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Best Basic Shooting Drills for Kids

Best Basic Shooting Drills for Kids

Incorporating the right basketball drills for kids makes all the difference for coaches at the youth level. Coaches need to gauge the skill and talent they’re working with, instituting a practice plan to maximize the growth of these young players. Developing specific basketball skills early sets both the player and the team up for success, so picking the best basic shooting drills for kids can be a good place to start.

Finding the right balance for your practice is key. You want your players to practice hard, hone their skills, and become better basketball players. But you also want them to have fun. Coaching at the youth level takes plenty of patience and positivity. You’ll need to incorporate a fast pace and keep your players occupied and engaged, especially during potentially monotonous skill development drills. Developing focus and fun at practice remains an integral effort for coaches at the youth level of the game.

While there’s no magic formula for practice planning or picking drills, leaning on your experience as a head coach often shows the right path for your players. Here’s a look a some of the best basic passing drills for kids.

Proper Shooting Form

It’s important for young players to learn the proper shooting form early so as to not develop bad habits that can be hard to break. Although the kids will want to start shooting immediately, coaches must make them understand chucking the ball does more harm than good. And becoming a great shooter isn’t an easy thing to do!

A good approach to teaching shooting form involves the nemonic “BEEF.” Beef stands for Balance, Elbow, Eyes, Follow Through.

Balance often refers to a shooter’s stance. While there’s no specific stance to teach, generally the feet should be about shoulder-width apart, turned slightly, with the lead foot forward a bit and knees bent. For Eyes, shooters should look in the direction of the rim. While there’s no one spot that must be taught, players can focus on the rim.

The shooter’s elbow remains the key to a shot’s accuracy. Players should try to set the shooting eye, the shooting hand and elbow, and the rim all on the same line. The shooting motion involves the hand and elbow getting under the ball, making an up and out motion. Make sure the elbow doesn’t flare out. Once set, the wrist should hinge at an angle with the forearm.

Follow Through is the release. The shooter should snap their wrist as the ball is released at the same time the elbow is fully extended. The ball should roll off the index and middle fingers to produce a backspin. Shooters should keep their arm extended and not let the off-hand push the ball at an angle on release.

Remember, this shooting method is designed to simplify the approach for inexperience players and kids just coming to the game. It’s not something to teach to more experienced players since it doesn’t address the nuances of great shooting.

Basic Shooting Drills for Kids

Teaching the proper shooting fundamentals remains integral for coaches at the youth level of basketball. Here are some of the best basic shooting drills for kids to help in that process.

Form Shooting

To practice the basic shooting form, kids can participate in this drill with a partner or a group of three. Form shooting allows the players to practice not only the right way to shoot, but also develop concentration. This drill remains ideal for coaches in a station setting.

Shooters begin at a given spot on the floor, depending on their strength, ability, and perhaps position. The shooter should assume the proper stance (hands up, knees bent, feet set) and await a pass. The player catches the pass and comes up shooting. Each player should take 10 shots before progressing to another spot. After another 10 attempts, the player moves to a third spot.

This drill works as a good warm-up before practice, or as part of a larger station rotation for coaches. Stress to each player the need to use the proper form, practicing each element to develop that muscle memory.

Step-Back Shooting

Another one of the valuable basic drills for kids is step-back shooting. This exercise helps players develop and improve their shooting touch with each repetition.

Shooters begin directly in front of the rim for this drill. Players should start low with the ball and arc the shot up over the rim, finishing high with the release. Shooters need to hold their form until the ball passes through the net, taking five shots in total. After the last make, the shooter should step back one and make another five shots. The shooter continues until they reach the foul line.

This drill provides direct reinforcement of the basic shooting form kids should learn. Coaches should stress hand and finger placement, as well as the motion of the elbow, as part of their instruction.

Knockout

A fun competitive game to incorporate into your practices is knockout. This enjoyable shooting drill provides kids the opportunity to learn proper form while under pressure and with a heightened sense of urgency.

Players line up in single-file at the free throw line. The first two players in line have a ball and the drill begins with the first shot attempt. If the first shooter makes his free throw, he retrieves the ball and passes to the next person in line. Then he joins the back of the line. If he missed his shot, he must grab the rebound and make a layup before the next shooter makes their attempt. Should the first shooter can make a layup before the second player scores, he’s still in the game. If the second shooter makes a shot before, the first player is eliminated.

Each time a player takes and misses a shot, the next player in line shoots to try to knock them out. Hence the name of the game. The drill continues until only one player remains, the winner.

There are several points of emphasis for this drill. Each player should maintain proper mechanics and form when shooting. Keep your head up and be aware of other players. Coaches can also stress form with layup attempts and return passes.


Related: Best Basic Passing Drills for Kids


Resources:


Coaching Youth Hoops Podcast Episodes


Coaching Youth Hoops podcast5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Coaching Youth Hoops

The Skills Needed for K-2 Players

Thoughts on Running A Youth Basketball Camp

Basketball Skills for Grades 3-5

 

If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Best Basic Passing Drills for Kids

Best Basic Passing Drills for Kids

Incorporating the right basketball drills for kids makes all the difference for coaches at the youth level. Coaches need to gauge the skill and talent they’re working with, instituting a practice plan to maximize the growth of these young players. Developing specific basketball skills early sets both the player and the team up for success, so picking the best basic passing drills for kids can be a good place to start.

Finding the right balance for your practice is key. You want your players to practice hard, hone their skills, and become better basketball players. But you also want them to have fun. Coaching at the youth level takes plenty of patience and positivity. You’ll need to incorporate a fast pace and keep your players occupied and engaged, especially during potentially monotonous skill development drills. Developing focus and fun at practice remains an integral effort for coaches at the youth level of the game.

While there’s no magic formula for practice planning or picking drills, leaning on your experience as a head coach often shows the right path for your players. Here’s a look a some of the best basic passing drills for kids.

Basic Passing Form

While most kids will want to start with shooting or dribbling drills, it’s important for every coach to incorporate basic passing drills early on in a player’s development. Coaches can’t assume kids will be good passers when first coming to the court. Bad passes destroy offensive possessions, while good passing creates scoring opportunities. Many turnovers come as a result of poor passes. So it’s integral that your young players learn the proper mechanics for bounce, chest, and outlet passes.

Coaches should demonstrate proper form for their players to mimic. For a basic chest pass, players should step into the pass and snap the ball off with their thumbs going through the ball and pointing toward their receiver. Chest passes are not overhead lobs. They should hit their receiver in the chest.

For the bounce pass, passers can start from the triple-threat position. The player should snap the ball off with their pass, but it should hit the court about three-fourths of the way toward the receiver. The resulting bounce from the pass should reach the receiver’s waist. 

For overhead outlet passes, the players should be further apart. The passer snaps their pass off with some arc, but not so much that the ball floats to the receiver. The pass should be thrown hard and can lead the receiver down the court if need be. 

Players catching the pass need to practice proper form as well. The receiver needs to provide a target with his hands extended to make the grab. After the catch, receivers should immediately turn into a triple-threat position.

Best Basic Passing Drills for Kids

After demonstrating the basic form for basic passing drills, it’s time to divide the players into groups to try their hand at these drills. Below are some of the best passing drills for kids just beginning in the game of basketball. It’s good for coaches to pair players for these drills so the kids can practice both passing and receiving.

