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Archives by Tag 'Kevin Sutton'

Scoring on the Move: 6 Drills for the Complete Post Player

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A post player who can score on the move or in transition will be an effective weapon and constant threat out on the basketball court. With renowned basketball coach Kevin Sutton leading the way, check out these useful drills for post players that involve the Mikan Drill and a variety of screens.

On the Rim Drill

One at a time, have players start the drill with the Mikan Drill. They should do four total layups (two on the left side and two on the right side). Then have players take the ball out of bounds and make an outlet pass to a teammate on the wing. That player will then sprint to half court (and if possible, cut around a chair) and then back to the hoop from which they came from.

Once within the three-point line area, they will make a cut across the lane, receive the ball back from the outlet player, and then go hard to the hoop for the layup — all without even putting the ball on the floor. Remember to attack the rim hard. Also, be sure to work both sides of the basket with your players.

Straight Drive Layup

Next, proceed with the drill like before, but this time, have the players make a shot fake after they receive the ball before going for a straight drive layup.

Trail Jumper

Players should receive the ball around the elbow and then deliver a quick release/shot while on the move. Always follow your jumper.


Mikan and Trail Jumper with Ball Screen Series

A) Pick and Roll

After the initial jumper, that player will then make a ball screen for a teammate on the wing. He/she will then roll to the basket, receive the pass and hit the layup. Remember to keep proper footwork on the pick and roll and to open up to the pass before rolling to the basket.

B) Pick and Pop

After the ball screen, players will then roll to the near corner and hit the open jumper.

C) Direct Drive with Early Slip

On the first shot, players should make a pump fake and then drive to the basket for a layup. Then immediately, players should turn and sprint out towards the wing player and make a screen around the three-point line before slipping back to the hoop. From here, catch the pass and roll to the basket.


The following post drills – and many more – can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “30 Drills for Building a Complete Post Player” with Kevin Sutton. To check out additional videos featuring post play, check out our extensive basketball library.

Kevin Boyle Takes Over for Kevin Sutton at Montverde Academy

By mike.oconnell - Last updated: Thursday, June 2, 2011

Congratulations to Kevin Boyle as he steps in as the new head coach at Montverde Academy, 2 months after Kevin Sutton stepped down. Kevin Boyle brings a great passion for the game of basketball to Montverde Academy.  He said he loves to play, teach and coach basketball. He expects to have Montverde competing for National Championships. Boyle steps in for Sutton who led Montverde for the last 8 years. This past season he led them to a 22-4 record and a No. 15 ranking by USA Today. Championship Productions is proud to have partnered with both of these outstanding coaches in multiple instructional DVD projects. We wish them both the best as they move forward. If you would like to check out there fantastic coaching presentations click on the links below:

Kevin Boyle Instructional DVDs

Kevin Sutton Instructional DVDs

Coaches Corner: Q&A with USA Basketball Coach Kevin Sutton

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In this week’s edition of Coaches Corner, Championship Productions’ editor Adam Warner sits down with USA Basketball and Montverde Academy head boys’ basketball coach Kevin Sutton. On April 9, the longtime college and high school basketball coach will lead the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s Junior Select Team against the World Select Team at the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Oregon.

In this exclusive interview, Sutton talks about his expectations for the ’11 squad, dishes out advice for players and coaches, and even reveals his rise as a prominent basketball coach from his days growing up in the Washington DC area and playing with the likes of Johnny Dawkins and Billy King.

Talk about your background and the transition to becoming a head basketball coach.
“I grew up in the Washington D.C. area of Falls Church, Virginia. I grew up in a basketball family. My uncle taught me the game and I loved it more than any other sport. I played against some outstanding players growing up, including Johnny Dawkins and Billy King. I grew up playing against some great talent and have always had a passion for the game. Including my father, who was my first coach for football, I’ve always been surrounded by coaches and they’ve all had a great impact on my life. They were great teachers and taught me life lessons through the game. After playing for Montrose Christain, I went to James Madison on a basketball scholarship and eventually became a student assistant coach in 1987, and that’s where it all began.”

How did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in basketball?
“Like everyone, you want to play at the highest level and I wanted to play pro. But that wasn’t a reality, so I wanted to stay and be part of the game. I thought that through coaching I could have an impact on players and on the game of basketball. I’ve been a student of the game. When I became a coach, I tried to impact the game as much as I could positively and give kids a chance to become productive students, athletes and citizens.”

