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Check out this pair of competitive basketball drills that will help your team prepare for game-like transition situations. First read through the drill descriptions below and then watch the clips to see how each one should be carried out on the court.
Submitted by Dave Witzig, Normal Community HS, Normal, IL
Overview: This full court drill works on several different skills at the same time and is a terrific drill to do within the first 15 minutes of practice.
Drill Set-up: Divide your squad into two equal teams (let’s say Team A and Team B). One team should be positioned on the sideline while the other team should line up down court on the opposite side. Three offensive players from team A will line up at half court with the middle player holding the ball. Meanwhile, two players from team B will line up in the paint area (with one player at the foul line and the second down low) defending that hoop.
How It Works: At the whistle, team A attempts to score on team B in a 3-on-2 attacking situation. Also, a third player from team B stands on the sideline and waits for a coach to call out “Third Player In.” At that moment, the third player sprints in to help out and make it a 3-on-3 contest.
If the offense scores, they will get into a full-court press and double everything in the backcourt. Meanwhile, two new defenders from team A set up in the front court and they prepare to defend their basket. Team B now tries to break team A’s press. If team A steals the ball, they try to score again on their end. If team B breaks the press, the pressing defenders from team A sprint off the court and go to sideline.
The Finish: After team B breaks the press, they will immediately take the ball down court and attack team A’s back two defenders in a 3-on-2 situation. The third team A defender sprints in to provide help on the coach’s call. Games are played up to 8 points with the losing team doing sprints or pushups. This is a fast-paced and competitive drill that your players will love.
Submitted by Eric Musselman, Former Head Coach, Golden State Warriors, Oakland, CA
Overview: This is a tried and true drill for improving a player’s ability to change direction quickly when in transition during a turnover. It also helps with catching passes on the move and making fast break layups at full speed.
Drill Set-up: Player 2 has the ball under the basket while player 1 stands somewhere else on the floor (let’s say on the wing).
How it Works: Player 2 begins by passing to player 1 and then sprinting toward him/her before touching the ball. As soon as Player 2 touches the ball, he/she will turn and sprint back toward the basket.
As Player 2 is sprinting, 1 lobs the ball over 2’s head. Player 2 must gain control of the ball and get a layup while running at full speed. While player 2 is making the layup, player 1 runs to another spot on the floor. Player 2 then grabs the rebound, pivots, locates 1, and fires the ball to 1. Player 2 immediately sprints toward him/her and touches the ball.
The Finish: The drill repeats just like before at full speed until player 2 makes five layups in a row.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “25 Aggressive Transition & Conditioning Drills” produced by Winning Hoops. To check out more drills in the Winning Hoops collection, simply visit our basketball library.
In this week’s Playbook Series, we break down a pair of effective sideline inbounds plays that provide teams with a variety of options to score the basketball. First follow the breakdown of each play before watching them simulated out on the basketball court. These proven plays will make a great addition to the playbook this season.
The Set-up: Player 3 inbounds the ball on the sideline. Player 4 starts in near corner while 2 is on the near block. Player 1 is on the farside block and player 5 is at the top of the key. This play has two options.
Option 1: Player 4 screens down for 2, who pops out to the baseline corner for a shot. If you need a two-point look, player 4 is also an option.
Option 2: Player 5 screens down for 1. If player 1 can’t shoot after getting the ball up top, he/she can pass to player 3, who follows his pass and looks for the spot-up jumper.
Submitted by Tom Moriarty, Oneonta High School, Oneonta, New York
The Set-up: Player 3 takes the ball out of bounds. 5 starts on the near low block, while 4 is at the top of the key aligned with the near lane line. Player 2 is on the farside block and 1 is on the opposite top of key area aligned with the far lane line.
The Action: Player 2 starts by breaking to the near corner off a low screen set by 5. Player 4 starts toward the ball and then loops off a backscreen set by 1. 1 pops out and receives the ball.
Next, player 1 reverses the ball to 4 as 3 makes a low cut from out of bounds and off a backscreen by 5. Player 5 rolls back to the middle of the lane and posts up. 1 screens away for 2, who comes high for a shot or ball reversal. If 2 reverses the ball to 1, 5 makes a back screen for 4, who makes a low post cut.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Over 50 Sensational Sideline Inbounds Plays” produced by Winning Hoops. To check out more effective team plays in the Winning Hoops collection, head over to our basketball library.
In need of a few proven last-second sets for your playbook this season? Read on to learn about three highly-effective plays used by elite coaches at the high school and college levels.
Submitted by Brad McGhee, Liberty High School, Mountain View, MO
Setup: Players are lined up in a box formation with 4 and 5 at the elbows and 2 and 3 on the low blocks. 1 has the ball at the top.
Action: Player 1 dribbles off a screen set by either 4 or 5. Player 5 then immediately screens down for 2, who comes off the screen and pops to the top. If 2 is open, 1 passes to 2 for an open three-point shot.
Options: If 2 is not open, 1 keeps the ball. After the screen by player 5, player 3 then screens across for 5, who cuts across the baseline/lane and sets up on the ballside block. Player 1 then looks for 5 on a post-up shot. If 5 isn’t open on the post-up, 3 comes to the top thanks to a double screen set by 2 and 4 just inside the free throw line area. 1 passes to 3 or looks to get the ball into 5 on the low block.
Submitted by Gary Williams, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Setup: This play is run out of the flex set, with 2 and 3 down low on opposite blocks, 4 up high behind the three-point line near the wing, and 5 on the elbow and the same side as 3. 1 has the ball up top.
Action: Player 5 makes a V-cut toward basket and sets an on-ball screen for 1, who dribbles to the right side wing area. Players 5 and 1 run a pick and roll game on the right side, while 2 and 4 set staggered screens for 3 on the ballside low block and the weakside elbow. Player 3 will then cut hard along the baseline and up towards the weakside elbow.