  • Rapid Fire Chest Passing Practice

Players begin this drill with one ball and facing each other, about two feet apart. The first passer starts the drill by passing to his partner and immediately taking two short steps back. The receiver catches the ball and passes it right back. After each pass, the first player retreats two steps, while the receiver stands still. Once the first passer has made five passes, he starts moving back toward the receiver with each pass.

This drill should feature 10 passes total before switching players. Coaches can alter this drill by having both players retreat or return with each pass or having the players alternate with bounce passes. Be sure to stress to players the proper passing form, especially stepping into their passes as the distance grows. Players can practice this drill at home by using a wall.

  • Two-Ball Line Passing Drill

For this basic passing drill, three-to-five kids line up along the key arm-length apart with one passer facing the line. The passer has one ball and one of the players in the line does as well. The passer should set up on the opposite line of the key.

To start this drill, the passer snaps a chest pass to one random player in the line. The moment that happens, the player in the line holding the second ball passes back to the passer. The passer must catch and make a return pass to any receiver who does not have the ball. The passer slides along the key to catch and return passes as quickly as possible. Coaches should stress form once again as well as vision. The passer must keep his eyes up and react with each progression.

  • Man in the Middle

For this basic drill, coaches need to form passing groups of three kids each. Each trio uses one ball, with the passers facing each other anywhere from 10 to 20 feet apart. The third player in the group is the man in the middle. This player acts as a defender, trying to deflect or steal each pass as it’s made.

The two passers work together from a relatively stationary position, although a single dribble left or right is allowed to create a new passing angle. Coaches should stress triple-threat position and pivoting for the passers. Players can work on ball fakes to make the defender move. Passes in this drill can include chest, bounce, or overhead outlets. Tell players not to float passes that allow the defender to recover while the ball travels.


Related: Best Basketball Drills for Kids


Resources:


Coaching Youth Hoops Podcast Episodes


Coaching Youth Hoops podcast5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Coaching Youth Hoops

The Skills Needed for K-2 Players

Thoughts on Running A Youth Basketball Camp

Basketball Skills for Grades 3-5

 

If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Best Basketball Drills for Kids

Best Basketball Drills for Kids

Incorporating the right basketball drills for kids makes all the difference for coaches at the youth level. Coaches need to gauge the skill and talent they’re working with, instituting a practice plan to maximize the development of these young players. Finding the right balance for your practice is key. You want your players to practice hard, hone their skills, and become better basketball players. But you also want them to have fun.

Coaching at the youth level takes plenty of patience and positivity. You’ll need to incorporate a fast pace and keep your players occupied and engaged, especially during potentially monotonous skill development drills. Developing focus and fun at practice remains an integral effort for coaches at the youth level of the game.

While there’s no magic formula for practice planning or picking drills, leaning on your experience as a head coach often shows the right path for your players. Here’s a look a some of the best basketball drills for kids.

Basketball Drills for Kids

Developing simple, fun, and effective drills for kids at the youth basketball level might be one of the most difficult parts of the job for any coach. When dealing with beginners, it’s important to layer skill development and not overwhelm the kids with complicated basketball drills. Coaches often zero-in on the basics, which include dribbling, passing, rebounding, and shooting.

Red Light, Green Light Dribbling Drill

Children, especially competitive ones, love the game Red Light, Green Light. This basketball dribbling drills plays off that popular kids game. Assuming you’ve worked with the basic form for dribbling, this game engages the young players on two fronts, control and vision. It teaches players to keep control of the ball while keeping their head up.

The coach stands on one end of the court while the players lineup on the opposite baseline. Each player has a ball and begins dribbling in place. The goal of this drill is to be the first player to make it to the opposite end of the floor while controlling his dribble.

While the original game has someone call out “red light” or “green light,” this version works best if the coach has colored sheets of paper red, green, and yellow. The red paper represents “stop,” which signals the players to control their dribble in place. The green paper represents “go,” which signals a speed dribble forward. The yellow paper can then represent “reverse,” which signals a retreat dribble.

Using the colored papers forces the players to look up at the coach while they’re dribbling. If a player performs the wrong action, they have to return to the baseline.

Knockout

At time-honored tradition before and after practices, Knockout represents more than just a silly, time-killing tradition. For young, competitive players, this drill helps develop quick shooting skills and in-game concentration. Kids learn to shoot under pressure and with a heightened sense of urgency in this basketball drill.

Coaches need two balls to start this drill. Each participating player lines up starting at the free throw stripe, with the first two players holding the balls. The game begins when the first player shoots the ball. The second player then follows with his shot.

What happens next depends upon whether or not the shots drop. If the first shooter makes his free throw, he retrieves the ball and passes to the next person in line. Then he joins the back of the line. If he missed his shot, he must grab the rebound and make a layup before the next shooter makes their attempt. Should the first shooter can make a layup before the second player scores, he’s still in the game. If the second shooter makes a shot before, the first player is eliminated.

Each time a player takes and misses a shot, the next player in line shoots to try to knock them out. Hence the name of the game. The drill continues until only one player remains, the winner.

There are several points of emphasis for this drill. Each player should maintain proper mechanics and form when shooting. Keep your head up and be aware of other players. Coaches can also stress form with layup attempts and return passes.

Passing Tag

Another engaging basketball drill for kids is one called Passing Tag. In this drill, the passers are “it” and try to tag the other team while working off only their pivot foot. Passing Tag incorporates basic passing skills, as well as footwork and communication. Players also learn how to move without the ball.

The set up here can use either the half court or only the space inside the three-point line. Coaches create two teams, the passers and the runners. The passing team should start with only two or three players, whereas everyone else can be a runner. Coaches call for the start of this drill and runners immediately move through the designated space.

Passers look for each other and pass at strategic points. When a player catches the ball, he can pivot to try and tag one of the runners with the ball. If the tag is made, that runner can either be out or added to the passers team.

Points of emphasis for this drill include moving without the ball and making the right pass. Players learn to use their pivot foot and avoid traveling. Coaches can shrink the playing area as the drill continues. Coaches can also add a defensive layer to this drill where the runners can knock or intercept passes for points or to add players back to their team.


Related: Best Basic Passing Drills for Kids


Resources:


Coaching Youth Hoops Podcast Episodes


Coaching Youth Hoops podcast5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Coaching Youth Hoops

The Skills Needed for K-2 Players

Thoughts on Running A Youth Basketball Camp

Basketball Skills for Grades 3-5

 

If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Key Basketball Warmups: Hamstring Stretches

Key Basketball Warmups: Hamstring Stretches

When athletes enter the weight room, what is one of the first things they want to work on? A lot of times, they want to develop their arm definition. While this is important, from an athletic perspective one of the most underrated muscles are the hamstrings. For any basketball player, no matter the level, hamstring stretches remain key to strengthening an important muscle and avoiding injury.

Let’s start with this basic question: What must all athletes (particularly basketball players) be able to do? Run, jump, stop on a dime, etc. Hamstrings play a very important role in all of those athletic movements!

On top of all of those things all athletes need to do, one thing all coaches and athletes want to avoid is injury. Strong hamstrings help the knee bend and absorb shock from the variety of athletic movements that all athletes perform.

With all of that being said, it is important that when athletes enter the weight room they are performing movements to help strengthen their hamstrings. For our program, we try to hit the hamstrings as much as we can from our daily stretching to our strength training exercises. What this article is going to do is provide some of our favorite basketball hamstring stretches and strengthening exercises with some videos attached to show how to properly perform these movements in the weight room.

