Former Duke University assistant coach and current Northwestern University head coach Chris Collins uses the “Catch and Face Drill” to promote being under control with the ball and encourage players to observe everything happening on the court. Coach K still uses this drill to help the Blue Devils run an efficient offense.
Drill Summary: This is a drill for three players at a time. One player starts at the top of the key with a ball and two more players start at the left and right wing. On the coach’s command, the player with the ball passes to one of the wing players. On the catch, the wing player must get into triple threat and look into the post, where a coach will be holding up a number. The player with the ball has to shout out the number the coach is holding up before they can pass to another player. Continue passing, getting into triple threat and calling out numbers on every pass. Each time the ball is passed to the wing, the other two players swap positions.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Court vision.
2) Getting into triple threat.
3) Talking (player names and coach’s number).
4) Crisp passes.
When it comes to game-like shooting drills, the Penetrate and Kick Series is one of the most effective drills you can run in basketball practice. For former Duke assistant coach Chris Collins, the drill series teaches players about proper spacing, how to instinctively move without the ball, how to drive and dish effectively, and how to get good game shots.
This drill series is something that Duke basketball implements all the time in practice. The drills really work on improving footwork, drive and kick ability, team communication, and getting in game shots. Start with two lines and get three players in each line. The ball should be up top with a coach. Begin by going off the right side.
Start with a V-cut where you must work to get open. Players also must call for the ball. Next, catch the ball in a strong triple threat and imagine you are being guarded by someone. From here, look to hard attack the middle. The goal: You must get into the paint.
Coaches: Get on your players if they take lazy routes or don’t get into the lane. You could also have a coach stand there in front of the passer to drive the point home.
*Tip: Drive to score. If you do this, the defense collapses and now you have options, bailouts, and kicks.
As for the shooter on the opposite wing, they cannot just stand in that spot. Any good defense will have solid helpside pressure. Therefore, you can slide behind the ball OR chase to the corner (if the defense slides up). Your feet should be locked and loaded and ready to shoot.
Meanwhile, after the passer dishes off, the passer can’t just stand there. This player must get to an open area. The coach up top will have a ball and the passer will now play off of the coach. Get to an open area for the pass and shot.
*Make it Competitive: You can run this drill with the entire team working together to reach a goal. Or you can split things up and have teams play against each other.
As you drive baseline, the opposite wing’s responsibility is to give his teammate a bailout in the opposite corner. As he drives, defenses will rotate. From here you can make two passes. The first is a baseline pass. You can actually pass out of bounds (with feet inbounds, of course) to get yourself a lane to get around the defense. The second option is that you can deliver a power skip. Jump up and let go of a powerful skip pass across for any open shot. Eventually, look to add shot fakes to these drives as well.
According to Duke associate head coach Chris Collins, it’s critical that basketball players can score in the paint with proficiency — and that goes for guards just as much as centers and forwards.
To work on your offensive efficiency down low, add this highly effective “Scoring in the Paint” drill to your practice plan. Coach Collins first walks through the drill for you before having his players run through it at full speed.
Scoring in the Paint – Overview
All basketball players need to be able to score in the paint. This is a huge skill to be able to do this, especially for guards. While it’s easy to make an uncontested layup, it’s far more difficult to make layups from different angles with defensive pressure or floaters in the lane over helping defenders. These are the kinds of shots that players need to work on consistently.
Drill Set-up: Start out with groups of three players and two balls at each basket. The first player up starts in the paint. Everything in this drill will be in the paint. The lane player should start by shooting any kind of different shot, like a running hook, spin shot, floater, shot with the left hand, a reverse layup, etc. Use your imagination. After one player shoots, the next player is under the basket to get to rebound. From here, a third player will go immediately into his shot. The flow continues like this. As a group, look to make 20 finishes.
Drill in Action
By implementing this drill consistently, players get a feel for where the basket is. You also learn how to make layups and other shots form a variety of different angles. In short, it’s a very realistic, practical drill.
Finally, look to make a competition out of it. This will help with getting your players to work at game speed/game intensity. Remember, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.