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In this behind-the-scenes session, we visit Williamstown, Massachusetts for a Williams College men’s basketball practice. Watch as head coach Mike Maker leads his squad through a series of game-like ball handling and shooting drills, including “Fast Stop Fast” and “Alleys.” Take this opportunity to pick up some new offensive drills for your upcoming basketball practices this season.
Fast Stop Fast
According to Coach Maker, it’s critical to work on this opening drill in order to be a good ball handling team — especially since (at the time of filming) the team has three guards out of the lineup with injuries. The team picked up this drill from Chris Mooney at the University of Richmond.
For each player in the drill, the key is to change speeds in the backcourt, going fast, stopping, and then going fast again. Look to make a simple move when you crossover/slow down. Down the length of the court, players (one at a time) will make a series of three moves before making one final move against a coach waiting at the opposite foul line. After that final move, players will then take it in strong for a layup. The next player in line goes when the first player gets to half court.
Tip: Remember to land on two feet on the layups. Also, while waiting in line, work on your stationary ball handling. It can be a combination of anything really. Just keep active and working on your skills.
*Note early on that players are not going hard enough or fast enough through the drill. It’s essential that you go at game speed at all times. Meanwhile, don’t get yourself into trap areas (e.g. the sideline). Use your imagination and make this drill as game-like as possible.
Players start at the top of the key and will go one at a time. Players will dribble drive and make a strong move to the basket for a layup with a coach/defender in the paint initiating some contact. It’s a very realistic drill that simulates players driving to the hoop and making contact along the way. The series begins with straight line drives going to the right side of the rim.
Tip: Since the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, make sure players are not “banana-ing” when driving to the hoop.
Players should then switch to left-side layups now. Notice that they are using a dominant hand finish though. Coach Maker firmly believes in shooting layups with the dominant hand unless someone proves they are very proficient using their off hand. It may be a new concept, but it’s works well for the program and the players learn to adapt.
Finally, the series wraps up with drives from the wing area or slot. Players start on the left wing, drive into the lane, and then finish on the right side with a layup.
Tip: Coach Maker believes the three most important shots in basketball are the layup, free throw, and making 6 out of 10 baskets unguarded. Maker’s squad has adopted this philosophy. For the program, this third shot would be an open three-pointer.
In this week’s edition of All Access, we take a trip to Dallas, Texas for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at an SMU men’s basketball practice. Follow along as Hall of Fame basketball coach Larry Brown leads his team through the ‘Iverson Drill’ before moving into various sideline out-of-bounds plays.
The Iverson Drill
In this individual shooting/scoring drill, players will start along the wing and then, one at a time, sprint hard across the top of the key and just beyond a cone set up on the floor. At this point, players will use proper footwork to turn and face the passer (at the top of the key) and then receive the pass. From here, players will crossover or rip it across, make a strong move at the basket, and then finish with a layup. After working both sides of the floor with layups, players will eventually get into a series of pull-up jumpers.
Coaching Points: Players must make a strong crossover. Put the ball down quick and make two bounces only before exploding to the rim. Get the weight on your pivot foot.
Sideline Out of Bounds into Offensive Sets
In this next segment, players work on various sideline out of bounds plays that transition right into the team’s offensive sets.
The blue team has possession. Player 3 takes it out of bounds. Player 1 is on the nearside low block while player 5 is on the near elbow. Player 4 is on the farside elbow and player 2 is in the farside corner.
Watch as Coach Brown ensures that the players know their roles in the set (even taking one player aside to go over specifics). Meanwhile, this particular out of bounds play involves backdoors, post ups, and many other options. Once the offense takes control of the ball in the half-court set, the unit goes into a “Fist” set play directly from there.
As far as the defense, all five players are in a three-quarters denial mode and staying on their man tough. Once the offense gets possession and runs through a first play, the action going 5-on-5 from there (whether a miss or make).
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Basketball Practice with Larry Brown.” To check out more All Access videos, including new releases from Scott Drew and Greg McDermott, click here.
According to Duke associate head coach Chris Collins, it’s critical that basketball players can score in the paint with proficiency — and that goes for guards just as much as centers and forwards.
To work on your offensive efficiency down low, add this highly effective “Scoring in the Paint” drill to your practice plan. Coach Collins first walks through the drill for you before having his players run through it at full speed.