How would you define your coaching philosophy and how do you implement the key parts with your teams?
“It stems from five coaches: Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino, John Thompson, John Chaney, and Stu Vetter. As for Coach K, it’s about his relationships with his players, to be fair and demanding and yet hold them accountable. As for Thompson, I watched him build that Georgetown program by doing things the right way and standing up for what he believed in. As for Pitino, he’s influenced me through his system and style of shooting. I took into account what I liked and I implemented that into my own style. Meanwhile, Stu Vetter for his defensive ability. They have all had a lasting impact on my life and the philosophy of making my program the best it can be.”

You’ve put dozens of players into college basketball from the high school ranks. What’s been the key to sustaining talent over time, rather than just a year or two at a time?
“It’s all about consistency. In life, you have to be consistent. You must define who you are and what success is to you. I try to offer this advice to as many coaches who are willing to listen. What’s the definition to you? It could be different. To me, it’s about doing the right things over time and impacting lives through basketball. For other coaches, it may be winning titles. Then from there, try to implement your philosophy and the things you are most comfortable with as a person.”

With so many added distractions these days for high school athletes, particularly for ones who are hoping to make the college leap (with media, rankings, etc.), what’s the key to maintaining focus and discipline at a young age?
“Today’s student-athletes have a lot of outside distractions, so what we try to do is create a culture and environment where everything we do is the most important thing. We work hard as a staff at defining the culture and growing the culture. We do a great job of getting to know our players and we do our best to make sure they are comfortable and we eliminate as many distractions we can. Focus is key and we expect it on a daily basis.”

This year you were named head coach for USA Basketball’s 2011 Junior National Select Team. What does the position mean to you?
“It’s an honor. I was the assistant coach the past two summers for the U-16 team that won the gold medal in Argentina, and also for the U-17 team that won the world championships in Germany. It goes back to the byproduct of doing the right things over time. I think my body of work speaks for itself. I am passionate about the game and I think it was important that we kept continuity with the team and the overall initiative. I take a great deal of pride in the position.”

You will lead Team USA at the Nike Hoop Summit April 9 at the Rose Garden in Portland. What are your expectations?
“I have high expectations. I have been in communication with the players all year long and I continue to develop a relationship with our new players. I think the guys are going to come out and work hard in preparation for the event and play to their potential in the game. This event will put an exclamation point on their high school careers. It’s their final game as high school students, so I tell them how it’s a great way to go out and for them to leave it all out at Nike before opening a brand new book at college.”

What’s some of the best advice you can give to a new coach at the youth or high school level?
“Define who you are as a coach. Define what is success and try to use the game of basketball to continue to teach life lessons to impact lives, and go out and develop young men into quality people. I believe that winning is a byproduct of doing the right things over time. Don’t sacrifice the fun just to win games and pad your record.”

What’s some of the best advice you can give to a young player who’s trying to improve his game?
“Develop a positive work ethic, allow yourself to be coached and become students of the game. I believe that basketball IQ is the newest talent. It’s not enough to be physically talented any more. Players must respect and study the game and respect the players before them. This will allow their own game to continue to grow. Make sure that you surround yourself with good people. You will be better served in the long run. Love the game and be passionate about it and don’t forget to give back to the game, too.”

What’s one of your all-time favorite drills?
“My all-time favorite one is the two-ball basketball series of drills. It’s where you use two balls and dribble in place. It’s a good drill that incorporates your ability to dribble and handle the ball with both hands, plus speed dribbling and using proper footwork. It’s practical and really improves a player in a number of areas.”

Do you have any other goals as a basketball coach left to accomplish? What can we expect in the years to come?
“It’s to continue to grow the game and impact it in a positive way and hopefully, leave it better than I found it.”

Kevin Sutton has partnered with Championship Productions to produce a number of basketball videos. Check out Coach Sutton’s entire catalog by clicking here.

6 Rebounding Drills for the Complete Post Player

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This week’s rebounding feature focuses on a half-dozen drills designed to help forwards improve their overall post play. Kevin Sutton — Nike Skill Academy Instructor and Montverde Academy Men’s Basketball Coach — leads viewers through the workout sessions.

Sutton believes that in order to have post success, every player must possess these five key attributes: 1.) Passion (pure joy of the game and drive to be the best); 2.) P. I. G. (Passion for the post, Intensity to compete, and Guts to go after rebounds); 3.) Great feet and balance; 4.) Great vision in the lane; and 5.) Great hands.