Basketball Hamstring Stretches Movement 1: Squat

There are 2 main types of squats: Backsquat and Front Squat (you can also start your front squat from the rack too which this video does not show). While the squat is more targeting the quads, the hamstrings are also getting hit as well in stabilizing the athlete when they are getting out of the squat. We have performed both the backsquat and front squat in our program.

The squat in general is one of our favorite exercises to do due to the fact it targets so many lower body muscles, including the hamstrings.

Basketball Hamstring Stretches Movement 2: Deadlift

Romanian Deadlift (RDL for short). The RDL is slightly different from the traditional deadlift in that it is specifically targeting the hamstring. The lift looks fairly similar to the deadlift with the variant being you are holding the barbell the entire time, sliding the bar down your legs to your shin area, and bringing the weight back up all while keeping your back straight.

It is important in this exercise to stress keeping a straight back and not arching it.

Basketball Hamstring Stretches Movement 3: Leg Curl

The Lying Leg Curl can be done in 1 of 2 different ways: If you have a machine, you can utilize the machine that is specifically designed for these leg curls. What we started to do recently in our lifting is using our long resistance bands to do our lying leg curls (we made this change because our machine is broken at the moment).

This movement is designed specifically to isolate the hamstrings to help build up their strength.

Basketball Hamstring Stretches Movement 4: Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell Swings not only work the hamstrings in the squatting movement but they also helps build up strength in the upper body too while being up some cardio.

The important thing to remember when performing a kettlebell movement is to get great depth on your squat like also keeping your back straight.

Basketball Hamstring Stretches Movement 15: Bridge

You can perform the Glute Bridge in a variety of ways: traditional glute bridges, weighted glute bridges, or banded glute bridges. The glute bridge is great because it’s not only targeting the hamstring. It also targets the glute, abs, and lower back. It is great for athletes who may have some back pain to help ease some of the burden off the back. We have implemented glute bridges in our daily stretching routine to help build hamstring strength.

There are a multitude of movements that are centered around strengthening the hamstring. It is important that you have movements that you enjoy teaching, your athletes enjoy performing, and at the end of the day, getting athletes that are getting stronger.


Kyle Brasher | Gibson Southern High School
Lady Titans Basketball Coach


Related: Basketball Pre-Game Warm Up Drills

Resources:

The Coach Unplugged Podcast

Cover for Basketball Coach Unplugged ( A Basketball Coaching Podcast)

Ep: 302 Pre-Game Warm Up

If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

3 Great Defensive Drills to Improve Help and Rotation

3 Great Defensive Drills to Improve Help and Rotation

During the offseason, coaches often work on more efficient ways to use their practice time. One of the top approaches in this regard remains combining skills within certain drills. Layering concepts within specific exercises helps speed the process along for some players. One good examples of this is defensive drills designed to improve help side positioning and rotation.

If your players cannot closeout effectively on defense, your Help Defense scheme won’t really matter. Poor closeouts can destroy any defense. When developing your defensive drills, keep in mind how they want their team to improve over the course of the season. That improvement gets jumpstarted in practice with targeted exercises. Coaches often have a set of their favorite basketball practice drills aimed to do just that.

Here’s a look at three great defensive drills to improve the help and rotation for your defense next season. 

Defensive Drills: Overload Scramble

defensive drills

For most basketball offenses, putting the defense at a disadvantage is often the aim. These situations require a scramble mentality from the defensive players in order to recover. This manifests on the court in rotations and notably in transition to matchup. The overload scramble stands as one of the most effective defensive drills to teach just that.

Overload scramble forces your defensive players to communicate and rotate throughout the drill. The setup involves a 4-on-3 advantage for the offense, meaning someone will always be open. But defenders can keep things under control with good positioning and effort throughout the rep.

The ball starts on the wing, and the defenders leave the backside offensive player open. Defender 2 should shade toward the ball to negate a drive, while Defender 3 should sag back in more of a help-side position. As the ball is passed, defenders have to leave their player, scramble to cover the ball or be in a good help position. The ball can be skipped and players are allowed to dribble penetrate in their areas (but are mostly stationary early on as you learn rotation).

Points of emphasis for this drill include: Effective Close Outs and Effort. Your defenders should be going all out on closeouts, but stopping short to prevent dribble drives. Defenders should also put forth maximum effort. Make sure they are sprinting to areas. This drill can also be done as a 5 on 4 type of drill.

Defensive Drills: No Paint Penetration

defensive drills

The next one of the great defensive drills is called No Paint Penetration. This exercise aims to eliminate dribble drives into the lane. The mentality for the defense focuses on protecting the painted area and not letting the ball handler enter this space. Defenses that allow too much dribble penetration find themselves collapsing then rushing for closeouts.

The No Paint Penetration drill also allows defenders to practice proper defensive habits and rotations. This drill’s setup features four offensive players on the wing and four defensive players. The coach starts with the ball as the defenders matchup along the perimeter. Coach starts drill with a pass from the top. The object of the game is to keep the ball from penetrating into the lane.

With each pass, defenders should slide into either on-ball or help-side position. The offensive players should look to drive after the catch, and kick to another teammate if covered up. Offense gets a point if they penetrate into the lane, while defense gets a point for each turnover. The first side to three points win the set.

Points of emphasis for this drill include: Effective Close Outs, Effort, and Avoiding Excessive Fouls.Your defenders should be going all out on closeouts, but stopping short to prevent dribble drives. Defenders should also put forth maximum effort. Make sure they are sprinting to areas.

Defensive Drills: Whistle Change

The last of these defensive drills is called the Whistle Change. This drill incorporates the scramble mentality, but emphasizes communication above all. Often, the scramble matchup happens in transition, however, here it’s done in a half-court set.

The drill begins with a simple five-on-five setup where the offense tries to score on a possession. Defense should work in a man-to-man scheme, focusing on help-side positioning throughout.

When the coach blows the whistle, the offense puts the ball down and switches to defense. The defense quickly switches to offense. But here’s the twist, the players are not allowed to matchup with the one they were previously guarding/facing.

Someone on defense (anyone but the on-ball defender at the time), rushes to pick up the ball. The other defenders move to offensive roles, while the previous offensive players become defenders. However, the new defenders can’t matchup with the person who was previously guarding them.

Points of emphasis for this drill include: Communication and Stopping Penetration. Players must communicate in this drill. If they don’t, they will fail. Forcing players to talk and think on their feet as they scramble is making practice harder than what they will likely face in a game situation.Even though players are matching up in the drill, they must be aware of the ball handler. The ultimate goal is to stop the offense from scoring, so help defense must be alert and stop the ball when necessary.


Related: Defensive Closeout Drills for Basketball Practice

Resources:

The 5 Minute Basketball Coaching Podcast

Cover for The 5 Minute Basketball Coaching Podcast

Ep: 112 Building a Defensive Culture

If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Defensive Closeout Drills for Basketball Practice

Defensive Closeout Drills for Basketball Practice

During the offseason, coaches often work on more efficient ways to use their practice time. One of the top approaches in this regard remains combining skills within certain drills. Layering concepts within specific exercises helps speed the process along for some players. One good examples of this is defensive closeout drills.

Developing a practice plan can be one of the most daunting tasks for a coach at any level. Coaches need to consider the talent of their team when assembling the plan. They also need to keep in mind how they want their team to improve over the course of the season. That improvement gets jumpstarted in practice with targeted drills. Coaches often have a set of their favorite basketball practice drills aimed to do just that.

