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In this all-access glimpse, we take you to Norman, Oklahoma for a look inside a University of Oklahoma women’s basketball practice. Watch as head coach Sherri Coale leads the Sooners through a variety of fast-paced practice segments, including the rapid-fire “Circle Shooting Drill” and “Thunder Share.”
The action begins with fundamental lines. The players work on using proper footwork for things like how to start and stop, how to turn, and how to pass.
Four lines initiate from on the baseline. The drill starts with players making a fake and then continue by dribbling up the court, coming up to a defender (or coach), stopping abruptly, faking, jabbing, and then making a strong pass back to a teammate on the baseline, who repeats the same thing. The drill continues like this at a fast pace and demands great intensity throughout its duration.
Thunder Share Drill
This next drill works on getting the ball down low, feeding the post, looking for outlets, maintaining proper floor spacing, and making strong drives to the hoop. The action begins with direct drives from half court. Players blow by a defender but can’t get over anxious. Coach Coale reminds players to be patient and to always remember their fundamentals.
This final drill is a quick-fire layup drill that starts out in the lane. Players circle around in the lane one after another shooting layups and using both sides of the glass. After a set period of time, players move into jump shots around the free throw line. There are a number of balls going at once. Eventually, the drill moves out of the lane and implements passes stemming from the half-court wing area.
In our latest player development feature, learn about key basketball tips, drills, and individual moves for effective 1-on-1 play. Follow along with De La Salle head boys basketball coach Frank Allocco as he reveals how players can gain an edge offensively by creating a window of opportunity.
1-on-1 Play Overview
According to Coach Allocco, the most difficult thing to develop in kids is getting the ball to the rim. There’s too much perimeter to perimeter movement going on and not enough penetration. So why exactly is that the case? Well, kids don’t play outdoors enough anymore. There isn’t an emphasis on the need to get to the rim and score.
For example, in New York City outdoor summer play, kids learn to compete and win on the playground. They figure out how arguments get settled and who’s tough. This is also where those individual skills get developed. If kids aren’t out on the playground and only playing structured tournament games all summer long, they just aren’t developing that 1-on-1 game. Therefore, as a coach, you have to stress 1-on-1 play with your kids.
Coach Allocco believes it takes three years to get a kid to become a great driver. One tactic that especially helps: A straight line cut. There should never be any banana cuts. Instead, look to go straight to the rim.
Meanwhile, get that defender off balance before you dribble the ball and don’t give up the dribble. If you do give up the dribble, then the advantage has changed to the defender. We need to be stressing that we are going to the basket and not doing any bailout five-footers or spin dribbles. At first your shot might get blocked in the lane. But a year from now, you’ll see that you’ll start getting by people. And when you can get to the rim, you have options.
Michael Jordan’s greatness was his ability to move the defender. By moving the defender, we create a one-second window of opportunity. If you can jab and move that defender back, you now have an opportunity to score. Therefore, get down nice and low. Make short jab steps and get the defender to move his top foot. Also, look to get inside the elbows when you drive.
In this jab series, all players get out on the court with a ball around the three-point line. Each player gets down low and into a triple-attack stance. Your mentality should always be attack, attack, attack. As you take your jab, you want it to be short. Keep your hand on top of the ball so you can go up and shoot it. Also, work on your jabs left. Don’t neglect the weak side.
Jab and Shoot
Jab and Go – Push off that back foot and go. Your mentality: Play low to high, get past the defender’s hip, and take it hard to the rim.
Jab and Crossover – Rip it to the left hip and then step with the leg. Then put the ball on the floor and take to the basket.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Frank Allocco: Developing the Complete High School Player.” To check out more videos focusing on individual concepts, click here.
With two-time All American defenseman Brodie Merrill leading the way, learn about proper slide techniques and tips from one of the game’s most heralded defenders. Merrill walks through each scenario with you before putting on the pads and simulating the defensive techniques at full speed on the lacrosse field.
Although often overlooked, defensive slides are absolutely critical to team’s overall success. Slides are all about communication, being on same page as your teammates, being up field from your opponent, having your head on a swivel, and having your stick and body in the right positions. Let’s run through a typical slide scenario.
If the ball is back behind the goal with an attackman, and you are guarding a man on the crease, you are the first slide. Therefore, you need to make sure your head is on a swivel and that you lightly have your stick on your opponent to get a feel of where they are.
