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NBA Strategic Skills Coach & Consultant, Drew Hanlen, shows you a pair of drills that can be used to improve the mechanics of a player’s shot. The first drill works on the player’s upper body mechanics, and the second drill works on the player’s lower body mechanics.
Drill Summary: For the first drill, the player stands right in front of the rim, with a coach standing under it, and must make 20 shots in rapid fire. The coach has 2 basketballs and is handing them to the player as soon as one shot goes up. For the second drill, the player will now stand a little further back, about halfway between the basket and the free throw line. He places a basketball in between his knees and then jumps up and shoots with another basketball, with the coach rebounding for the player. This forces the player to be squared to the basket and jump straight up and down.
1) Catch high, keep high. Don’t bring the ball down.
2) Follow through with the wrist pointed at the rim.
3) Keep your body squared to the basket.
4) The ball between the legs also helps keep the player’s feet at the appropriate width apart.
5) Never miss short. Give yourself a chance for the ball to go in.
Skill development is an essential part of building a successful program. The ability to fine tune and introduce your athletes to new skills and reinforce old skills are key to continual success. Iowa State University Head Coach, Fred Hoiberg, is one of the top coaches that does just that. In this drill, Coach Hoiberg stresses outlet passing and utilizing quick passes to advance the ball quickly and efficiently up the floor. This is a great drill to help build your transition offense and develop a great sense of awareness on the court in transition. It also stresses proper footwork when pulling up in transition for a mid to long range jump shot.
Athlete Movement: Two players start at the opposite end of the floor as passers as the first group of three transition down the floor. Once the pass is advanced for a layup, the two players on the other end quickly pass their ball to a teammate for a pull up jumper. Those players then quickly pass and advance down the floor as the player who made the transition layup makes his first outlet pass up the floor. The process continues for four minutes and fifteen seconds and a goal of points is established such as 120.
This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Open Practice: Skill Development and Practice Drills.” View other world class Basketball videos!
Basketball is a game played low to the ground and in straight lines. Coach Lyndsey Fennelly, a former standout point guard at Iowa State University and was later drafted by the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, uses this simple, but effective drill to get those points across and to create a great habit among her players through repetition.
The drill begins with the player picking up the basketball from the ground. This forces the athlete to be low to the ground and in triple-threat position when getting the ball. Coach Fennelly believes the first step is critical when putting the basketball on the floor. She wants her players to cover as much ground as possible in the first dribble. The drive should be a straight-line drive which means the player needs to use a push step, rather than a crossover step, to get to the basket.
By being efficient with the dribble and covering the most ground with the initial dribble, you can make up for not being the best athlete. If you attack and drive your shoulder into the defender, you can get by the defender as he or she closes out onto you.
1) Pick Up the Ball Low to the Ground
2) Use a Push Step to Get Towards the Basket in a Straight Line
3) Drive the Shoulder at the Defender
Winningest Coach in NCAA Tournament History, Kelly Amonte Hiller, has players perform a partner passing drill while under pressure. This drill involves two players partner passing while two additional players are standing behind them acting as the opponent. The goal here is for players to build their cradling and awareness skills while throwing or receiving a pass.
Athlete Movement: The drill starts with partner passing. As the ball is received, a player begins to protect the ball while the opponent behind them attempts to check their stick. After a few seconds of protecting, the ball carrier will throw the ball back to their partner and they repeat the process.
Drill Benefits: This is a great drill not only to get players to be aware of the area around them, but it also builds a player’s confidence when being challenged by an aggressive defensive unit.
The previous clip can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Kelly Amonte Hiller’s Skills of a Champion: The Basics.” View the latest videos on Lacrosse Skill Development.
Being able to take foot quickness and ball handling, and implement it into eye hand coordination goes a long long way on the court each season. Myron Epps of the Aztec Basketball Academy takes those important skills and adds multiple ball skills to his foot quickness drills in order to maximize his players’ ability to control the ball in various situations. Turnovers play a huge role in the outcome of a game in addition to the ability to lead and control an offense. These ball handling agility workouts will help build that body control, while building ball skills needed.
Athlete Movements: Players begin with one small cone and perform 10 circles with the left hand and 10 circles with right hand. The player then adds an additional cone and performs a “figure 8″ ten times with each hand. Lastly, Epps will have the athletes go to the baseline and put together the between the legs cross over in full court and end with cross over wall touches.
Teaching Points: Focus on the between the legs cross over to build muscle memory.
The previous clip can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Aztec Basketball Academy Elite Training – Workout 1.” View the latest video selections on Player Training/Skills.