Scoring in the Paint – Overview
All basketball players need to be able to score in the paint. This is a huge skill to be able to do this, especially for guards. While it’s easy to make an uncontested layup, it’s far more difficult to make layups from different angles with defensive pressure or floaters in the lane over helping defenders. These are the kinds of shots that players need to work on consistently.
Drill Set-up: Start out with groups of three players and two balls at each basket. The first player up starts in the paint. Everything in this drill will be in the paint. The lane player should start by shooting any kind of different shot, like a running hook, spin shot, floater, shot with the left hand, a reverse layup, etc. Use your imagination. After one player shoots, the next player is under the basket to get to rebound. From here, a third player will go immediately into his shot. The flow continues like this. As a group, look to make 20 finishes.
Drill in Action
By implementing this drill consistently, players get a feel for where the basket is. You also learn how to make layups and other shots form a variety of different angles. In short, it’s a very realistic, practical drill.
Finally, look to make a competition out of it. This will help with getting your players to work at game speed/game intensity. Remember, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.
Follow along with Johns Hopkins offensive coordinator Bobby Benson as he reveals three effective individual lacrosse drills focusing on shooting on the run. Coach Benson will first walk through each drill before having his team run through live simulations at game speed.
On the Move
This drill is a great way to practice shooting on the run while getting in some conditioning. Start with a pile of balls up top and have just one player go at a time. To begin, have the player dodge down one alley and shoot and then dodge down the other alley and shoot. If you’re on a football field, stay inside the football hash marks when sprinting and shooting the ball. If you don’t or have trouble getting your hips to the goal, you can always put cones down to run within.
The player should start each rep by splitting to the right before shooting the ball. After the shot, he/she should come back to the top and get the next ball. From here, the player will go down the left side alley, shoot it, come back, and then go to the right side. Go for 60 or 90 seconds for each player and look to implement this at least a few times a week in practice.
Shooting with Two Players
Now let’s add two people to the drill to really increase the speed. This time, we will have one player go down the left side as the opposite player goes down the right side. Players go alternate back and forth for the duration of the drill. Meanwhile, it really forces players to pick up their speed of play and to get off hard shots on goal. Remember: This drill does you no good if you don’t practice it at full speed!
Up the Hash
Finally, here’s another great individual drill that simulates coming around the goal from behind. It also simulates those situations when a base defender comes sliding up the field in any kind of adjacent slide package.
A coach will stand with a pile of balls up at the top of the box. One at a time, players will sprint toward the coach from behind the goal (start at GLE on one side of the net). As the sprint toward the coach, they will catch a pass, turn the corner, and then finish the ball going towards the front of the cage. Coaches: Remind your players to catch it first, then turn the corner and get off an accurate shot. Also, it’s critical to practice this on both the right and left sides.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “35 Championship Shooting Drills for Lacrosse” with Bobby Benson. To check out more shooting-oriented videos, head over to our lacrosse library.
Pick up two competitive shooting drills from NBA coach Kelvin Sampson. These drills have been used in high school, college, and NBA practices alike and are particularly effective at the youth level as well. Add these shooting drills to your youth basketball practices to improve your players’ ability to score the basketball from anywhere on the floor.
Seven Point Drill
This is one of Coach Sampson’s favorite drills because you can compete against yourself. Each player starts with seven points. Players will start by shooting and if you make it, you are down to six points. Then you will sprint as hard as you can to sideline and then make a defensive slide back. Then catch it and shoot it again.
The goal here is to get to zero. Start by shooting from the elbows (just make sure you go to opposite elbows and sidelines each time). Players get 2 1/2 minutes to complete the drill and get to zero.
Cross, Change Direction, Pull up Jumper at the Elbow
Here’s a great drill for players to work on multiple skills at once. Have players dribble down on one side of the court, make a crossover move, change direction with the dribble, and shoot a pull-up jumper at the elbow.
Make sure players get one foot in the paint on those pull-up jumpers. Also, get one side of shooters and one side of rebounders. Start by dribbling with the right hand and then make the crossover and dribble with the left.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD ”Daily Dozen Shooting Drills for Youth Basketball” featuring Kelvin Sampson. To check out our entire collection of shooting-oriented DVDs, click here.