Finish: If no shot is available on the pick and roll between 1 and 5, 1 quickly passes to 3 on weakside elbow for a quick jumper.
Submitted by Gary Barnes, Calhoun HS, Calhoun, GA
Setup: This is a simple set that Coach Barnes has had a ton of success with. Player 1 brings up the ball on the left side of the floor. Player 4 starts in the corner and on the same side as 1. 2 is in the opposite corner. Players 3 and 5 line up in the middle of the court, with 5 at the top of the key, and 3 just inside the three-point line (and both in a stack). Player 3 should be your best shooter.
Action: Player 1 dribbles off a double screen up at the top of the key set by 3 and 5. As 1 comes off the shoulder of player 5, 5 rolls to the hoop on the ball side. As player 5 establishes his position in the post, player 3 then makes an inside pivot and pops to the top of the key. 1 can look to hit player 3 for a three-point shot.
Options: At this point, 1 has four options coming off the ball screen. A) Drive and kick to player 2; B) Drive to basket for a score; C) Play a pick and roll game with player 5; or D) Pass to player 3 for a three-point shot.
Tips: Timing is the key. As 5 rolls, 3 must wait a half second before popping to the top. Most times, 3 will be open for that shot because player 3’s defender often gets caught playing help defense on the pick and roll between 1 and 5.
Coaches: Do you have a favorite quick hitter that has worked for your team?
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “”Over 50 Game-Winning Quick Hitters” produced by Winning Hoops. To pick up more plays for your playbook, head over to our basketball library by clicking here.
In this week’s Playbook Series, we highlight three highly-effective defensive drills that will give teams a ton of reps in a short period of time. Covering themes such as help-side defense, charging, and low post defense, these proven drills will pay major dividends for your squad this season.
By Len Garner, North Gwinnett HS, Suwanee, GA
Easy to run and very efficient, the “3 Plus 1 Drill” improves your players’ knowledge of team defense and rotations and teaches them how to give and receive defensive help.
Set up three defensive players around the perimeter just inside the three-point arc. Place a fourth defender in the middle of the lane. Also, three offensive players are positioned outside the three-point arc and around the perimeter. These players are looking to move the ball side to side and penetrate with the goal of scoring.
Meanwhile, the defensive players must work on containment, help-side defense, and middle post player rotation. The player in the middle (X4) must communicate with his teammates and alert them of picks, slide-throughs, and more. Run a pre-determined number of offensive possessions or run the drill for a set time limit and then switch up the groups.
By Phil Martelli, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA
Divide players into four pairs (with four offensive players and four defensive players). Next, a coach will call out a defensive command. The defensive commands are:
Shooter – The offensive player shows the ball as he/she would to shoot. The defender works on close out techniques and sliding to the shooter. The player with ball does not shoot.
Passer – A player must guard the offensive player while he/she waves the ball around looking to make a pass.
Charge – The offensive player dribbles at the defender and the defender takes the charge. To avoid injury, teach proper charge techniques before doing this drill.
Five-Second Count – The offensive player dribbles for a few steps and then picks up the ball. The defender closes hard and swarms him for five seconds, simulating a forced turnover. The defender must guard at game-like intensity and at full speed.
By Jason Graves, Ritenour HS, Saint Louis, MO
Take the same drill set-up as before but now place an offensive player in the low post. Tell your defenders to guard the player with the ball and then drop down and guard against a low post entry pass. Work the defensive technique into whatever your team is specifically working on. The offensive players should look to score.
After picking up dribble penetration tips and techniques in this week’s team development feature, look to implement the following offensive sets to tie it all together. Follow along as each play is diagrammed and broken down into segments before being simulated live on the hardwood via five-on-five action.
Submitted by Greg Zeller, Concord High School, Concord, MI
The Set-Up: Start with player 1 on the right side of the floor and with the ball. Player 5 is on ballside low block, 4 is on weakside low block, 2 is on ballside elbow, and 3 is on weakside elbow.
The Action: 1 initiates the play by dribbling to the right. 2 then flashes to the wing and 1 passes to 2. Meanwhile, 4 flashes to the ballside elbow. 5 replaces 4 and 3 breaks out beyond the three-point arc.
The Finish: From here, 2 passes to 4 and then follows the pass and cuts to the opposite block to screen for 5. 3 follows player 2’s cut and breaks out to the corner. Player 4’s options now are: 5 coming off 2’s screen, 3 in the corner, or 1 for the three-point shot.
Notes: This play is ideal versus a man-to-man defense that chases instead of switching. Also, 5 should be open on this often and can receive a low bounce pass from 4 for an effective finish.
Submitted by Rhonda Farney, Georgetown High School, Georgetown, TX
The Set-up: Players 4 and 5 start off on opposite low blocks. Player 1 has the ball on the same side as 4. Meanwhile, player 3 is on the ballside wing and 2 is on the opposite wing/corner area.
The Action: Player 1 has the ball up top. Player 5 cuts up gets a pass from 1. Next, player 3 cuts to the basket along the baseline and winds up in the ballside corner behind the three-point line. 2 pops out towards the top.
The Finish: From here, player 1 cuts to the weakside corner and 4 flashes up hard to set a screen for 5. Player 5 immediately rolls around 4’s screen and drives to the basket. Basically, 4 and 5 run pick and roll options in the paint. If the defense collapses, look to throw it to either corner for 1 or 3.
Got any go-to plays that are particularly effective against man-to-man defenses? Share with fellow coaches below or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll look to feature your play in an upcoming issue of BasketballCoach. The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Over 60 Plays to Attack Man-to-Man Defenses” by Winning Hoops.