If the defender has been beat, you need to slide and take a good angle, get your stick up field from your man, break down, and get nice and low. At this point, you have two options. First, you could tell your fellow defender to stay and double the ball. The second option is to say, “Find One.” That defender will then retreat to the crease and bump that second slide back to his man, and you are all even again.
Check out some examples below of proper slides in action.
An adjacent slide usually occurs when there is no one on the crease. In this scenario, the nearest man must slide to the attacker that beats our defender.
In the video example below case, Merrill is the “HOT” man. First, it’s key to be above GLE. Also, you fellow defender wants to be taking away the top side and force the offensive player inside.
Why inside? Well, if the player gets beats by the attackman, he will ONLY get beat into the help. Therefore with the adjacent slide, you will have to slide cross-crease while your fellow midfielder is sliding down to help on the backside. Remember to lead with the stick and follow with the body. Get as low as you can and power through.
Take a look at a few examples in the video clip below.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”Brodie Merrill’s ‘Defensive Player of the Year’ Skills and Drills.” To check out more videos focusing on defense, click here.
Add these effective shooting drills to your practice plan this season and watch your offense really take flight. Franklin & Marshall head women’s lacrosse coach Mike Faith breaks down each drill for you on a whiteboard before having his squad go through them at full speed out on the practice field.
Spider Shooting Drill
Coach Faith’s squad spends up to 20 minutes per day working on shooting alone. This particular drill is always at the top of the list. With no goalie in net, the focus here is squarely on shooters working on mechanics and getting in a ton of reps. The more reps you can get, the better. Eventually, we’ll get into drills that help with accuracy, but the key now is to focus on shooting form and getting his hips, shoulders, and legs into every shot.
How it works: Two players will go at the same time. One coach will be feeding a player for a right-handed shot while another coach will be feeding a second player for a left-handed shot.
Each coach will toss a ball out. Players will catch it, step, and shoot. In the video, notice the position of the cones. These cones will help you stay even with the goal. Also, while the players are shooting, remind them to keep that front shoulder pointing in towards the goal. This helps keep them in line with the net and leads to higher accuracy.
Once again, the focus here is on how the players turns their hips, shoulders, and get their legs into each shot. Although a different drill, we’re using the same concepts as the Spider Drill. Now, essentially, the players will be doing it on a line.
How it works: Players will split up into two different lines facing one another. Two players will go at a time. The drill begins as one player will pass across to the other. While on the run, that player will catch the pass, come across the designated line, and shoot on the move. The action goes back and forth between left and right-handed shots.
The drill really helps keep the shoulders locked. You always get the feel of the legs getting into each shot and not just using the arms.
Goal Line Extended Drill
This final drill is helpful towards learning how to shoot around a defender. You can really get creative with your stickwork and shooting as well.
First, you must learn how to shoot on the GLE and shoot accurately on an empty net. This is a chance to get a feel of where the ball should be in the stick. Also, try to really work on extending your stick and imagine shooting around a defender.
How it works: Players go one at a time and start just behind the GLE. Each player will extend their stick out towards the field and shoot on cage from there. Be sure to get a lot of reps and try to snap the wrist on each release.
Tip: Coaches should look to place their stick out so that shooters don’t release with a side arm motion. They will be forced to adapt and shoot under your stick.
Finally, place a coach or manager at a designated spot on the field and have the players sprint out and around them before shooting on net. By shooting around a defender, this replicates game situations and gets players shooting differently each time.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”Individual & Team Practice Drills for Women’s Lacrosse” with Mike Faith. To check out more videos featuring shooting drills and offensive tips, click here.
This month’s lacrosse drill was submitted by Chaun Klemetsrud from Champlin Park High School in Minnesota.
Sesame Street Drill
Get three lines behind the net, about 10 yards apart from each other. Name the lines A, B, and C, or any team letters.
Get two lines just above the box line. Name the lines 1 & 2, or any team numbers.
1) The coach throws a ball to any of the three lines behind the net, while releasing the first player in the two lines up top. This is a 3 v 2 attacking from X in favor of ABC.
2) After it’s played out to a shot, save, or clear, release the next two players from the lines up top. Now it’s a 4 v 3 situation in favor of Team #’s.
3) Players that were on offense now must play defense and vice versa. Halfway through the drill, have the players behind the net switch spots with those up top so they can both get looks.
Got a drill or play that works wonders for your lacrosse team? Send it to email@example.com and you could receive a prize.