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Archives by Tag 'Practice Planning'

6 Techniques and Drills for Developing an Elite Shooter

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pick up some new shooting tips, techniques and drills from legendary basketball coach Don Meyer. The former Northern State University head coach produced more than 900 wins during his illustrious coaching career. In this week’s skill development feature, learn about form shooting, proper footwork, shooting progressions, and a variety of shooting drills that Coach Meyer has used over the course of his Hall of Fame career.

Wrist Extensions

Start out by making wrinkles with your wrists. Put both hands on the floor. Pretend you are carrying a waiter’s tray. Hold that position for 10 seconds. The more you can lay your wrists back, the better your range and touch will be. Now point your wrists toward you on the floor (backwards). Hold for another 10 count.

Follow Through

Next, lay on your back without a basketball. Get your elbow next to you on the floor and then make a shooting motion. Be sure to get that elbow down and in tight. Then get your hands up and hold your follow through. Make your hand relaxed and form a “V” with your fingers.

 

Shooting Progression

This is a “lay on your back” shooting drill. Get your elbows on the floor and next to your body. Shoot the ball up in the air. Pop it up and then catch it. Try to get the ball 10 feet up in the air if you can. Hold your follow through. Now retrace backwards and lay the elbow back down on the floor. First try this with a partner who can catch the ball for you, then do it on your own.

Note: This was a drill that Hall of Famer Jerry West performed frequently throughout his career.

Shooting in Place

Now shoot the ball in place. Every shooter has a shooting pocket or launching pad. How quickly you can get into your shooting pocket is very important. Many players dip the ball (sometimes to their kneecaps) and will have a hard time getting off good shots against quality players. They will often strip the ball or pressure it. Therefore, it’s important to the get the ball into your shooting pocket as soon as possible when taking a shot.

Shooting Drills

Each player should have a ball. At the same basket, each player will shoot it. The goal here is to get the ball as high as we can. Don’t shoot at the rim. Instead, look to hit the top of the glass or side of the glass. Bend your knees and sit into your game.

Get the ball up. Now shoot a bank shot and look to hit the top near corner of the basket. Get the ball in your pocket right away and don’t dip it. We’re looking to swish every shot. We don’t want to be short on a bank shot. The angle we want to bank at should be between the box and the first hash.

Tip: Always hold your follow through. According to Coach Meyer, if you do anything at all when it comes to shooting, make sure you hold the follow through. Remember, you can make a million shots in practice, but you need technique to make them in a game.

Footwork

To be a quality scorer, you must get your feet ahead of your hands. It all comes down to footwork. That’s a perfect example of why NBA champion Richard Hamilton is so good. He’s got tremendous footwork. Some players can shoot, but they can’t score. For this exercise, the goal is to make 2-3 shots in a row from close range and then keep moving back once you hit them.

Tip: There’s a shooting hand and a balance hand. We don’t want the balance hand to interfere with a shot (AKA “Balance Hand Drag”).

Meanwhile, you must be mentally tough to be a scorer. If you miss 5-6 shots in a row, you have to believe that you’re going to score on the next attempt.

Target: Shoot for the back half of the basket. You’ve got nine inches to work with. When shooting from the top of the circle, you’ve got one degree in either direction to make it. That’s why it’s so important that we keep the ball straight. Keep it straight and to the back half of the basket.

 

The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Don Meyer: Secrets to Building a Championship Basketball Program.” To check out more videos in the Don Meyer collection, click here.




Winning with Undersized Teams: Characteristics and Misperceptions

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Butler head coach Brad Stevens has created a name for himself by maximizing the abilities of his players. Although not always equipped with multiple seven-footers or a handful of First-Team All-Americans, Stevens has proven year after year that basketball teams don’t necessarily need the tallest and most athletic players to win.

In this week’s team development feature, learn about some common characteristics and misperceptions when it comes to winning with an undersized basketball team. Coach Stevens clearly details his winning philosophy and gives fellow coaches a blueprint for success even if they don’t have a roster filled with the tallest players in the league.

Common Characteristics of Undersized Teams that Win

Coach Stevens has learned over time that his best teams — regardless of size — share certain characteristics. Most importantly, all players need to be ALL IN. For instance, those players would run through a wall for the good of Butler University. It’s not about them. Rather, these players would sacrifice for the team in game situations and make the team better as a whole.

For the majority of Stevens’ teams, if they were undersized, they were undersized at the 2, and either the 4 or 5 positions. Often, Butler would run out there with two point guards, two 3′s and a 5. And although they were undersized, they had tough-minded guys in those spots. These players took it as a challenge and carried that mindset.

