In this week’s team development feature, legendary basketball coach Bob Knight leads you through three drills instrumental in building mental toughness. Coach Knight has used these same drills throughout his esteemed coaching tenure with great success.
The drills focus on ball handling, rebounding, and passing fundamentals – all while under pressure. After picking up each drill, look for ways to incorporate them into your practices this season.
This is a great drill to start off practice with and really get some energy going. While it’s primarily about dribbling the basketball, it also hones defensive footwork and positioning on the ball. Look for the defensive man to see if he can keep his head on the ball at all times without using his hands.
Start at one end of the floor and get into a 1-on-1 scenario. Have the defenders put their hands behind their backs and concentrate on footwork. Make sure that they get their butt down and head up. They key is to keep moving those feet and get quicker. Offensively, have players work with both hands. Once they make it to the other end of the floor, have them come right back.
Use this drill for 3-5 minutes in practice. This is one example of a drill that makes kids work and forces them to pay attention.
It’s important for kids to get after the basketball. Simply, we don’t want them to be afraid of mixing things up when going after a rebound. This is a terrific drill for reinforcing those principles.
Start off with three rebounders. The coach should put the ball up on the backboard and the kids will go after it. After a rebound, you either want a good shot or a pass back to the coach. Keep them going and see how hard they work over a two minute period. This drill is a great way to keep your players active and it forces them to get tough. As for the coaches, don’t call many fouls in the drill, either.
Players often forget important information from a time out to a play. There’s too much game slippage or time out slippage. Therefore, use this drill to force them to be active, quick, and remembering key information in pressure situations.
Use three balls for this drill. Players have three tasks when they have the ball: Pass, return, and hand off (and go to the inside). Using four lines (in a box formation), just keep going right around the square. When you catch the pass, you return the feed and move on. Start with one ball and then work in two more balls for three total at once. Make good passes and good catches and don’t forget to go inside. Also, call out the name of the teammate you are passing to.
Next, to develop a sense of teamwork (or a reliance on each other), if you mess up (let’s say you go to the outside), everyone must do 50 pushups. That’s a way for the coaches to get you to do what you are told to do.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Bob Knight: Practice Planning and Drills for Mental Toughness.” To check out more drills in our Bob Knight catalog, click here.
Add some exciting new elements to your playbook this season with these proven under-the-basket inbounds plays. The following sets — designed to counter and surprise any defensive scheme — will give your team a crucial edge during pressure situations. Be sure to read through each play description before watching them simulated live on the basketball court.
Submitted by Greg Siesel, Monroeville HS, Monroeville, OH
The Set-up: 3 inbounds the ball. 5 starts on the ballside low block. 4 starts on the weakside low block. 2 begins at the ballside elbow and 1 is in the near corner on the ballside (just beyond the three-point arc).
The Action: 5 sets a cross screen for 4, who breaks towards the ball and posts up on the ballside block. 1 sets a screen for 2, who breaks to the nearside corner behind the three-point arc. 3 passes to 2.
Next, 4 and 1 set a double screen across the lane for 5, who pops up near the top of the key on the ballside and 2 passes to 5. 3 ducks in behind 4’s screen on the ballside lane. 5 then passes to 3. 4 and 1 curl from their screens and roll towards the basket.
The Finish: 3 can take the shot or kick it out to 2 for an open jumper. 4 and 1 should box out for a rebound on any shot.
Submitted by Mike Burris, Olney Central College, Olney, IL
The Set-up: This play works well against a zone defense. 3 is the inbounder. 5 and 4 are on the low blocks with 5 being on the ballside. 1 and 2 are at the elbows, with 1 on the ballside.
The Action: 5 cuts to the ballside corner and 3 hits 5 with a pass. 1 slides across the foulline and sets a cross screen for 2, who cuts across and heads to the ballside wing area. 5 throws a quick pass to 2.
Next, 1 breaks down and sets a down screen on 3’s defender. 3 uses the screen and breaks to the top, hopefully bringing the bottom defender out to the top with him/her. 5 slides across the baseline and sets a cross screen for 1, who curls around the screen and fades into the ballside corner.
The Finish: 2 first looks to hit 3 for a three-pointer at the top of the key, and then looks to 5 slipping to the hoop after setting the screen. He/she can also hit 1 in the corner for a three-point shot.
Submitted by Jimmy Brown, former HC at Georgia Southern, Statesboro, GA
The Set-up: 1 is the inbounder. 2 is at the top of the key. 3 is on the ballside wing area. 4 and 5 are stacked just outside the ballside lane line, between the elbow and low block.
The Action: First, 3 cuts ahead of 2 and breaks for the basket. 4 and 5 set a double screen (towards the middle of the lane) for 2, who comes off the screen and receives the pass from 1 in the near corner for an open jumper. 1 looks for 3 first, and then 2.
The Finish: If 2 gets the ball but doesn’t have a clear shot, 4 and 5 roll towards the basket and set a double screen for 1, who breaks inbounds and heads for the top of the key. 2 quickly swings the ball to 1 for an open shot at the top of the key.
As a counter, line up the ball the same way as before. When the ball is handed to 1, 3 fakes going over top of the double screen and breaks back to the ballside wing. 2 fakes going over top of the screen and V-cuts back towards the basket. The second option remains the same.
As a second counter, from the same original alignment, 4 breaks to the opposite block and 5 breaks to the ballside block. 1 looks for either 4 or 5 down low. If the defense is used to 4 and 5 being screeners from this alignment, it may catch them off guard.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Over 70 Baseline and Under the Basket Inbounds Plays” produced by Winning Hoops. To check out more plays in the Winning Hoops collection, visit our basketball library.