Basketball Practice Drills: 1-on-1 Closeout

If your players cannot closeout effectively on defense, your Help Defense scheme won’t really matter. Poor closeouts can destroy any defense. This one of the defensive drills helps improve individual closeout technique, much like the next one.

The 1-on-1 closeout drill remains fast-paced, keeping playing contesting shots and preventing dribble penetration. It forces individual defenders to practice within a game-like setup. Making this drill 1-on-1 adds a layer of accountability for each player.

The setup for this drill puts the defenders near the basket while the offensive players stand on the win. The defenders start with the ball and passes to the wing, following their pass. Each defender’s job is keep the ball out of the lane and force a contested jump shot. Following that, the defender must box out and rebound.

Points of emphasis for defenders in this drill include: Sprint To Eliminate Offensive Advantage, Keep Your Hands Up, and Position Appropriately. Variations of this drill can involve the passes coming from different angles and/or the “loser” staying on defense.

Basketball Practice Drills: Basic Defensive Closeout

Basketball Practice Drills

The first basketball practice drill that holds a great deal of value is a basic close out drill. This drill should be a regular for any team playing man-to-man defense. In addition, this drill aids in the instruction of help-side defense.

In this drill, two players start on the floor, occupying the wings. The defenders wait in a line beneath the rim and one positions himself in the “help side” spot in the lane. The drill begins with a skip pass from one wing to the other. The defender is expected to run from his help side position to close out on the shooter.

This drill can use a coach as the passer, or rotate players into that position. Coaches should emphasize defensive placement and positioning when integrating this drill. The close out defender should not over-run the shooter, but stop just before with one hand up.

This drill can be altered to force the shooter to drive baseline. The drill can incorporate another defender at that point, who also moves into help side positioning.

Here’s good video example of this drill.


Related: 3 Developmental Rebounding Drills for Practice

Resources:

 

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Ep: 376 3 Favorite Practice Drills from Coach Steger

If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

3 Developmental Rebounding Drills for Practice

3 Developmental Rebounding Drills for Practice

Rebounding can be the key between a win and a loss. Furthermore, rebounding can be the key to winning a championship. So when building out your practice plans, it’s important to incorporate rebounding drills. This remains especially true at the youth level.

A defensive rebound signals the end of a possession. The ball has changed hands and now the court flips. If you’re allowing your opponents to grab offensive rebounds, you’re extending those defensive possessions. Giving up offensive rebounds hurts momentum and often leads to surrendering easy baskets.

But rebounding isn’t only integral on defense. Offensive rebounds lead to put backs and help build your team’s confidence. If you can grab just five more offensive rebounds per game, that could equate to as many as 15 points more per contest. That’s something that can help your team win the majority of its games.

So here’s a look at three developmental rebounding drills for your youth basketball practice.

Rebounding Drills: Teach Technique

The key to becoming a good rebounder is understanding the form and technique. There’s more to becoming the next Dennis Rodman (from a rebounding perspective) than just jumping and trying to grab the ball. You need to find a player to box out, make contact, then explode to secure the rebound.

rebounding drills

For this rebounding drill, set up two lines on either elbow at the free throw stripe. Each line has its own ball. The players will toss the ball off the backboard, then race forward to secure the rebound. After grabbing the rebound, the player should plant, pivot, and pass to the next man in line.

This drill sets up a controlled environment in which the players can focus completely on the task of rebounding. Points of emphasis for this drill include instructing your players to leap as high as possible when going for the rebound. It’s important to high-point the ball. Players should land in a wide stance, with both hands securing the basketball.

Rebounding Drills: Outlets

The next of these three rebounding drills adds a layer of progression. The outlet pass remains one of the most important developmental skills for a rebounder. These passes can easily jumpstart an offensive possession. The best outlet passes get ahead of a defense and allow for a fast break.

rebounding drills

The set up for this drill mimics the previous one. However, in addition to the lines at the elbows, two more lines exist on the wings. The wing lines receive the outlet passes.

As with the first drill, the first two players will throw passes off the backboard and go get the rebound. Rebounders will pivot out and make a crisp outlet pass to the wing. The wing player then fires a pass to the next person in line.

Points of emphasis for this drill include rebounders going up strong with two hands, chinning the basketball on the grab, then landing with a wide base. The wing player should call for the ball by yelling “Outlet! Outlet!” from their spot on the perimeter. A variation of this drill might involve having the wing player start along the baseline or another spot, then running to the wing to receive the pass.

Rebounding Drills: Zone Boxout

The last of these rebounding drills involves using a zone defense set up. Rebounding stands as one of the weaknesses of a zone defense. Zones can be susceptible to allowing offensive boards if the proper rebounding technique isn’t used. This happens because offensive players come at different angles against a zone than a man-to-man defense.

This drill forces the defenders to find and contact their offensive counterparts before securing a rebound. Even if your team doesn’t run zone defenses very often, the principles of this drill remain valuable.

rebounding drills

For this drill, five offensive players stand on the perimeter, while two defenders await inside near the basket. Each player on offense is given a number, 1 thought 5.

The coach calls out two of those numbers as he attempts a shot. The defenders must find the two crashing offensive players and box them out before securing the rebound. In the graphic, the coach said 1 and 4. The defenders meet the offensive player and block them out, then crash the boards. You can rotate the groups as needed. This drill can also be completed with fewer players, including an option for three on offense and one defensive rebounder.


Related: 4 Steps to Get a Basketball Rebound

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Ep: 323 Rebounding Strategies


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Read and React Basketball: Circle Movement Drills

Read and React Basketball: Circle Movement Drills

f you have listened to Steve’s podcasts with Rick Torbett, you will know that Coach Collins utilizes the Read and React offense. But before installing this offensive system for your team, you’ll need to develop the specific skills to help your players leverage scoring opportunities. These Read and React exercises, like the circle movement drills, layer these skills so your players can excel with this system.

The Read and React offense incorporates a specific concept known as Circle Movement. This action involves offensive players moving along the perimeter in reaction to a teammate’s dribble drive. Generally, the players move in a circle motion  in the direction of the drive. This creates additional space from help defenders and opens passing lanes for the offense.

Read and React: Circle Movement Drills Drive and Kick

Layering the motion and skills for the read and react offense remains an integral part of developing this system. The Circle Movement drills incorporate the specific cuts practiced in the Drift and Lift Drills.

Circle Movement Drills

The set up for this drill involves two offensive players against one defender. The ball begins at the top of the key with the ball handler. A shooter is set wide on the wing. The defender starts with the shooter.

Here, the ball handler begins his dribble drive attack, pressuring the lane. This forces the defender into a help-side position. As the defender slides over to help the penetration, the shooter completes the circle movement necessary for the read and react offense.

By drifting to the corner, the shooter creates a new angle for both the pass and the defensive recovery. This drill provides the shooters with a catch-and-shoot opportunity on the wing. The shooter should drift within their range. A corner three-pointer can be attempted, or a short corner jumper.

Circle Movement Drills

Coaches can add a defensive layer to this circle movement drill by making the help defender complete a hard close-out on the shooter.

The set up for this drill can be moved to different portions of the floor to practice different passing angles and drifts. Starting from the wing forces the shooter to slide from the top of the key to the opposite wing. Starting from the corner can create skip-pass opportunities.

Read and React: Circle Movement Drills Safety Valve

The next layer of these circle movement drills involves the safety valve. The perimeter rotation in the read and react offense sees each player adjust their positioning based on the dribble drive.

