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Archives by Tag 'Basketball Coach Newsletter'

All-Access Kansas Basketball Practice: Shooting and Passing Drills

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In this week’s edition of All-Access, we take you to Lawrence, Kansas for an exclusive look inside a Kansas men’s basketball practice. Head coach Bill Self leads his squad through a variety of passing and shooting drills during one of the first practices of the 2009-10 campaign.

With the passing drills, players run through the Seminole Drill, a typical warm-up conducted at the onset of each basketball practice. As for the shooting drills, players go through 5-Minute Shooting and 5-Spot Shooting before breaking up into a positional breakdown of drills.

Seminole Drill

With four lines established, players will pass to the right and then run a banana back towards the ball. They’ll immediately catch the ball back and then pass to the next guy in line. Notice how each player yells the man’s name that they’re passing to and also calls the person’s name they they’re receiving the pass from. The drill starts relatively simple with two basketballs and eventually moves up to four balls simultaneously. It’s key that players are always ready and focused.


Five Minute Shooting

Simple, yet effective, this drill has players shooting 14-15 footers continuously. The drill is timed for five minutes and is conducted as a competition. Players will break up into three groups and then simply step and shoot, one after another until the buzzer sounds. Players will follow their own shot and then pass back to the next guy in line. At the end, each group will tally their shot totals and compare to their teammates.


Offensive Breakdown

Next, players split up by position, with post players working on jump hooks, ball screens, flash high shots, 2-on-1 High/Low, 1-on-1 Live, and 2-on-2 Live. Meanwhile, guards work on ball screens, 1-on-1 live, and 3-on-3 live drills.

One featured drill is called “Get Open 2 Side and Throw Over.” It’s a 2-on-2 drill set out on the wing. One coach will get in the post and another at the top of the key with the ball. One offensive player sets a screen for the other, while the other comes off the ball and immediately throws over the top of the defense for a lob pass in the paint. Switch the offense and defense when done with one rep. Then when all players have gone through, switch to the other side of the court.

Next, guards work on dribbles off the screen and pull-up jumpers. It all starts out with a pivot and then dribble drive to the elbow. Players must drive hard each time and remember to “drive behind the hedge.” Stay down with the ball every time.

5-Spot Shooting

With this drill, five players shoot at once from five different spots around the arc. As Coach Self constantly reminds his players, you can’t shoot unless you have good shot preparation. Players must get their own rebound before passing to the next player in line. Eventually, players rotate one spot to the right and then continue like before. Always run through the ball and step & shoot.


The above clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All-Access Kansas Basketball Practice with Bill Self.” To check out our entire All-Access collection, click here.

All-Access UConn Women’s Basketball: Fast Break Drills

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In the latest edition of All-Access, we take you back to Storrs, Connecticut for a behind-the-scenes look inside a University of Connecticut women’s basketball practice. Watch as head coach Geno Auriemma leads his players through a number of team drills and details specific strategies, general tips and advice for players.

The all-access session concentrates on fast break drills, including the 2-Man Fast Break, 3-Man Drill, and Drag & Step Out Drill. Make sure you pick up some new ideas from Auriemma and his national championship program and look for ways to incorporate the drills and concepts with your own team.

Four Corners

Players get into four lines and will have three balls going at once. Players will pass the ball to the next player in the opposite line, run to the ball, catch the ball again, and then pass back again (a shorter pass). Players will move to the line that they passed to. Players should work on catching passes from a number of distances, moving without the ball, keeping their heads up, and maintaining constant communication throughout.


Two-Man Fast Break

One player pushes the ball up the floor (full-court) with the other player moving along the wing. Then around the three-point line, the ball handler will dish a bounce pass to the wing player in stride for a layup. Get a coach to be a scarecrow defender at the far three-point line. Players should then switch sides once they go through one. Then, switch to the left side and run the drill from here. Meanwhile, the player who passes should also follow the pass and block out under the basket.

Three-Line Drill

Run with a half-court three-man weave. The last player to pass should block out the remaining player and work hard under the basket in an effort to get the rebound.

Three-Man Drill

Three players will sprint out on the break to just beyond half-court before turning around the other way. The middle player should make a pass to both wing players before turning around. Next, the middle player has options the other way. For instance, he/she can jump stop and dish or take it strong to the rim on their own.

Drag and Step Out

This drill involves two players. The first player will in-bound the ball to a wing player. The wing player will then take the ball to the middle of the court and push it up the floor and to the opposite wing area. Next, that same player will dribble and hesitate a bit while the other player sets a ball screen. The player with the ball then dribbles around the screen a bit and hits the screener down the backside for a layup. Meanwhile, the player with the ball can also choose to hit the jumper or cut hard to the rim for a layup. The options are certainly there to change things up a bit.


The clips above can be found on Championship Productions’ DVD “All-Access Basketball Practice with Geno Auriemma.” Check out our entire All-Access collection, which includes exclusive sessions with Kentucky, Michigan State, Duke, Kansas, West Virginia, plus many more.

5 Individual Shooting Drills Ideal for Summer Practices

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Whether for summer workouts, future practices, or just shooting alone at the gym, the following shooting drills are perfect for improving players’ shooting skills. Renowned Five-Star Basketball Shooting Instructor Barry Brodzinski runs through five individual shooting drills, including the Triangle Shooting Drill, the Circus Shooting Drill, and the Box Shooting Drill. See what you can easily take away from these effective drills and how you can implement them into your own team practices or individual workouts for your players.

