In the latest edition of All Access, we head back to Williamstown, Massachusetts for a behind-the-scenes look at a Williams College men’s basketball practice. Go behind closed doors as head coach Mike Maker sits down with his assistants to devise a practice plan for the day. Later, Maker and company hit the hardwood with “Popeyes” and their popular “Moneyball” shooting drill.
The Ephs continually rank as one of the national top basketball programs at the Division III level. In addition to Final Four appearance in 2010 and 2011, Williams most recently finished 17-8 overall last season.
Assistants Kevin Snyder and Kyle Koncz join Coach Maker as they nail down a practice plan for that day’s particular session. Listen in as the coaches discuss different drills they want to implement, points of emphasis, and strategies for getting the most out of each drill.
Popeyes is a drill that Coach Maker adopted from Coach John Beilein that really helps with shooting form and overall accuracy.
Two players work together at a basket. One at a time, players start out on the right block before eventually moving over to the left block. Simply, get the players shooting bank shots one after another. Make sure players are moving at a rapid pace. In other words, be quick without being in a hurry. Pay attention so that players don’t get lazy here. This is a drill where you want to be on move and going quick at all times.
According to Coach Maker, the Moneyball is the best shooting drill that the team practices. Get players working in pairs and have them going all at once at different baskets around the gym. The drill features one rebounder and one shooter. Players will drive into the paint and then kick it out to their teammate for a shot. Shooters must look to change their depths at a 2 to 1 ratio. After about 90 seconds, move players to the left side of the court.
Rules: A regular shot = 1 point. A moneyball shot = 3 points. The first team to 50 points that touches the center court line is named the winner. As a consequence, every other team must run sprints.
Recap: This drill not only serves as a conditioning drill, but also focuses on getting players to deliver accurate passes, maintain good teamwork, and keep an emphasis on overall shooting. Meanwhile, it’s also very realistic and will pay dividends come game time.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Williams College” featuring Mike Maker. To check out our entire All Access lineup, head over to our basketball library today.
Earlier this month, Coach Don Showalter helped us highlight key roles and strategies for the 1-2-2 Full-Court Press. Now check out these complementary drills that will improve your team’s first step and give your players an instant edge when implementing full-court trapping systems.
Overview: The emphasis here is that the first step is where you get beat or where you beat your opponent. Use this drill to improve your first step and consistently halt the opposition in its tracks.
When in a defensive position, get those hands above the waist and take one foot and make a big step before pushing with the other. So it’s a step and push. Your outside foot must point in the direction that the opposing player is going. Then push with the other. This should be a BIG step.
Drill Set-up: Start off by setting up all players down the length of the sideline. Have each player put their right foot on the sideline while facing the baseline.
Drill Action: Your coach will first say “Defense.” Players should slap the floor and reply, “Ready, ready, ready.” When the coach says “Big Step”, the players must take one BIG step.
Tips: Coaches must closely watch the foot movements of players. For instance, some players don’t move the correct foot first. Place the emphasis on moving the foot in the direction you are going first. Otherwise, you aren’t going to take anything away from the opponent. It truly limits you as a defender.
Also, mix things up a bit by shouting “Sprint.” After players make their big step, they should sprint to the opposite sideline.
One at a time, players should start just off the low block. Each player will begin with a defensive slide on an angle. Once they get to the sideline, players must drop step and then slide towards half court. Your head and shoulders must keep straight.
When players get to the lane line, they should turn and sprint to the volleyball line. When players get to half court, they will slide to the opposite volleyball line. From here, they will drop step and open up and slide toward the top of the key. Finally, players will sprint to the far sideline (on an angle) before sliding back to the baseline.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Don Showalter: Full-Court Trapping Defensive System.” To check out more videos in our basketball library focusing on pressure systems and defensive strategies, click here.
The summer season is a perfect time for serious basketball players to improve their overall strength. Remember, the stronger a player can become in the weight room, the more explosive they’ll be out on the court.
In this week’s player development feature, follow along with renowned strength and conditioning expert Alan Stein as he takes you through a series of lateral plank exercises and med ball slams specifically beneficial to basketball players.
This set of lateral exercises really works the obliques and muscles on the side of the body. Start by getting into a side plank position. Your elbow should be directly under your shoulder. You can stack or stagger your feet as well. Meanwhile, get your ankles, knees, and shoulders in a straight line. Raise up.
Hip Raises – Put your hand on your hip, drop the hip to the ground, and raise the hip back up to the sky. Repeat. Do six of these.
Shoulder Rotation – From this same lateral position, do a shoulder rotation. With this move, reach back underneath of your body as far as you can and then open the shoulders up. Do six of these.
The med ball is a great tool for working the core. Plus, you can go through any range of motion, but particularly rotational motions, which is very important and specific to basketball.
Med Ball Slam – Pick up the ball over your head and then slam the ball down as hard as you can. The goal here is to get the ball to bounce as high as it can. Get a two-foot stance and get a two-foot throw. Look to make five slams as hard as you can.
Tip: Generate power using your core, not the arms.
Med Ball Slam, One Foot – The next progression is about balancing and stabilizing the muscles of your ankle, knee and hip. All the while, you’re working key core muscles. Get five in a row on one leg. Then switch.
Side Slam – Start with the ball over your head and keep those ankles, knees, and hips facing forward. All of your turning will be with the core. Turn and slam the ball on the left side first and then turn and slam the ball on the right side. For variation, you can also slam and bounce or slam and catch the ball.
Side Slam, One Foot – Now do the same exact thing, except this time use just one foot.
Twist Pass – Start with the ball in your right hand just like a triple threat position. Then take it and deliver a push pass to your partner’s right hand. Get about five feet apart. Look to decelerate to catch it and then accelerate with the pass.
Underhand Twist – Next, the ball starts just outside the knees. Throw it outside the body and aim for your partner’s hip. Get as much twist as you can.
Keep in mind that all of these med ball exercises can be tweaked. For instance, you can change the way you throw the ball by changing your feet, using an athletic stance or split stance, or even implementing a lunge technique.
Overhead Throw – This time, instead of throwing the ball down to the ground, throw the ball off a concrete wall and try to hit the same block every time. The ball should bounce once on the ground before you catch it. Repeat. Now try it again but alternate your feet.
Overhead Lunge Throw – Get into a lunge position with one knee bent and the other on the ground. Now do the same thing as before in this lunge position. Throw the ball as hard as you can. Don’t forget to switch your feet.
One Arm Push Pass – Now switch the way you throw the ball. Get into a triple threat position and make a one arm push pass. Look for more of a rotation out of this. Start by passing it each time with your left. Remember, don’t hold back on your med ball throws! Don’t be afraid to throw them as hard as you can.
The previous exercises can be viewed on Championship Productions’ DVD “Alan Stein’s DeMatha Basketball: Strength and Power.” To browse our entire Strength and Conditioning catalog, click here.