Circle Movement Drills

The strong side of the court sees the offensive players drift with the penetration drive. On the weak side of the court, the offense players lift into the empty spaces on the perimeter to keep the floor balanced. This lift also creates a safety valve for the dribbler should the initial drive-and-kick opportunity be covered up by the defense.

The set up for this drill uses three offensive players without any defenders. The ball handler starts at the top of the key, flanked by teammates on the wing. The driver begins his dribble penetration and watches the wing on the strong side drift to the corner. The wing on the opposite side should lift and fill at the top of the key.

The ball handler need to stop, reverse his momentum, and pass to the top of the key. This drill can incorporate ball fakes and provides a good opportunity to develop a guard’s footwork.

Circle Movement Drills

The drill provides a catch-and-shoot opportunity and can be run from multiple spaces on the floor. This drill can also incorporate two or more defenders to help create realistic game conditions.

Implementing Read and React

We utilize the Read and React in our program at Gibson Southern in Fort Branch, Indiana. We love the unpredictability and freedom it provides our players while still having certain rules for them to follow. The various layers in these drills are the same as Coach Torbett’s system. They can be easily implemented if you are running the Read and React system.

As all coaches know, it is important to prepare your athletes both mentally and physically for how to react in certain situations when games roll around. These drills simulate those situations in 3 or 4 player groups. We have implemented these drills with female basketball players from 5th grade all the way up to 12 grade.


Kyle Brasher | Gibson Southern High School
Lady Titans Basketball Coach


Related: Read and React Basketball: Drift and Lift Drills

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Be sure to check out that episode for some great content on the journey of Coach Torbett, how Read and React came about, and the philosophy behind the offense.

Episode: 901 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 1)

Ep: 902 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 2)

Ep: 903 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 3)


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Read and React Basketball: Drift and Lift Drills

Read and React Basketball: Drift and Lift Drills

If you have listened to Steve’s podcasts with Rick Torbett, you will know that Coach Collins utilizes the Read and React offense. But before installing this offensive system for your team, you’ll need to develop the specific skills to help your players leverage scoring opportunities. These Read and React exercises, like the basketball drift and lift drills, layer these skills so your players can excel with this system.

The basketball drift and lift drills incorporates an action central to the Read and React offense known as Circle Movement. This action involves offensive players moving along the perimeter in reaction to a teammate’s dribble drive. Generally, the players move in a circle motion  in the direction of the drive. This creates additional space from help defenders and opens passing lanes for the offense.

Read and React Basketball: Drift and Lift Drills

basketball drift and lift drills

The first layer of these basketball drift and lift drills involves a coach standing in the lane with a line of shooters on the wing. Action for this drill begins with an entry pass to the coach from the wing. The offensive player then drifts from the wing to the corner. The drift motion here isn’t a sprint or a cut.

This drill provides a catch-and-shoot opportunity for the offensive players. Those players with three-point range can attempt their shots as corner threes. Other players can drift to the short corner for their shot attempts. This drill should work from both sides of the floor.

basketball drift and lift drills

The second layer of these basketball drift and lift drills practices another motion for the read and react offense. This drill starts with a line of offensive players in the corner. Again, the coach stands in the lane and receives an entry pass from an offensive player.

Once the player makes the entry pass, they lift to the next spot along the perimeter. This mimics the circle movement of the read and react offense. Each player performs a catch-and-shoot attempt here, based on their shooting range.

Implementing Read and React

We utilize the Read and React in our program at Gibson Southern in Fort Branch, Indiana. We love the unpredictability and freedom it provides our players while still having certain rules for them to follow. The various layers in these drills are the same as Coach Torbett’s system. They can be easily implemented if you are running the Read and React system.

As all coaches know, it is important to prepare your athletes both mentally and physically for how to react in certain situations when games roll around. These drills simulate those situations in 3 or 4 player groups. We have implemented these drills with female basketball players from 5th grade all the way up to 12 grade.


Kyle Brasher | Gibson Southern High School
Lady Titans Basketball Coach


Related: Read and React Basketball: Circle Movement Drills

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Be sure to check out that episode for some great content on the journey of Coach Torbett, how Read and React came about, and the philosophy behind the offense.

Episode: 901 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 1)

Ep: 902 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 2)

Ep: 903 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 3)


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Read and React Basketball Drills: Dribble-At and Draft Drives

Read and React Basketball Drills: Dribble-At and Draft Drives

If you have listened to Steve’s podcasts with Rick Torbett, you will know that Coach Collins utilizes the Read and React offense. But before installing this offensive system for your team, you’ll need to develop the specific skills to help your players leverage scoring opportunities. These Read and React basketball drills, working on Dribble-At and Draft Drives, layer these skills so your players can excel with this system.

Read and React Basketball: Dribble-At Drills

The dribble-at drill develops a specific skill often associated with a read and react offense. It’s a combination of several integral skills. These include passing off the dribble, cutting, and finishing. This drill also provides insight for teams trying to understand the value of spacing the floor.

dribble-at drills

The first layer for these dribble-at drills starts with the ball at the top of the key. The finisher stands on the wing, guarded by a defender. Player 1 initiates the action of the drill by dribbling at the wing player.

As Player 1 approaches, the Player 2 makes a backdoor cut. Player 1 needs to hit the finisher with a leading bounce pass on the cut. The offensive players in this drill can be instructed to work on different finishes at or near the rim.

This layer of the dribble-at drills can be shifted to other positions in the half court. Moving the starting point for the drill provides the offense with different angles to work from and different finishing spots.

Read and React Basketball: Draft Drives

dribble-at drills
Another layer of the dribble-at drills incorporates an action known as the “draft” drive. In this action, the player with the ball drives to the basket behind a teammate that is cutting. The cutter takes the first help defender with them with his move. This action is called a “draft” drive because it mimics a race car drafting off another race car, which removes some of the air resistance. Here, the cutter removes some of the defensive resistance a driver might face.

The set up for this layer of the dribble-at drills moves the defender from the wing to the ball. Player 1 starts with the ball at the top of the key, with Player 2 spotted up wide.

The action starts with Player 1 dribbling at the wing. Player 2 still makes a backdoor as the ball approaches, but instead of passing to the cutter, Player 1 follows into the lane for a layup attempt. The defender should provide pressure on the layup attempt from behind. This drill can also shift to different sections in the half court to create different angles for the drive and finish.

Read and React Basketball: Layering Dribble-At Drills and Draft Drives

dribble-at drills

Bringing the two layers of these dribble-at drills together involves adding a third offensive player to the mix. In this setup, Player 1 starts at the top of the key and dribbles at Player 2 on the wing. Player 2 proceeds with a backdoor cut and Player 3 fills the open spot at the top. This cut-and-fill technique is a stable of the motion offense.

Once the ball is on the wing, Player 1 dribbles at Player 3, who makes a backdoor cut. Player 1 completes a draft drive trailing Player 3 into the lane. Player 3 clears to the corner. This drill can incorporate several different finishes, including layups, jump-stops, or kick-outs.

Implementing Read and React

We utilize the Read and React in our program at Gibson Southern in Fort Branch, Indiana. We love the unpredictability and freedom it provides our players while still having certain rules for them to follow. The various layers in these drills are the same as Coach Torbett’s system. They can be easily implemented if you are running the Read and React system.

As all coaches know, it is important to prepare your athletes both mentally and physically for how to react in certain situations when games roll around. These drills simulate those situations in 3 or 4 player groups. We have implemented these drills with female basketball players from 5th grade all the way up to 12 grade.


