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By becoming proficient at help-side defense, your team will be well on its way towards playing dominant man-to-man defense. In this week’s team concepts feature, follow along with legendary basketball coach Bob Knight as he breaks down help-side defense in a half-court setting.
When it comes to help-side defense, it’s important to remember that there’s a line right up the middle of the floor that separates help-side and ball-side. For help-side defenders, you want to stay one step on your man’s side of the basket. Up top, players should be slightly open to the ball and with hands out in the passing lane and down. Meanwhile, in the post, play your man one step slightly open to the ball and one step on the man side of the bucket with the ball above the foul line extended.
When the ball is moved to from the top to a wing area (let’s say the left wing for this simulation), all players should be focused on the ball. Watch the clip below to see the players move now when the ball goes from ballside to helpside.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Bob Knight: Advanced Tactics & Techniques for Man to Man Defense.” To check out more videos featuring Coach Knight, click here.
Watch as Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Knight reveals how you can improve your man-to-man offense by eliminating the dribble in practices. Incorporate this practice technique today and watch your squad improve its ability to pass, cut, screen, and play with confidence.
According to Coach Knight, there’s nothing better for developing cutting, screening, and spacing than eliminating the dribble. For this drill, get your team in a 5-on-5 set-up. Have your offense start in a “high” offense to begin. In other words, get your post man down on the block but have everyone else above the foul line extended high.
Once the offense crosses midcourt, there will be no dribbling. Let’s see if we can get a basket on just passing and cutting. After all, that’s what the guts of our offense is.
Every day, you should work without the dribble. The dribble is effective when we want to change position and drive to the bucket. However, you don’t want the dribble used because your team doesn’t have anything else to do. Essentially, you want your team to be able to play offense against man-to-man defense with confidence that they don’t ever have to put the ball on the floor.
Also, if the defense makes a mistake, get that corrected. That’s just as important with our team as the offense. It could be a missed blockout, poor positioning, not setting up a cut, etc. Coaches should simply take the player out and talk about the mistake on the sideline to make sure he/she corrects it. Then the drill can continue seamlessly. This is also a great role for assistant coaches. Head coaches can’t see everything out there, and this strategy is key to getting mistakes corrected.
When it comes to defense, the last line of resistance is the three-point line or top of the key. This is as far back as we can go with our defensive pickup. So how far out exactly do we want to go? Well, you can pick up from here to midcourt.
The deciding factor on where exactly to pick up is: How quick are we as opposed to how quick are they? If we are quicker, look to extend your pickup. However, the further you extend the pickup, the more you are opening yourself up to a lot of easy scores against you. Coach Knight is not a fan of full-court pickup, especially if you don’t have the same quickness that the offense has.
For this drill, the defense will play straight man-to-man defense with no switching. When the ball handler crosses midcourt, there should be no more dribbling. From here, it’s the rest of the team’s job to get open, screen, cut, and maintain balance.
Follow the 5-on-5 action as Coach Knight provides insights and strategies for each simulation. Remember, it’s critical on offense to get good screens and have players cutting to the bucket and cutting to the ball. See what’s there and then react.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”Bob Knight: Practice Planning and Drills for Mental Toughness.” To check out more videos focusing on practice planning and organization, visit our DVD library.
Follow along as Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Knight breaks down seven different screening techniques in a 2-on-2 setting. The screening drills are also effective at teaching players how to read defenses and execute proper picks. Look for ways to incorporate these excellent drills into your practices this season.
Coach Knight begins this session by detailing one of his teaching philosophies: The Part-Method Manor of Teaching. Through this philosophy, teams work on the parts or certain skills and get the players to learn the parts of the offense, and then put it all together in the whole of the offense. The same goes with the defense.
For Coach Knight, he’d have a breakdown period with his teams where they’d work on parts of their offense and parts of their defense. For drills that involved individuals, he would run them for five minutes. When it involved the team, he’d go for 10 minutes.
Also, Coach Knight loves to get into something, work hard at it, get out of it, and move on to something else. Players have the tendency to get bored or lack focus if they are doing the same things over and over again. Plus, basketball is a game that changes quicker than any team sport that we have, so look to practice that way.
