Year in and year out, University of Kentucky head coach, John Calipari, fields some of the best teams in the NCAA. In practice, Coach Cal likes to use the “Skip 21″ drill to train players to make better decisions in transition, in addition to teaching them how and when to throw a pass to a teammate.
Drill Summary: Set up in the half court with one line of players on each side of the court just past the half court line. Make sure to alternate jersey colors in both lines (starting with the same color in both lines). One player of the opposite jersey color starts halfway between both lines. Meanwhile, a single player stands in each corner of where the baseline meets the sidelines. To start the drill, the player at the front of one of the lines throws a cross-court overhead pass to the player at the front of the other line. The defender between them either tries to steal the pass, or gets back on defense. If the offensive player receives the pass, they take off on a 2-on-1 fast break with the player that passed to them attacking the hoop. Try to get a layup without passing or lob the ball to your teammate for an easy bucket. After the rep, the player who shot the ball or turned it over turns into the defender and the next two players attack them.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Take off on a dead sprint toward the hoop.
2) Toss the ball up so your teammate can lay it in easily.
3) Don’t be afraid to throw it off the backboard.
4) Layup or lob!
Mercer University head coach, Bob Hoffman, has led the Bears’ basketball program to new heights over the past few years. The “Three Lines, Two Balls” drill is an exercise that Coach Hoffman uses in practice to work on offensive fundamentals in the fast break, as well as breaking defensive pressure in the full court.
Drill Summary: Set up with three even lines at half court (one in the middle and one near each sideline) and a coach standing at each wing. Give a ball to the first two players in the middle line. The players at the front of each line take off toward the basket. The middle line player passes to one of the outside players, who passes to the third player. The third player makes a layup, then immediately takes the ball out of bounds on the baseline. The two players that didn’t shoot the layup must run out to the coaches on the wing and seal them off. The inbounding player passes to one of the players on the wing, who must work on getting up the court on the sideline against pressure.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Play at game speed.
2) Keep the ball high in the lane.
3) Step to the ball and be strong with it.
With this drill from Bucknell University head women’s coach, Randall Goldsborough, your team will learn to push the ball in transition and get a scoring opportunity quickly. Beating the defense down the field before they can get set will give players a higher chance at a goal.
Drill Summary: To set up, start with two opposing players at midfield, offensive and defensive players matched up on both halves of the field, and a goalie in front of each net. The drill starts with a draw at midfield. Whoever wins the draw advances the ball up the field, trying to score via a fast break or slow break on the opposing team’s goal. Play until a shot on goal or until 10 seconds have gone by, then restart at midfield.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Look for the fast break.
2) Look for the slow break.
Frank Allocco was the 2014 McDonald’s All-American Game West Squad Head Coach, and he will show you how to get your players to make the most of your fast breaks. For the offensive aspect of the fast break, your players will learn to drive to the basket quickly and work together to score more points.
Drill Setup: This drill involves 4 players, 2 on 2, and starts at halfcourt. One offensive player starts with the ball and their teammate is in the opposite corner close to the baseline. There is a defender on the ball and another defender starting in a trail position.
Athlete Movement: The drill starts with the ball handler driving against the defender with the trailer sprinting to protect the hoop. The other offensive player’s job is to find an open area by the basket for a layup.
Do you want to get your players to run the full court better on a make to score in transition? Xavier Head Coach, Chris Mack, provides the “Run the Circuit” drill to help create an up-tempo mentality for your squad. You will also see how adding the step up screen in transition will get the defense off balance to create high percentage shots on the run.
Player Movements: The drill begins with a quick outlet from the four player to the one player. Every possession you must begin with the quick outlet to the one guard. The 2 and 3 guard run on split sides up the sideline, with the 5 player executing a rim run.
Teaching Points: This drill continues for five possessions with each player touching the ball for a quick lay in each time. All possessions must be completed in a combined 28 seconds.