch gears from school to basketball. The conversation quickly evolves to areas of focus and why it’s important to understand that the breakdown of drills in practice impacts how the team plays. Asks Coach Coale, “Where is your focus?”
The film study hones in on a recent practice and places an emphasis on particular player habits, both good and bad. During a defensive drill that works on player movements based on ball positioning, the team is reminded about intensity, showing good hand targets, and maintaining good vision.
Eventually, the film session moves into fast break action, highlighting positive and negative aspects of the segment such as player indecisiveness, backwards passing, aggressiveness, and how to properly run the floor. Says Coach Coale, “Don’t throw common sense away when we are teaching something specific.”
Fast Break Shootout
In this 5-on-0 fast break drill, each player will shoot a layup. Drill participants must make each basket to get out of the drill. The drill begins as players pass the ball quickly down the court before one participant shoots a layup. The unit will cross on the baseline and then come back the other way. This will continue back and forth at least five times. Players should be getting in their lanes, running wide, and pushing the ball ahead.
Tips: Don’t get stuck on the order of shooting. Make it realistic. Also, as discussed earlier, don’t pass backwards, and go as fast as you can go from one end to the other. Look to inbound the ball each time and practice good habits.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Oklahoma Women’s Basketball Practice with Sherri Coale.” Be sure to check out the latest videos in our All Access lineup.
In the latest edition of All-Access, we return to Lexington, Kentucky for an exclusive look inside a University of Kentucky men’s basketball practice. Follow along as head coach John Calipari walks through a number of team defensive drills focusing on charges, stunts, and lunges.
Charges and Loose Balls
First, we’re going to teach players how to dive and take charges. According to Coach Calipari, if players think that if they dive they will get hurt, they will never dive for a ball. Therefore at Kentucky, the coaching staff teaches players to grab the ball like a football player and roll to your back. They now understand that it doesn’t hurt to dive. Plus, the fans go crazy when you do this in games.
It’s essential that players know how to dive and take a charge. In terms of stance, you need to get down and get back. You should be landing on your back and butt with your hands up. If you put your hands down, it’s easier to injure your wrists.
The drill starts with a coach driving to the basket and a player stepping up and taking a charge in the lane. Then this player gets up and dives for a loose ball on his back. You should not hit any elbows. Also, don’t get your hands underneath you. There’s where you can get injured. That’s also why it’s important to practice this stuff.
With this drill, players head down to the corner and are guarding an offensive guy. A coach will drive and as he drives, the defensive player must time his stunt. As the player stunts, the coach throws that pass and the player will look to intercept it. It’s important for players to time this. Also, you need to have an act and let the opponent think you are coming. Stab at him and then go. Do this drill on both sides of the court.
Coach Calipari’s teams will do this lunge drill from the beginning of practice until March or April. It’s vital to teach our players how to guard the basketball. The other stuff is easy because it’s team-oriented. But guarding the ball is about you. When a player drives, look to lunge out whichever way he goes. Follow along below as Kentucky works through sets of single, double, and triple lunges.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Kentucky Basketball Practice 2010-2011” with John Calipari. To check out more college teams in our All Access lineup, visit our basketball DVD library.