Follow along as Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Knight breaks down seven different screening techniques in a 2-on-2 setting. The screening drills are also effective at teaching players how to read defenses and execute proper picks. Look for ways to incorporate these excellent drills into your practices this season.
Coach Knight begins this session by detailing one of his teaching philosophies: The Part-Method Manor of Teaching. Through this philosophy, teams work on the parts or certain skills and get the players to learn the parts of the offense, and then put it all together in the whole of the offense. The same goes with the defense.
For Coach Knight, he’d have a breakdown period with his teams where they’d work on parts of their offense and parts of their defense. For drills that involved individuals, he would run them for five minutes. When it involved the team, he’d go for 10 minutes.
Also, Coach Knight loves to get into something, work hard at it, get out of it, and move on to something else. Players have the tendency to get bored or lack focus if they are doing the same things over and over again. Plus, basketball is a game that changes quicker than any team sport that we have, so look to practice that way.
The following drills are a great example of how Coach Knight breaks down screening and later fits them into the overall offensive scheme.
Set-Up: Get into a 2-on-2 man situation, with the ball carrier at the top of the key. Get an assistant coach on the side. The ball will get passed to the coach. That passer now sets a down screen for his teammate. From here, you now have five options. Coaches won’t say a particular option. Instead, players must read the defense. Below are five options from this set-up.
1 – Make a down screen and have your teammate come over the top.
2 – Start with a screen up high and alter your screening position to try and get behind the picked player. Now your teammate makes a back cut off of that screen.
3 – Start in a bit tighter this time. Make your screen a little bit further down towards the paint. Have your teammate pop back off the pick.
4 – Come down and set your screen. This time your teammate comes underneath and the original screener now pops out.
5 – This is perhaps the most effective option. Set the screen. Your teammate comes up. Meanwhile, the screener slips to the basket.
Align one player on the wing and the other just outside the low block. Start by reversing the ball to the coach. Step out with a back screen and set up the cut. Read it and look to go.
Start with the ball on top and in the middle of the floor. Pass to your coach and then have your teammate make a flare screen. The coach can bring the ball to the cutter or the screener (who is coming off of pick and heading to the bucket).
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Bob Knight: Practice Planning and Drills for Mental Toughness.” To check out more videos focusing on practice planning and organization, visit our DVD library.
This week’s Playbook Series features three impressive shooting drills that can make a difference at any level of basketball. First read through the step-by-step breakdown of the drill before seeing the play simulated live on the basketball court.
Got any effective team shooting drills to share with fellow coaches? Tell us all about them by commenting below or e-mailing us at email@example.com.
Submitted by Steve Shepanski, Rush Henrietta Senior HS, Henrietta, NY
This drill works on shooting, closing out, and boxing out. The defender (X) starts on the low block opposite the shooter (O), who is placed at the elbow. X rolls the ball out to O and then sprints to the opposite low block and touches it with his or her hand.
At this point the ball is just arriving to O. X closes out on the shooter as O takes the shot. Player X boxes out, rebounds the ball, and moves to the block opposite of the original starting location. O moves to the high post on the other side of the key. Run the drill for at least 30 seconds and then have the players switch roles.
Submitted by CJ Kin, Carey HS, Carey, Ohio
Setting Up: Form two lines outside the three-point arc with four players at each line. Players 2 and 3 and 5 and 6 each have a ball. Position two coaches in the lane with a blocking pad.
The Action: Player 1 cuts across the lane and posts up against the coach on the opposite low block. Stress being physical while getting wide and low while posting up. Player 1 needs to have his/her hands ready like a target and call for the ball. Player 5 only makes an entry pass to 1 when 1 calls for the ball. When 1 catches the ball, he/she executes a drop step to the baseline. Have the coach play them just as a defender would and use the pad to give contact on the shot.
The Finish: Player 1 takes the shot, rebounds, and passes to the line where the pass came from. As soon as Player 5 makes the pass, he sprints across the lane and posts up the coach. The same rules apply and the same movements continue until 1 is back in the starting position again. Look to incorporate five different post moves throughout this drill, such as a drop-step baseline, drop-step middle, reverse pivot with jumper, reerse pivot with shot fake dribble and step through, and one dribble middle and drop step.