Kyle Brasher | Gibson Southern High School
Lady Titans Basketball Coach


Related: Read and React Basketball Drills: Laker Cut

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Be sure to check out that episode for some great content on the journey of Coach Torbett, how Read and React came about, and the philosophy behind the offense.

Episode: 901 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 1)

Ep: 902 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 2)

Ep: 903 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 3)


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Read and React Basketball Drills: Laker Cut

Read and React Basketball Drills: Laker Cut

If you have listened to Steve’s podcasts with Rick Torbett, you will know that Coach Collins utilizes the Read and React offense. But before installing this offensive system for your team, you’ll need to develop the specific skills to help your players leverage scoring opportunities. These Read and React basketball drills, like the Laker Cut, layer these skills so your players can excel with this system.

We utilize the Read and React in our program at Gibson Southern in Fort Branch, Indiana. We love the unpredictability and freedom it provides our players while still having certain rules for them to follow. The various layers in these drills are the same as Coach Torbett’s system. They can be easily implemented if you are running the Read and React system.

As all coaches know, it is important to prepare your athletes both mentally and physically for how to react in certain situations when games roll around. These drills simulate those situations in 3 or 4 player groups. We have implemented these drills with female basketball players from 5th grade all the way up to 12 grade.

Read and React Basketball Drills: Laker Cut

A Laker Cut happens when a player on the wing or in the corner, passes to the low post. Following the pass, that player cuts toward the basketball either above or below their teammate on the block. The post player can then pass it back to the cutter at the basket. This move gets its name from the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, which used this action in their sets, particularly during the Showtime Lakers era.

The Laker cut embodies the popular offensive philosophy of always following a pass with a cut. Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar helped popularize this action with their play in the 1980s. This movement is similar to a UCLA cut by taking advantage of a defender’s tendency to relax once their mark has passed the ball.

Laker Cut

This Read and React drill begins with a player on the wing, a player in the post, and a post defender.

The player on the wing enters the ball into the post then completes the Laker cut, this time through the elbow. Your post player then passes to the cutter for a layup attempt.

The player receiving the pass can work on different finishes in the lane. The shots might include a layup, a reverse finish, and a floater.

Laker Cut

The second variation of this Laker cut drill moves the defense to the wing. Here’s the set up has the defender on the ball initially, with the post player open underneath the basket.

Here, after making the pass, the player on the wing must make the Laker cut with a defender in front of him. The cutter can practice using a jab step for misdirection. Once again, this player can work on different finishes once they’ve received the pass in the lane.

A Laker cut works in the opposite way as a split cut. This happens the wing player passes into the low post then cuts away from the ball to set or receive another screen.


Kyle Brasher | Gibson Southern High School
Lady Titans Basketball Coach


Related: Read and React Basketball Drills: Pass/Cut, Fill, & Backdoor

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Be sure to check out that episode for some great content on the journey of Coach Torbett, how Read and React came about, and the philosophy behind the offense.

Episode: 901 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 1)

Ep: 902 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 2)

Ep: 903 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 3)


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Read and React Basketball Drills: Pass/Cut, Fill, & Backdoor

Read and React Basketball Drills: Pass/Cut, Fill, & Backdoor

If you have listened to Steve’s podcasts with Rick Torbett, you will know that Coach Collins utilizes the Read and React offense. But before installing this offensive system for your team, you’ll need to develop the specific skills to help your players leverage scoring opportunities. These Read and React basketball drills layer these skills so your players can excel with this system.

We utilize the Read and React in our program at Gibson Southern in Fort Branch, Indiana. We love the unpredictability and freedom it provides our players while still having certain rules for them to follow. The various layers in these drills are the same as Coach Torbett’s system and can be easily implemented if you are running the Read and React system.

As all coaches know, it is important to prepare your athletes both mentally and physically for how to react in certain situations when games roll around and these drills simulate those situations in 3 or 4 player groups. We have implemented these drills with female basketball players from 5th grade all the way up to 12 grade.

Read and React Basketball Drills: Pass and Cut

Read and React Basketball DrillsFirst of the Read and React basketball drills is a basic pass and cut. This drill incorporates three players: a passer, a finisher, and a defender. The move amounts to a UCLA cut which can be incorporated into a number of different offensive sets.

The ball starts at the top of the key, where the finisher passes to the wing. After making the pass, the finisher makes the UCLA cut in front of the defender. As the finisher makes the cut, it’s important that they’re looking for the ball with their hand up.

The passer waits until the finisher breaks the “read line” (the three-point line in the Read and React system) before throwing the pass. This pass should lead the finisher to the hoop, allowing the finisher to just catch and attempt the layup in one move.

The rotation for this drill sees the passer go to defense, the defender go to finisher, and the finisher switch to passer. This drill can be reversed to other portions of the floor, including a cuts from the wings. You can also incorporate different finishes for the layup, like a left or right, jump-stop, or shot fakes.

Read and React Basketball Drills: Fill

Read and React Basketball Drills

The next sequence in the first layer of Read and React basketball drills involves the Fill. This exercise has the shooter/finisher cut to an open space on the floor to receive the pass. After making the catch, the shooter must read the defense and react before taking the correct shot. This motion is called a Flash in some offense sets.

The drill set up has a passer on one wing and the shooter starting on the opposite wing. The defender starts in help-side position. The shooter cut to the top of the key to receive the pass from the wing and reads the defender on the catch.

If the defender stays back, the shooter can take a catch-and-shoot opportunity if they are within their shooting range. If the defender is aggressive and gets to the Read Line, the shooter should complete a rip-and-go move. This momentum move brings the ball across their body quickly, allowing them to attack the lane and leverage the defenders momentum.

This drill can incorporate different finishes once the shooter is in the lane, including layups, floaters, or jump-stops. The drill can also shift to other spaces on the floor to create different driving lanes.

Read and React Basketball Drills: Backdoor

Read and React Basketball DrillsThe last sequence for this first layer of Read and React basketball drills incorporates a simple backdoor cut. This move allows the offensive player to leverage an aggressive defense to create scoring opportunities.

This drill begins with the passer at the top of the key and both the shooter and the defender in the corner. The shooter cuts up the floor looking for the pass. The defender denies the wing entry.

Once the defender gets above the Read Line (the three-point line), the shooter makes the backdoor cut. The passer can ball fake to the wing before making the pass on the cut. This should be a leading pass, and likely a bounce pass at that.

This drill, like the others, can incorporate different finishes for the shooter. You can use traditional strong side layups, reverse finishes, jump-stops, jump-stops with a shot fake and finish, or finish through a contact pad. This drill can also be run from a variety of positions on the floor.

 


Kyle Brasher | Gibson Southern High School
Lady Titans Basketball Coach


Related: Read and React Basketball Drills: Dribble-At and Draft Drives

Resources:

 

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Be sure to check out that episode for some great content on the journey of Coach Torbett, how Read and React came about, and the philosophy behind the offense.

Episode: 901 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 1)

Ep: 902 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 2)

Ep: 903 Read and React with Rick Torbett (Part 3)


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Summer Basketball: Individual Development Drills

Summer Basketball: Individual Development Drills

Summer stands out as one of most integral points for any basketball program from year to year. This stretch of time allows for both individual and team-wide development, depending upon your set up. No matter if you’re participating in summer basketball team camps or simply conducting workouts, giving your players specific summer basketball development drills will make all the difference come next season.