These simple and effective drills — which work on improving overall technique, balance, passing, hand-eye coordination and footwork, among many other areas — will help players develop the necessary post skills needed to become elite rebounders.

1.) Backboard Pounds

Set up two lines in front of the basket on both sides of the glass. Two players will start on both sides of the glass, each with a ball. Each player will hold the ball and pound the glass by jumping up and down continuously. After six pounds, make the layup and then have the players rotate and switch sides.

2.) Backboard Pounds With Shot Fake

This time, players will pound the ball off the backboard, come down with the ball and gather themselves before making a shot fake. Then, players will step across under the hoop with a low power dribble and go for a layup on the opposite side. Shoot for six of these per player before rotating. Only player will go at a time with this drill.

3.) Tipping Drill

Next, players should tip the ball off the backboard six times with just one hand. The tipping should be continuous and players should remember to keep their inside hand up while tipping.  After six tips, players should finish things off with a layup. Two players can go at the same time and work on opposite sides of the glass. Remember, the ball should never touch the floor.

4.) Tipping Drill With Alternating Hands

This time, players should tip the ball off the glass and alternate hands used to tip the ball. Continue six times before finishing with a layup.

5.) Rebound & Outlet

In this drill, players should begin by throwing the ball off the backboard before rebounding the ball at its highest point. Then, players should pivot to the outside and outlet the ball to a designated teammate before sprinting to half court and receiving a pass back from them.

6.) Rebound & Outlet With Variation

The actions of this final drill are essentially the same as before, except now players have two outlets to use. Whichever side the ball goes off the backboard, players should use that outlet man before taking off down the court. Coaches, remember to rotate leaders in each drill, too. This way, players learn to lead and follow during drills.


The drills mentioned in this week’s rebounding feature can be seen in Championship Productions’ DVD “30 Drills for Building a Complete Post Player.” To view additional rebounding videos in our extensive catalog, click here.

Player Development: Two Key Ball Control Drills Designed for Guards

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This week’s player development feature focuses on a pair of drills designed to help guards improve their ball handling skills. Kevin Sutton, Nike Skill Academy Instructor and Montverde Academy Men’s Basketball Coach, leads viewers through the workout sessions.

These simple and effective drills — which work on improving balance, hand-eye coordination, overall dribbling ability and risk-taking — can be done at any level and only require a basketball and a tennis ball.

Pound Dribble

The pound dribble is a terrific way to begin ball control workouts. Players start by pounding the basketball hard at shoulder height with their right hand. Players should stay stationary and eyes should be looking straight ahead. After about 15-20 seconds, players can proceed to pound dribble at waist level, then followed by knee and ankle levels. Next, players should switch to their opposite hand and repeat the previous steps.

Keys: Remember to keep your opposite hand protecting the ball at all times. Keep your body low and knees bent with the backside down. Also, shoulders should stay square and your body should have proper posture.

Next, players should begin a high-alternating crossover dribble, going back and forth with the ball using just one hand. Begin with shoulder height dribbles before proceeding to the waist, knees and ankles. To finish, when players get to dribble at ankle length, they should touch the floor with their opposite hand.

Keys: This is an effective drill as the dribblers can move the ball side to side very quickly. And it’s okay if mistakes are made and the ball scoots away. The goal here is for players to take risks, too.

Finally, players should commence a rhythm dribble called “Push-Pull.” This is where the player pushes the ball forward and back on one side while in a stationary position. Their feet should be apart during this drill and always maintain good balance. To finish up, players can use their left hand and switch to a push-pull out in front for both right and left hands.

Tennis Ball Toss

This drill is great for hand-eye coordination. Players should remember to stay down on the ball (which forces a low center of gravity) and maintain their dribble at all times during the toss.

In the basic dribble toss, players dribble in place with one hand and use their opposite hand to toss and catch the tennis ball. Players should never surrender their dribble. After this, switch to the opposite hand. Remember, it’s okay to dribble through the legs or behind the back if it means maintaining your dribble.

Another variation of the tennis ball toss is the partner toss. Two players dribble about 10-15 feet from each other and then toss their tennis balls to each other while maintaining their dribble. This drill requires constant communication between teammates and improves one’s hand-eye coordination.


The previous drills are featured in Championship Productions’ DVD “30 Drills for Building a Complete Guard.” To view more videos featuring basketball drills and workouts, click here.


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