Submitted by Nick Evanich, Marlington HS, Alliance, OH
This drill requires seven balls, two chairs, and at least 9 players. The drill starts with the middle player passing to the wing. The wing catches the ball on the run and attacks a chair or cone at the opposite end of the court with a strong dribble. The wing uses a dribble move on the chair and pulls up for a 15-foot jumper.
Meanwhile, the middle player sprints down the floor and arches behind the wing player with the ball. The wing at the opposite end of the court passes to the original middle player for a jump shot. All the while, the wing that did not receive the pass, sprints to the other end of the floor and catches a pass from the opposite wing down there. As soon as those far end players make the pass, they now sprint down the court, and the middle player hits one of them with a pass to continue the drill.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “30 Sizzling Team Shooting Drills” produced by Winning Hoops. Got some shooting drills to share? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to learn more drills and plays to fill your playbook? Simply head over to our basketball library by clicking here.
In this week’s team development feature, legendary basketball coach Bob Knight leads you through three drills instrumental in building mental toughness. Coach Knight has used these same drills throughout his esteemed coaching tenure with great success.
The drills focus on ball handling, rebounding, and passing fundamentals – all while under pressure. After picking up each drill, look for ways to incorporate them into your practices this season.
This is a great drill to start off practice with and really get some energy going. While it’s primarily about dribbling the basketball, it also hones defensive footwork and positioning on the ball. Look for the defensive man to see if he can keep his head on the ball at all times without using his hands.
Start at one end of the floor and get into a 1-on-1 scenario. Have the defenders put their hands behind their backs and concentrate on footwork. Make sure that they get their butt down and head up. They key is to keep moving those feet and get quicker. Offensively, have players work with both hands. Once they make it to the other end of the floor, have them come right back.
Use this drill for 3-5 minutes in practice. This is one example of a drill that makes kids work and forces them to pay attention.
It’s important for kids to get after the basketball. Simply, we don’t want them to be afraid of mixing things up when going after a rebound. This is a terrific drill for reinforcing those principles.
Start off with three rebounders. The coach should put the ball up on the backboard and the kids will go after it. After a rebound, you either want a good shot or a pass back to the coach. Keep them going and see how hard they work over a two minute period. This drill is a great way to keep your players active and it forces them to get tough. As for the coaches, don’t call many fouls in the drill, either.
Players often forget important information from a time out to a play. There’s too much game slippage or time out slippage. Therefore, use this drill to force them to be active, quick, and remembering key information in pressure situations.
Use three balls for this drill. Players have three tasks when they have the ball: Pass, return, and hand off (and go to the inside). Using four lines (in a box formation), just keep going right around the square. When you catch the pass, you return the feed and move on. Start with one ball and then work in two more balls for three total at once. Make good passes and good catches and don’t forget to go inside. Also, call out the name of the teammate you are passing to.
Next, to develop a sense of teamwork (or a reliance on each other), if you mess up (let’s say you go to the outside), everyone must do 50 pushups. That’s a way for the coaches to get you to do what you are told to do.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Bob Knight: Practice Planning and Drills for Mental Toughness.” To check out more drills in our Bob Knight catalog, click here.
In this week’s team concepts feature, Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Hurley reveals his favorite and most effective fast break and press break drills. The drills – used frequently by the St. Anthony’s (NJ) basketball program – can be adapted for any level of basketball and focus on recreating competitive, game-like fast break scenarios.
This continuous fast break drill starts with a simple full court 2-on-1 break. You can start things off the backboard or via free throw, but for today’s example, we start the 2-on-1 on the break.
It’s a one shot drill (unless there’s a steal or turnover). After the play is over, the two offensive players immediately go back on defense and now go up against three offensive players and it becomes a 3-on-2. We keep adding from here and it eventually builds up to a 5-on-5 drill.
After the 3-on-2, the three offensive players run back on defense and now two more guys join the previous two defenders to make it a 4-on-3. Next up, it’s 5-on-4, and then the drill comes back 5-on-5 to finish.