The following drills are a great example of how Coach Knight breaks down screening and later fits them into the overall offensive scheme.
Set-Up: Get into a 2-on-2 man situation, with the ball carrier at the top of the key. Get an assistant coach on the side. The ball will get passed to the coach. That passer now sets a down screen for his teammate. From here, you now have five options. Coaches won’t say a particular option. Instead, players must read the defense. Below are five options from this set-up.
1 – Make a down screen and have your teammate come over the top.
2 – Start with a screen up high and alter your screening position to try and get behind the picked player. Now your teammate makes a back cut off of that screen.
3 – Start in a bit tighter this time. Make your screen a little bit further down towards the paint. Have your teammate pop back off the pick.
4 – Come down and set your screen. This time your teammate comes underneath and the original screener now pops out.
5 – This is perhaps the most effective option. Set the screen. Your teammate comes up. Meanwhile, the screener slips to the basket.
Align one player on the wing and the other just outside the low block. Start by reversing the ball to the coach. Step out with a back screen and set up the cut. Read it and look to go.
Start with the ball on top and in the middle of the floor. Pass to your coach and then have your teammate make a flare screen. The coach can bring the ball to the cutter or the screener (who is coming off of pick and heading to the bucket).
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Bob Knight: Practice Planning and Drills for Mental Toughness.” To check out more videos focusing on practice planning and organization, visit our DVD library.
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.
Follow along as Bob Knight leads you through three high-intensity drills that are ideal for opening practices with. Coach Knight has used these same drills throughout his esteemed coaching tenure. The drills work on ball handling, pair shooting, and passing fundamentals while under pressure. See if you can incorporate these effective drills from the Coach Knight playbook into your practices this season.
According to Coach Knight, it’s important to conduct drills and have practice organization that leads to your offensive and defensive play – peripheral things key to you being able to develop your team into a good team. With that said, it’s vital to start practice with exciting drills in which players are forced to pay attention to what’s going on. Here are three that do just that….
Every player starts with a ball in place. When the coach is ready he yells “go” and the players start by dribbling up court and continuing until they hear a new direction. The directions may be anything from “change hands” to “go left” or “go right.” The key is for the players to pay attention to what they are doing out there. Start practice with the very basic fundamentals, such as keeping your head up, seeing where the floor is, and dribbling with both bands.
Next, have the players dribble with both hands, going up and back according to the coach’s instructions. You don’t need to do this very long, maybe 2-3 minutes. But the goal is to get the players thinking and working on the fundamentals.
Start with eight players. They will be working in pairs and each group has a ball. Start out above the foul line right on the edge of the key. According to Coach Knight, the more you can do that puts pressure on the kids in practice, the better you are going to do. Knight likes this drill as a daily shooting drill. It doesn’t necessarily have to go very long, either. It’s an effective, quick drill, and you can go about 3 or 4 reps with it.
When the coach yells to start, the shooter shoots and he rebounds his own shot. Then throw it back to your partner. Play to 10 and call out the numbers as you make the shots. The winner is the team that gets to 10 first. The drill should move quickly. Players should turn and pass back to the partner with authority. Get the entire team doing this drill, incorporating the main and side buckets of your gym.
The team that wins selects the next spot that they want to shoot from. The other teams must run a sprint.
Overall, it’s a drill that goes quickly and a good way to shoot the ball in practice. It’s an effective way to get the kids active and involved at the very beginning of practice.
This is a 2-on-1 drill basically carried out in place. It involves two offensive guys and one defender. The offensive players stay in place and use their footwork to pass around a defender. The defender goes back and forth between the two looking to intercept the pass. When the coach shouts out “Change”, players should rotate out.
Defensively, the goal here is to become quicker players. Look to get a hand on the ball and pick it off.
Keep the spacing between players at 12 feet. Don’t expand the spacing during the drill. Rotate through players and start again. Meanwhile, this is a great drill for practicing feeds into the post player. Remember, we are working on simulating game conditions, but making them tougher than in the game.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Bob Knight: Essential Drills for Building a Championship Program.” To check out the entire Bob Knight catalog, click here.