Bucknell University head women’s coach, Randall Goldsborough, showcases a drill that will help your players improve their recognition and on-field talking. The “Circle Drill” is designed to force athletes to navigate around until they find a teammate to pass to, encouraging great vision and communication.
Drill Summary: Split the entire team into two equal groups. Begin with one group inside the center draw circle and the other group in a big circle that expands about 10-15 yards past the draw circle. Players on the outside each have a ball. To begin the drill, the players on the outside pass a ball to a player inside the circle. The players on the inside of the circle receive the pass and throw the ball back to the player they received it from. After making their return pass, the players on the inside of the circle must turn and go receive a pass from someone else on the outside circle. The rule is that no passes to an adjacent outside player (from the previous passer) are allowed. Switch groups from the outer and inner circles every minute and work on different shuttles.
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Teams that struggle to slow down the opposition in transition will benefit a ton from Greg McDermott‘s “Circle Transition Defense” drill. The Creighton University head coach uses this drill to force his players to communicate and match up on defense when the other team is flying down the floor, looking to score.
Drill Summary: 10 players split into teams of different colored jerseys. Next, players form a circle of alternating jersey colors in the lane and start running in the circle. The coach chooses a player to pass the ball to, and the team with the corresponding jersey color becomes the offensive team and attacks the bucket at the opposite end of the court, while the defense must find a man and match up. Once the offensive team gets a shot up, the defense takes the ball the other way back on offense.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Sub in a third team if you have 15 or more players.
2) Match up on defense.
4) Relax and play!
After weeks of hard work and grueling practices, Bill Tierney’s Denver Pioneers captured the 2015 NCAA D-1 National Championship. In this clip, you’ll learn a drill from Coach Tierney that the whole team can use to get better at passing and communicating on the field.
Drill Summary: This is a drill for the entire team. Set up with lines of at least three players staggered down the length of the field every five yards, on opposite sides. The first player at the front of the first line begins running and throws to the player at the front of the next line on the opposite side of the field. Then, that player runs out and throws to the next line, etc. After throwing, players go to the back of the line they threw to. Players in the last line on the field run through all the other lines and go up the field back to the first line once they’ve received a ball. Get at least 4-5 balls going at the same time.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Throw the ball hard.
2) Catch the ball without twisting the stick.
3) Don’t move until thrown to.
4) Call out the name of the person you’re passing to.
3x National Championship Coach, Don Zimmerman, presents the “Diamond Drill.” This drill is good for working on passing and catching on the run and for getting the players to communicate. With four balls in the drill at once, players should be animated in calling for the ball and use each other’s names to avoid confusion when passing and catching.
Drill Summary: The drill begins with a line of Attack players at the top of the box in the middle, two lines of Middies, one on each side of the field where the midfield line and the restraining line intersect, and a line of Defenders at the top of the box at the other end of the field.
The drill begins with just two balls starting opposite of each other, with the first and third Middies. On the whistle, the first player in each line runs 45 degrees towards the line to the right and would make a right-handed across the chest pass. After a couple of passes, you will have four balls all going at the same time. As with most drills, you will want to reverse the direction and have the players go to the left for work on that side as well. It is important to pass such that you lead the player who will be catching.
Michigan State University Head Coach, Cathy George, presents a serve return drill where the three backcourt passers and the setter rotate positions with each practice serve. This drill focuses on defending one’s area and early communication to avoid conflict of responsibility.