Consider doing this drill for two straight minutes at practice. For instance, the white team starts off and every time they score, put points up on the scoreboard. After two minutes, the blue team goes, and after four total minutes, you have a validation.
The 2-on-1 to 5-on-5 drill is a great way to get fast break reps in at the beginning of practice. It’s also a way to get in running that’s related to basketball.
This drill is a great way to prepare for the press. Offensively, start by getting two big guys at half court and on opposite ends and two guards at the elbows.
Note: We are not going to make the short pass against the diamond press because it’s too easy to trap. We want the first receiver to catch the ball near the three-point line so he has some room to operate. The inbounder can then trail behind the pass, the opposite half-court player can flash, and the opposite elbow guy can cut towards the ball.
From here, we play 7-on-5. Psychologically, we want to believe we can get shots off in a 7-on-5 format and eventually develop an attitude facing a press team.
“Flood” basically means regular press offense. When the inbounder yells Flood, the two elbow guys turn and run down the court deep. Both go wide and keep running deep. The point guard gets to half court and flashes back right into the middle of the floor. Meanwhile, the other deep player is on the fly and you may throw it over the top to him if it’s available.
Both bigs come charging up the floor and running hard on opposite sides toward the inbounder looking to receive the ball near the three-point line. Look to hit either one. Then the flashing guard comes into the picture and we can hit him in the middle. Hit him in the middle and then let him go from there. According to Coach Hurley, his team runs a Flood often at the end of games when the opposition applies the full-court pressure.
We run it with seven guys and it works well psychologically. The defense runs a 1-3-2-1 press, which takes a lot of passes away.
Know of another fast break drill that’s been particularly effective for your own team? Send us an e-mail at email@example.com and tell us all about it. Then stay tuned as we’ll feature it in an upcoming basketball newsletter.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Bob Hurley’s Practice Planning & Program Development.” To check out more videos featuring Bob Hurley, head over to our basketball library.
Teams equipped with smaller, less athletic players often face an uphill challenge when they go up against bigger, more powerful squads. However, teams can still turn this perceived weakness into a strength by implementing specific strategies and sets on the basketball floor.
With 2010-11 Naismith National High School Boys Basketball Coach of the Year Kevin Boyle leading the way, learn about different ways you can win with undersized players. Boyle provides an overview of his offense before getting into specific team drills to practice the key concepts.
For undersized teams, the goal here is to spread the floor after we get over half court. However, the first problem is getting the ball up the court against pressure. You might have a lot of trouble even getting into your sets and plays.
First, you want to stretch high and wide full court against a more athletic team. Stay out of the corners so that guys have the opportunity to fade to the corners and drive when necessary. Second, look to keep 15 to 18-foot spacing between guards and 15 to 18-foot spacing between the wings.
With this first motion offense, we have a few simple rules: 1) If you pass below, you cut through, 2) If there is no post player on the ballside, aim for an inside cut looking for a layup or quick cut behind the defender, 3) When the passer cuts, the opposite guard fills in for him and the opposite wing fills in for the opposite guard, 4) If you pass the ball out, replace yourself, and 5) If you pass across, cut to the rim hard and fill the wing’s spot on the same side. Or, after passing across, look to get a little flare screen with the wing player screening for the cutter. You can also pass across and then screen down.
With these rules, you learn about spacing, cutting, and some simple rules to teach kids how to space the floor (especially against teams that are bigger, longer, and more athletic). The goal here is that we want to create good space for backdoors and gap dribbles.
If you feed the post, look to make a banana cut to the elbow with space, have players fill, and then pass it back out for the three-point attempt. It really makes a difference if you take the opponent’s big man away from the basket by having a high post instead of a low post. Remember, we aren’t screening a lot with this set because we’re relying on cutting.
Get two lines of players, one at the top of the key and near half court and the other on the ballside wing. Players on the wing will sprint off the screen and V-cut toward the pass. Look to create spacing.
Players will catch the pass, rip it, dribble hard towards the paint, jump stop, and then dish out to a flaring wing player in the corner. After players pass the ball, they should backpedal beyond the three-point line (for defensive balance).