These teams also had the ability to playmake from a number of spots. Although playing untraditional basketball, the team’s 4 players could put it on the floor and make plays for other people. That’s very important to be able to do. These are the kind of players that Stevens looks for in that spot – and it’s made his teams better over time.

Also, it’s about defensive versatility and your turnover margin. Before 2009, most of Butler’s teams were in the national top 10 for turnovers in Stevens’ eight years at the helm. However, most of the NCAA teams they played against out-rebounded them. Therefore, when undersized, it’s mostly about trying to be even when it comes to rebounding, but also turning it over less than your opponent, and getting good shots.

There were times when from a physical stature that Butler couldn’t beat people to the ball or get to the rim faster. Plus, as the team got into the tourney and played squads like Florida, those teams would likely win the physical battle most of the time. Therefore, undersized teams must figure out a way to counter that so they have a chance to beat them.

 

Misperceptions of Undersized Teams

First, a common misperception is that undersized teams don’t recruit for size. In actuality, teams like Butler would love to have that 7-foot pro. But the bottom line is that those guys aren’t in school (college) very long. Plus, everyone else is looking for those guys as well. However, when it comes to recruiting, it’s also about getting guys that will sacrifice inches and make up the difference in speed and skill. These are guys that move well and have an unbelievable skillset.

Another misperception is that undersized teams don’t utilize the post. But at Butler, the goal is to spread the floor and run ball screens. The team wants at least one player at the rim every time. That person could very well be our 1 posting, or even the 3. For instance about five years ago in the Sweet 16, Butler ran post actions for its 1 and 3 players.

Finally, a third misperception is that size dominates the league. However, big men now have to face a flurry of adjustments, like extremely quick guards, containment on ball screens, etc. In Stevens’ first seven years at Butler, there was only one player over 6-8 that made the First Team All-League squad.

Also, Butler didn’t make that jump from NIT team to Sweet 16 team until the squad fully understood that undersized did not mean undermanned. That starts with players and belief. With Butler’s guys, they could sell the fact that they had an advantage.

 

The previous clips can be found on Championship Productions’ DVD “Brad Stevens: Winning with Undersized Teams.” To check out more exclusive videos focusing on overall team strategy and concepts, click here.




All-Access Kansas Basketball Practice: Shooting and Passing Drills

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In this week’s edition of All-Access, we take you to Lawrence, Kansas for an exclusive look inside a Kansas men’s basketball practice. Head coach Bill Self leads his squad through a variety of passing and shooting drills during one of the first practices of the 2009-10 campaign.

With the passing drills, players run through the Seminole Drill, a typical warm-up conducted at the onset of each basketball practice. As for the shooting drills, players go through 5-Minute Shooting and 5-Spot Shooting before breaking up into a positional breakdown of drills.

Seminole Drill

With four lines established, players will pass to the right and then run a banana back towards the ball. They’ll immediately catch the ball back and then pass to the next guy in line. Notice how each player yells the man’s name that they’re passing to and also calls the person’s name they they’re receiving the pass from. The drill starts relatively simple with two basketballs and eventually moves up to four balls simultaneously. It’s key that players are always ready and focused.

 

Five Minute Shooting

Simple, yet effective, this drill has players shooting 14-15 footers continuously. The drill is timed for five minutes and is conducted as a competition. Players will break up into three groups and then simply step and shoot, one after another until the buzzer sounds. Players will follow their own shot and then pass back to the next guy in line. At the end, each group will tally their shot totals and compare to their teammates.

 

Offensive Breakdown

Next, players split up by position, with post players working on jump hooks, ball screens, flash high shots, 2-on-1 High/Low, 1-on-1 Live, and 2-on-2 Live. Meanwhile, guards work on ball screens, 1-on-1 live, and 3-on-3 live drills.

One featured drill is called “Get Open 2 Side and Throw Over.” It’s a 2-on-2 drill set out on the wing. One coach will get in the post and another at the top of the key with the ball. One offensive player sets a screen for the other, while the other comes off the ball and immediately throws over the top of the defense for a lob pass in the paint. Switch the offense and defense when done with one rep. Then when all players have gone through, switch to the other side of the court.

Next, guards work on dribbles off the screen and pull-up jumpers. It all starts out with a pivot and then dribble drive to the elbow. Players must drive hard each time and remember to “drive behind the hedge.” Stay down with the ball every time.

5-Spot Shooting

With this drill, five players shoot at once from five different spots around the arc. As Coach Self constantly reminds his players, you can’t shoot unless you have good shot preparation. Players must get their own rebound before passing to the next player in line. Eventually, players rotate one spot to the right and then continue like before. Always run through the ball and step & shoot.

