Know of an effective basketball drill that really gets your players pumped up? We want to hear all about it!
Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and break down your team’s most popular drill. Also, feel free to tell us why it’s so highly-regarded plus any great background stories.
Once all submissions have been made by Sunday, February 3, the editors at Championship Productions will review each one before featuring the top drills in an upcoming newsletter.
Remember, the more information you can provide, the better. Also, be sure to include your name, team, the specific drill name, organization, location, and any other helpful contact information with your submission.
We look forward to hearing from you soon!
In the latest edition of All-Access, we return to College Park, Maryland for a behind-the-scenes look at a University of Maryland women’s basketball practice. Follow along as head coach Brenda Frese first leads the Terps through an effective rebounding drill before getting into 2-on-2 closeouts. The squad finishes up the action with a competitive full-court layup drill.
Triangle rebounding starts with three defensive players in the paint and facing away from the basket. Three offensive players will line up inside the three-point arc. Each defensive player will start moving around in the paint clockwise until a shot goes up. Once it does, the players yell “Shot” and proceed to box out the nearest offensive player. If the offense gets it, they should look to score.
There are a few ways to make it competitive. If you crash the glass and score, you get a point. If you get an offensive rebound, you get a point. If the defense gets the rebound, they must outlet to a coach right away. Rotate players immediately after the rep is over.
Next up is a 2-on-2 drill focusing on closeouts. Players start on one side of the floor and then must change their defensive positioning based on where the ball is on the perimeter (the ball gets passed from coach to coach). Players must play helpside defense and then be able to closeout off the kick.
There are two major points of emphasis here. First, players should either close out short or close out long. Short means you close out against a driver. Long mean to close out against a three-point shooter. Make them put the ball on the floor and look for opportunities to take charges. Defensively, don’t get beat down the middle. Instead, force your opponent to the baseline.
According to Coach Frese, the players can’t stand this full-court drill but it’s quite effective. The drill starts with an outlet off the backboard and players sprint the length of floor for a layup. The outlet person must follow and get that rebound and run the floor as well. Every layup counts as one. Set a make goal with your team and look to move the bar up.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Maryland Women’s Basketball Practice with Brenda Frese.” To check out more All Access videos in our exclusive collection, visit our basketball library.
In this week’s team development feature, former Naismith High School Boys Basketball Coach of the Year Kevin Boyle breaks down effective ways to compete against bigger, more athletic teams on the defensive end of the floor.
So how exactly do we guard people that are bigger than us? Well, if I am more athletic than you, the first thing I want to do is make the game full court. I want to play you between the foul-lines and not let you post up or pass to the wings and dump it in.
Additionally, look to get very aggressive and in the face of your opponent. Be active. Second, challenge every pass. And finally, when pressing or trapping, consider using a diamond press against a team with lower fundamentals. However, if it’s a well-coached team, they know where the traps are. Therefore, against the better teams you should trap man-to-man.
Don’t double team big guys in the backcourt. Never waste the trap in this situation, even in the diamond press. Deny everyone else hard and make the big dribble up the court. With dribbling full-court as a likely weakness, this player is more likely to make a turnover.
Use two players for this drill and start at midcourt. One player has the ball and will dribble hard to the basket and make a layup and the other one will follow. The trailing player gets the rebound.
Next, the shooter touches the foul line and gets ready to play defense against the rebounder on the baseline only. The player with the ball will shuffle side-to-side along the baseline and the defender must now guard aggressively wherever he goes. It’s about getting quickly on the ball after a make.
Get four players for this drill. It’s essentially the same drill as before except now you are going to work on getting the ball inbounds. One player will work on getting open while the other will guard his man three-quarters. When guarding, dig into the opponent with your forearm and chest, push them low, be in a position to steal, and try to be in a good defensive position if they do get the ball. Get pressure right away.
Also, if you are facing a very athletic guard, it’s important to get below the level of the ball. In other words, the player previously guarding the inbounder will now drop and help defend the speedy guard dribbling up the floor.
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.
Northern Iowa head men’s basketball coach Ben Jacobson is a big believer in constantly working on fundamental drills throughout the year. This 3-on-3 Defensive Shell Drill is one of Coach Jacobson’s favorite and most effective overall drills, a tool he uses every day to help build his team’s defense.
The Set-Up: Get a player guarding the ball. The other two defensive players are just off the opposite elbows and playing in a help position. Meanwhile, the two other offensive players are on the wings to begin. Start things off by passing the ball to the wing. Next, as the ball is moved to the wing, the guy at the point will set up just off that elbow. The opposite defender will set up just below that midline in the paint with his ballside foot slightly forward.
Start the drill with all three defenders inside the lane line and facing a coach with the ball under the basket. The coach will throw the ball out to any of the three offensive players. Make sure that players yell out BALL as they approach their opponent. Other players should get into their help positions. Next, make 4 or 5 passes and then rotate. Be sure to move fast between reps. Also, there should be no dribbling for the offense to start.
Angle of Approach: When the ball gets thrown from the top to the wing, it’s important to maintain a proper angle of approach to get to the basketball. In other words, we must get underneath the ball and approach head on. Therefore, players should first step down the floor. Now, they will be able to approach so they go head on with their weight back and both hands high and yelling “Ball.” The angle is something players must really work at. Also, don’t approach on the high side or else you can easily get beat baseline.
When it comes to guarding the dribble, the goal for the offense is to look to drive and get two feet in the paint with the basketball. As for wing players, their job is to beat defenders baseline or turn to the middle and get into the paint. If you do drive it, you must return to where you started and stay there. There should be no screening or moving.
Look to go 12 seconds and have the defense keep the ball out of the paint and guard the baseline. Rotate after the 12 seconds. The overall amount of seconds that the offense gets into the paint determines how many sprints the defense must do after the drill.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Ben Jacobson: Fundamental Drills for Basketball Practice.” To check out more basketball DVDs featuring drills for both offense and defense, head over to our basketball library.