Triangle Shooting Drill

The participating player will start out under the hoop and then dribble up above the three-point line. Next, the player will turn and shoot the ball, get his own rebound and then go the other direction right-handed. Then the next player will follow once the first player takes his two shots.

Goal: You want to hit four shots before you stop. Make sure you have shot-making goals as opposed to shot-taking goals for these drills.

Triangle Bank Shot Drill

This drill works on developing your mid-range bank shots. It’s quite similar to before, but this time players will dribble up to a side-angle shot about 12-15 feet out, then turn and hit the bank shot. After the shot, players will then go immediately to the next side. It’s a continuous shooting drill.


Circus Shooting Drill

Here, we’ll start with a self-pass, then turn and shoot from the corners, wings and top of the key. Look to knock down four out of five shots or repeat the drill. This is a great drill because you can easily adapt and change it based on personnel. Implement a crossover move into your shot, three-point shooting, and even one dribble to the side and then shot.

Box Shooting Drill

Start with a self-pass up one side and then dribble up the other. Work the elbows with this drill. Then switch sides.

Box Pivot Drill

This drill teaches big players to turn several different ways in the lane. Start with a self-catch, pivot in, and shot. Then implement a self-catch, pivot out, and shot. Next, go with a self-catch, pull away, and then shot.


The clips above can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “50 Shooting Drills.” To check out additional videos featuring shooting drills and workouts, click here.

Fundamentals of the Motion Offense: Proper Spacing & Cutting

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For decades now, Bob Knight has been an influential figure in the development of the motion offense. Used at all levels of basketball, the motion offense utilizes frequent player movement and doesn’t follow a specific pattern. Rather, this offensive scheme is free-flowing and focuses on players making screens to get open. With Knight as your guide, learn about proper spacing and cutting within the offense, two crucial elements that are important to master in order for the offense to be effective.

Motion Offense Overview

The motion offense frequently uses reverse action, which is basically taking the ball back one way and then bringing it back another way. The offense also uses cuts that the defense will have a tough time playing and often forces the opponent to switch.

Meanwhile, the motion offense involves three key things: passing, cutting, and screening. As a coach, it’s important to teach your players how to get open, how to get their teammates open, and to also show them the possibilities as a screener and as a cutter.

Within the offense, we also use the screener a lot, including slip screens, where if a defensive player starts to help out on a cut, then the offensive player slips to the basket. This is an effective way to counter switching defenders. While the offense can be utilized against any zone or man defense, we’ll focus on man offense for this feature.

Proper Spacing

Spacing against the defense enables the offense to score points. When we talk about spacing, that means players should be 15 to 18 feet apart. It’s also important to remember that the baseline is as good of a defensive player as there is in the game.

Proper spacing also allows for the cutting and screening needed in order to get good shots off. Without this spacing, we’ll have too many guys too close to each other and playing in the same part of the floor. In other words, we won’t get anything out of it. The key is to maintain the 15-18 foot spacing, regardless of what the defense is doing.

Keep in mind that Coach Knight isn’t a big fan of having a post player way down low in the post. Rather, this player should go higher up in the lane.

Conversion (AKA Transition Play)

A good way to work on spacing is to implement a spacing conversion drill. This drill works on the transition area from defense to offense and setting up proper spacing on offense at the other end of the court.

Start out with all five of your players around the free throw line on the opposite end of the court. Then on “Go”, have the players sprint down the floor and get into position – all while maintaining proper spacing to get set up. Getting proper spacing in conversion is the first thing needed in order to set up the motion offense.


Post Position Tips

Post players shouldn’t be real deep in the paint. Instead, they should be in the middle of the lane. For instance, if a wing player gets the ball on the side and has the opportunity to drive baseline, but there’s a post guy down there clogging things up and he can’t go anywhere. But if the post guy is in the middle, then the wing guy can make a fake and then head down toward the baseline. Now he’s got a chance to get to the bucket or hit the post guy as he slides down the lane.

Also, if the post guy starts on the low block, gets the ball there and tries to go baseline, he’s practically under the hoop and has a harder shot. However, in the mid-post position with the ball and with a defender on his backside, the post guy can fake hard one way and then step back and head the opposite direction. He’s got options. It’s key to read the defensive man and use the pivot to your advantage.


Tips for Guards

Try to read the defensive man all the time. Remember, he can’t cover you in two different directions. Always pay attention to what the defensive guy is doing. This is an important part of cutting as well.

The drive to the basket is a result of good spacing. No matter where we are on the floor, we have to set up the defensive player. Meanwhile, seeing what’s available to the offensive player makes the offense go.


As we mentioned before, cutting is one of the most important ingredients in order to be effective against a man-to-man defense. When making a cut, you want to take your man one way and then you go the other way. If the defender is above you, then take him higher before cutting low (without a screen being involved). If the player is below you, then come down a bit before going up above him.


Stay tuned for future features covering the nuances of the motion offense and more tips from Coach Knight. The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Bob Knight: The Complete Guide to the Motion Offense.” To see more offensive videos, check out our extensive basketball library by clicking here.


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