Interested in seeing how a championship basketball program typically practices behind closed doors? In the latest edition of All Access, we take you back to Lexington, Kentucky for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at a University of Kentucky men’s basketball practice.
Watch as head coach John Calipari walks through several team drills for you and reveals overall strategies, general tips, and specific player guidance. This particular session revolves around press attack schemes, three-man shooting drills, and 5-on-5 blockout simulations.
The exclusive look derives from the first few days of practice during the 2010-2011 basketball campaign.
Drive it up one side and then drive it up the other. The team works on their press attack against the coaching staff defense. Working on driving at defense, going the other way, playing to space. Don’t go through the motions. If you can do something in 2 dribbles, don’t do 3 dribbles. There’s chance for an error. Then the team is going “Hash.”
The following three-man shooting series involves three different sets: Pistol, Drop 5, and Drop Loop Kick it Back.
Pistol – This particular drill is used in a half-court setting. The action starts with one player driving down the center of the court from the half-court line. He then drives to the right side, hands off to a corner teammate, and then takes the ball into the lane and either makes a lob pass at the rim for his opposite teammate or a shot. Calipari reinforces to his players about getting in the lane and making the pass or having the option to shoot the ball coming out of the corner. Get in that lane!
Drop 5– Next, Drop 5 features a pass to the low block teammate and then a pass right back at the rim for the original passer. Then switch it up and hit the backdoor man who passes a lob pass at the rim for the opposite low block player.
Drop Loop and Kick it back – Here, the point guard dribbles down to the foul line area, stops, and passes to a teammate on the wing. The wing player moves up and the original PG replaces him and moves into the corner. He gets a pass back and then dumps it down low to the low block player for a strong move and layup.
In 5-on-5 blockouts, the action starts out with a shot and 5-on-5 battle for the rebound and block outs. There’s a quick transition the other way down the court and the two teams play things out from there. Says Calipari, still hammering home his point from earlier in the drill, “Get in the lane. I gotta find guys that can get inside the lane.”
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.
This week’s defensive concepts feature focuses on key rules and guidelines for effective 1-3-1 zone defense. With Adams Friendship (WI) High School head coach Steve Klaas leading the way, you’ll learn about essentials when it comes to zone defense personnel, player positioning, defensive implementation, and overall philosophy.
In basketball, something happens when everyone knows exactly where they’re supposed to be at all times. For Coach Klaas, his steams have had success in the past because they always know where to be. Let’s begin by revealing how the defense is numbered in order to keep it simple.
Player 1 is our best athlete. He is taller and has long arms. We want him in a position to cover the entire floor. Next, the 2 and 3 players serve as the wing personnel. Player 2 is on ballside and usually smaller, quicker, and loves to pressure the ball. Our weakside wing is bigger and a better rebounder. Next, Player 5 is our strongest player and plays between the ball and the basket, where we need strength. Finally, Player 4 is our baseline runner and does just that, sprinting from corner to corner.
1) Every player must stay in a stance for the entire defensive possession. In this simulation, the offense starts throwing the ball around. Keep watching to see if the squad can stay in a defensive stance the entire time. This is something your team should work at, push, and strive for.
2) Read the eyes of the passer. This is similar to what any good defensive back would do. And because we are reading the eyes of the offense 3) We will move while the ball is in the air. We don’t rest on defense. Check out the game footage of Adams Friendship to see just how active the team is on the defensive end of the floor.
4) Look to deflect. To help with this, turn your thumb down so you can control the deflection. Keep in mind, the person who deflects the ball is often not the one who steals it. Instead, we expect someone else to pick it up. Therefore, mirror the ball. The ball should always be pressured.
5) Everyone goes to the boards mad. When the ball is shot, everyone knows where they are supposed to be. Note: Player 1 never blocks out. He goes immediately to the weakside board. In fact, because of this tactic, he might just end up being your squad’s leading rebounder.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Dominating 1-3-1 Zone Defense.” To check out more videos featuring defensive drills and systems, simply head over to our basketball library.
In the latest edition of All Access, we take you back to Storrs, Connecticut for an exclusive look inside a University of Connecticut men’s basketball practice. Watch as renowned head coach Jim Calhoun leads the Huskies through an early season pep talk plus a variety of team drills during the second practice of the campaign.
After opening comments and discussion, Connecticut runs through several full court drills that include 2-on-1 Throw Outs, Fast Break 5 Full, and Straight Pick & Roll. Make sure that you pick up some new tips, insights, and drills from this all-access session and look for ways to incorporate them with your own squad.
Coach Calhoun opens up practice with a discussion on opportunities and chances to get better as a team every day. Says Calhoun, “Don’t just come to practice to survive, come to excel.” Additional topics discussed include rebounding, transition, execution, effort, and attitude.
This is a full court transition drill involving three lines of players. The middle player throws the ball out to around the free throw line area before quickly hustling down court and defending the impending 2 on 1 transition break. The defensive guy must get back as fast as he can to stop the fast break or else it’s an easy basket for the offense. Meanwhile, offensive players must make good decisions and finish the play.
Next, this full court drill starts with a rebound in the half court setting and continues with a fast break up the floor 5 on 5. The group plays it out on both ends as each team gets a shot at offense. Teams should be immediately looking to run and get the ball up the floor fast. It’s key that players communicate with each other and help teammates through picks.
Finally, this last team drill focuses on having players talk their teammates through a pick and roll in a 4 on 4 setting. Communication is crucial here. The goal is to get your teammates through the picks and don’t allow the ball handler to come off the screen too quickly. Get out on the help and make sure that you show yourself.