However, like teams, not all developmental drills are created equal. Coaches need to scale the drills to optimize the success for their players. Provide your team with different phases to progress through as the summer moves on, and this will allow your basketball players to maximize these developmental drills.

Summer Basketball Individual Development Drills: The Basics

The first phase of your summer basketball development drills should address the basic skills your players need to master. This set of exercises remains particularly useful for youth basketball teams, especially those with younger players just getting into the sport. The drills here help players with the familiarization of necessary skills for competitive play. (Court length is 94 feet from baseline to baseline.)

  • Full Court, Right-handed Dribble
    • You should go down go down and back the court without losing control once before switching to the next drill. If you lose control, start over. Practice maintaining control, balance and stability in dribbling. ​
  • Full Court, Left-handed Dribble
    • You should go down go down and back the court without losing control once before switching to the next drill. If you lose control, start over. Practice maintaining control, balance and stability in dribbling. ​
  • One-handed layups, right side
    • You should make at least 70 percent before finishing. Don’t run for these layups, stand under the basket and use the backboard. This is a variation of the Mikan Drill.
  • One-handed layups, left side
    • You should make at least 60 percent. Don’t run for these layups, stand under the basket and use the backboard.
  • One-handed form shooting
    • Start within 2-3 feet of the basket standing in the paint. Practice same form every shot. Once you’ve made three in a row, take one step back, and do the same process. Must make three in a row to move back. Continue until you reach the free throw line.
  • Free Throws
    • Complete the same pre-shooting routine every time. Take a deep breath before you shoot and don’t move over the line. Start with 20 free throws and keep track of how many you make.

Summer Basketball Individual Development Drills: Intermediate Work

The next phase of your summer basketball development drills should up the skill-level necessary to complete each exercise. This intermediate work stands to sharpen each player’s skill if completed correctly and consistently.

  • Full Court, Crossover Dribble
    • You should go down go down and back, using a crossover dribble to switch hands every two dribbles,  without losing control once before moving on to the next drill. If you lose control, start over. Practice maintaining control, balance and stability in dribbling. ​
  • Wing Layups
    • Start from the three-point line and complete slow, half, and full speed layups where you finish under the basket. From the right side, make at least 70 percent of your shots. From the left, at least 60 percent. Use the backboard with each layup attempt.
  • Elbow Shooting
    • Start on the right side, free throw line extended. Similar to the form shooting drill from the basics phase, practice same form every shot. Once you’ve made three in a row, shift to the left side and do the same process. Add a set number for completion.
  • Spot Shooting
    • Find a spot on the court within the three-point arc. Start 8-10 feet away from that spot, dribble quickly to it, pull up and shoot. Focus on stopping and shooting with good form. Complete a walk through the first couple of times if necessary. Do this for the same spot at least 15 times and keep track of how many shot you make.
  • Free Throws
    • Complete the same pre-shooting routine every time. Take a deep breath before you shoot and don’t move over the line. Start with 20 free throws and keep track of how many you make.

Individual Development Drills Progression

These summer basketball development drills can be completed both individually or within a team setting. The beauty of these basic and intermediate exercises is they can be incorporated into team workouts or players can complete them on their own at a neighborhood park or with at their basketball hoop at home.

Over the summer, players should look to complete these drills at least five times a week, unless they’re involved in other sports. But even if a player is participating in summer training for another sport, they should crave out time to complete these summer basketball development drills so as to not fall behind.


Related: Summer Team Basketball Work

Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast

Ep: 1083 Summer Basketball Takeways

Ep: 1072 Favorite Summer Coaching Books


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Basketball Conditioning

Basketball Conditioning

A well-conditioned team is a team that has an opportunity for great success on the basketball court. To become this kind of team though, basketball conditioning must take place. There are a variety of ways to do this: sprints, distance running, tough drills to improve game conditioning, or a combination of the previously mentioned activities.

While we do complete longer distance running, that is something we do the least amount of. That’s because when playing basketball, rarely do you jog or run for a really long distance. We prefer to implement more conditioning through wind sprints and drills that promote conditioning. Below are 3 wind sprint drills that are different from doing basic down/back line touches or suicides.

Basketball Conditioning: the Basketball Mile

This is a great conditioning drill that we got from PGC Basketball. Basketball is divided into four quarters, so the basketball mile is divided into four quarters. The premise behind the basketball mile is the players do run a mile. But they do it in shorter spurts/springs to mimic basketball actions.

To successfully complete this, you need a running clock. At each interval on the clock, coaches must hit the buzzer and players start. The faster they run in the allotted time, the longer rest they get. The slower they run in the allotted time, the shorter amount of rest they receive. A table below shows the breakdown of basketball mile.

Basketball Conditioning

Basketball Conditioning: Champion Runs

This is a run that I ran in my high school under my coach Andy Elkins. It is a long sprint where if you don’t give 100 percent effort, it is impossible to complete.

The Champion Run consists of the following: 1 valley (see note in intro paragraph) followed by 5 full court touches (full court touch= start at 1 baseline and sprint to opposite baseline is 1). Coach Elkins always said the beauty of the Champion Run is that you will end up on the opposite baseline from where you started, so you might as well run two Champion Runs!

We do these runs when we don’t make free throws like we should, commit too many turnovers, or for just some good old-fashioned conditioning. We time these. Boys, especially guards and wings, should complete a Champion Run in the 1:00-1:07 range. Girl basketball players should complete a Champion Run in the 1:10-1:16 range.

Basketball Conditioning: the Riley Test

This is a conditioning test from the Xavier Newsletter #198. This is a great conditioning exercise because it is tough but achievable for players to accomplish.

The Riley Test is five “down and back” runs. The players start on the baseline and must run those five down and back sprints. It is best to group your players by position. After each set the players get a 2:30 break.

The goal for high school boys has always been anywhere from 1:05-1:10 per set and for the girls has been 1:10-1:20. This can decrease as you go throughout the season or get more conditioned. We always started with 3 sets but never did more than 6 sets.


Related: Summer Basketball Prep Work

Resources:


Coach Unplugged Podcast

Ep 101 Practice Planning, Pre-Season Planning, Conditioning

Ep 152: Conditioning, Building Relationships & Defensive Sets with Coach Todd


If you found this useful, don’t forget to check out additional blog posts at TeachHoops.com. Also, check out TeachHoops on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

3-2-1 Basketball Shooting Drill

3-2-1 Basketball Shooting Drill

We also know that you can’t just waltz into a gym and tell your players to shoot some shots and call it a day. You can’t just yell “GAME SPEED” and expect them to always push themselves; you need to develop drills and put them in situations where players will compete against each other. Coach has you covered here with his 3-2-1 basketball shooting drill.

For Free Basketball drills, videos, practice plans and much more CLICK HERE

Basketball Shooting Drill

Do you have a kid(s) or a team that just loves to shoot? If you’re reading this either yes is your answer… or the answer is no it is because YOU love to shoot! Everybody in the game now knows how important shooting is; we’re entering a new “space and pace” era of basketball where the trend is to be able to attack the rim and finish or kick to an open shooter. 1-5 players today are expected to be able to hit open 15+ footers.

There always seems to be 5 spots around the perimeter that you can expect to shoot from: corner 3s (the big NBA shot), wings and top of the key. Coach has these covered with this basketball shooting drill.