 

The above clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All-Access Kansas Basketball Practice with Bill Self.” To check out our entire All-Access collection, click here.




All-Access UConn Women’s Basketball: Fast Break Drills

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In the latest edition of All-Access, we take you back to Storrs, Connecticut for a behind-the-scenes look inside a University of Connecticut women’s basketball practice. Watch as head coach Geno Auriemma leads his players through a number of team drills and details specific strategies, general tips and advice for players.

The all-access session concentrates on fast break drills, including the 2-Man Fast Break, 3-Man Drill, and Drag & Step Out Drill. Make sure you pick up some new ideas from Auriemma and his national championship program and look for ways to incorporate the drills and concepts with your own team.

Four Corners

Players get into four lines and will have three balls going at once. Players will pass the ball to the next player in the opposite line, run to the ball, catch the ball again, and then pass back again (a shorter pass). Players will move to the line that they passed to. Players should work on catching passes from a number of distances, moving without the ball, keeping their heads up, and maintaining constant communication throughout.

 

Two-Man Fast Break

One player pushes the ball up the floor (full-court) with the other player moving along the wing. Then around the three-point line, the ball handler will dish a bounce pass to the wing player in stride for a layup. Get a coach to be a scarecrow defender at the far three-point line. Players should then switch sides once they go through one. Then, switch to the left side and run the drill from here. Meanwhile, the player who passes should also follow the pass and block out under the basket.

Three-Line Drill

Run with a half-court three-man weave. The last player to pass should block out the remaining player and work hard under the basket in an effort to get the rebound.

Three-Man Drill

Three players will sprint out on the break to just beyond half-court before turning around the other way. The middle player should make a pass to both wing players before turning around. Next, the middle player has options the other way. For instance, he/she can jump stop and dish or take it strong to the rim on their own.

Drag and Step Out

This drill involves two players. The first player will in-bound the ball to a wing player. The wing player will then take the ball to the middle of the court and push it up the floor and to the opposite wing area. Next, that same player will dribble and hesitate a bit while the other player sets a ball screen. The player with the ball then dribbles around the screen a bit and hits the screener down the backside for a layup. Meanwhile, the player with the ball can also choose to hit the jumper or cut hard to the rim for a layup. The options are certainly there to change things up a bit.

 

The clips above can be found on Championship Productions’ DVD “All-Access Basketball Practice with Geno Auriemma.” Check out our entire All-Access collection, which includes exclusive sessions with Kentucky, Michigan State, Duke, Kansas, West Virginia, plus many more.




All-Access Pass: Behind the Scenes with Tom Izzo and Michigan State Men’s Basketball

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In this week’s edition of All-Access, we take you to East Lansing, Michigan for an exclusive look inside a Michigan State men’s basketball practice. Watch as head coach Tom Izzo – who led the Spartans to a 2000 National Championship and six final fours — walks through a variety of team drills for you and details specific roles, player instruction, overall strategies and general team tips.

First, Izzo leads his team through a standard warm-up that Michigan State uses nearly every day and incorporates many different facets of the game. Next, the coaching legend provides explicit instruction to his players as they work their way through their “Daily Dozen” practice drills. With this behind-the-scenes look, see what kind of ideas, drills and coaching tactics you can pick up on and implement with your team. Most drills can be used across all levels of basketball and are easily adaptable.

Warm-Up

In this particular warm-up session, Coach Izzo has guards working at one end and forwards/centers at the other. First, the guards start with pound dribbles. After practicing in-place, players will go from the baseline to half court as one repetition and even work their way up to using two balls at the same time. Additional warm-up work for the guards includes baseball passes, plus drills focusing on hop-steps, pivoting and passing.

Meanwhile for the big men, players will explode to the rim for quick monster rebounds before passing to an outlet. Then, the drill graduates to tip-rebounding, which is essentially trying to tap rebounds into the basket while in the air and never returning to the floor. Finally, a dummy will be put in the paint so that players have to work their way around contact while looking to finish the play.

 

Daily Dozen

In the “Daily Dozen”, players start out with right and left-handed layups. Note that even at the college level, the fundamentals of basketball are still used on a daily basis. Reverse layups are incorporated next before it’s time for hanging layups, where players try to avoid the charge and finish the short-range basket in the lane. And finally, the team breaks out into a 3-man break drill. The drill starts with a rebound on one end of the floor and finishes on the opposite end with all participants making a layup or jumper. Consider using this drill to add some variety to your own daily warm-ups.

 

The following clips can be seen in their entirety on Championship Productions’ DVD “All-Access Basketball Practice” with Tom Izzo. Check out our extensive All-Access catalog by clicking here.




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