Three makes (any amount of shots) all the way around for 15 makes. Then, the shooter has to hit two consecutive from those same 5 spots. This will amount to 10 makes. The following time through, the shooter has to make 1 from all the spots. Without missing. That’s 5 straight, 1 from each of the 5 spots.

Reps and Focus

How does this help? Of course, it allows you to get up (probably) a lot of shots in a short amount of time. It forces a shooter to focus, to forget about the last miss, build that mental toughness that is required to win games and compete in life.

This drill is not an easy drill to just start off your players with unless you want them to see how much they need to improve! I wouldn’t, obviously, use this as a team drill but it can be great for individual workouts. Players will get fatigued, salty, and frustrated at times; that’s why a coach should love it!

Modifying the Drill

If you like the concept of this drill but aren’t there yet, you can surely modify it. You can modify the distance to develop range and/or confidence in a shooter.

If you have a big, why not go short corners, elbows, and FT line? Those are shots bigs often get in most offensive systems or against zones.

Shooters aren’t good enough (yet)? No need to change any of the first 3 makes from each spot. I don’t think you should change the two in a row either, but the final 5 makes? If your shooter isn’t at that spot yet, why not give them a “2nd opportunity.” IE: Shooter makes 1st 3 from corner, moves to wing and misses. Give the shooter another opportunity to make the 3; if they make it. Move on. Miss? Start over.

Overall, another great drill with so much individual focus to build range, confidence, perseverance, and that gritty knockdown mentality that shooters need to excel in the game before, now, and as long as it is played.

For Free Basketball drills, videos, practice plans and much more CLICK HERE

Related: Basketball Shooting Drill For Any Level

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Favorite Basketball Practice Drills

Favorite Basketball Practice Drills

Developing a practice plan can be one of the most daunting tasks for a coach at any level. Coaches need to consider the talent of their team when assembling the plan. They also need to keep in mind how they want their team to improve over the course of the season. That improvement gets jumpstarted in practice with targeted drills. Coaches often have a set of their favorite basketball practice drills aimed to do just that.

Here are Coach Steger’s 2 Favorite Practice Drills and a couple of videos below to show their use.

 

Basketball Practice Drills: Closeout

Basketball Practice Drills

The first basketball practice drill that holds a great deal of value is a basic close out drill. This drill should be a regular for any team playing man-to-man defense. In addition, this drill aids in the instruction of help-side defense.

In this drill, two players start on the floor, occupying the wings. The defenders wait in a line beneath the rim and one positions himself in the “help side” spot in the lane. The drill begins with a skip pass from one wing to the other. The defender is expected to run from his help side position to close out on the shooter.

This drill can use a coach as the passer, or rotate players into that position. Coaches should emphasize defensive placement and positioning when integrating this drill. The close out defender should not over-run the shooter, but stop just before with one hand up.

This drill can be altered to force the shooter to drive baseline. The drill can incorporate another defender at that point, who also moves into help side positioning.

 

Basketball Practice Drills: DeMatha Finishing Drill

Basketball Practice Drills

The next of Coach Steger’s favorite basketball practice drills is the DeMatha Finishing drill. This drill can be particularly valuable as both a practice drill and as a pregame warmup drill.

This drill pits two players against one another in a simple clash of offense and defense. It’s a high-impact, fast-paced drill where the offensive player attacks the basket and the trailing defender needs to recover. The drill features two lines and usually a coach for passing. Players can stand in for the coaches as passers if need be.

The drill itself can be situated in a number of different spots on the floor. Where the drill starts can be dictated by the coach and what the team needs are.

The drill itself is simple. The passer feeds the offensive player, who must finish at the rim from their starting point. The offensive player can try   a dunk or layup. The defender, meanwhile, must contest the shot as best they can. Physical play can be encouraged for the defense to help the offense improve finishing through contact.

 

Related: 3 Favorite Basketball Practice Warm Up Drills

Resources:

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Ep: 376 3 Favorite Practice Drills from Coach Steger

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Coaching Interview with Marc Skelton

Coaching Interview with Marc Skelton

The TeachHoops.com community connects coaches throughout the nation and all over the world. In this basketball coaching interview, Coach Collins connects with Coach Marc Skelton to discuss his basketball journey and his approach to the game.

Coaching Interview: Marc Skelton

Marc Skelton is a former all-state basketball guard from Derry, New Hampshire. He graduated from Northeastern University, then served two years in the Peace Corps in Moldova. Skelton holds a master’s degree in education and Russian studies from Columbia University.

Skelton teaches history at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School in the Bronx. He’s coached the boys’ basketball team there since 2007, winning two citywide championships and one statewide championship.

Coaching Interview: March Skelton’s Favorite Drill

coaching interview marc skelton

Coach Skelton reveals in this coaching interview that his favorite drill one he calls “Popeye.” In this drill, a lone shooter spends at least one minute attempting to find the right angle for a shot that only touches the backboard and net. After a set amount of time, the shooter switches sides.

The drill continues with a dribble progression from there. The shooter uses a ball fake, then attacks with the dribble. The shooter is seeking the same “Popeye” shot off the dribble that they’d found in the stationary portion of the drill.

Check out the full interview below!

Related: Basketball Coach Interview With Eric Bridgeland

Resources:

Here’s a link to Coach Skelton’s bookPounding the Rock: Basketball Dreams and Real Life in a Bronx High Schoolon Amazon!

PDF Downloads:

Popeye Hall Court Offense Drills

Cardinals Horns Half Court Offense Set 

Coach Unplugged Podcast

Additional YouTube Links



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Basketball Shooting Workout

Basketball Shooting Workout

Developing the right series of basketball shooting workouts remains one of the most important aspects for any basketball coach. No matter the level of the team, the correct drills that teach and reinforce fundamental skills stand as valuable part of any practice plan.

Basketball Shooting Workouts: 4 Rounds

basketball shooting workouts

The first drill to consider incorporating into your basketball shooting workouts is called “4 Rounds.”

This drill can be done individually or within a small group setting.

For this drill, the shooter progresses through a series of spots in the half court, focusing on form and rhythm.

The first two shots from any of the sections remains a form-shooting attempt. The player should use only one hand and focus specifically on release and spin.

The next two shots build on the form-shooting element, now incorporating the guide hand. But with these shots, the shooter still does not leave the floor with the attempt. For the final shot in the section, the shooter steps beyond the three-point line and shoots from there. That attempt should incorporate all of the fundamentals for proper form, elevation and release.

As the shooter progresses through this sequence, they must keep track of their makes. Any miss moves the shooter to the next section. The goal of the drill is to make as many attempts as possible while maintaining proper form throughout.

The name “4 Rounds” comes from the drill’s set up, since every shooter progresses through the drill four times. 100 stands as the most points a shooter can score.

One way to stress proper form with this drill is to require “perfect shots” with the first two attempts in each section. A “perfect shot” is one that’s made without touching the rim. This can also be adapted to be a useful competitive practice game.

Basketball Shooting Workouts: Burner Drill

basketball shooting workouts The next drill a coach should consider adding to their basketball shooting workouts is called the “burner drill.”

The “Burner Drill” stands as a useful sequence either in pre-practice warm up or in post-practice wrap up.

For this drill, a single shooter takes three-pointers for five minutes. One or two additional players provide rebounding and passing support for the shooter.

As the shooter navigates the five minute time limit, he or she should focus on form and elevation. The shooter must set his or her feet before each shot attempt. Shooters should also get in the habit of preparing to shoot before the ball even arrives in their hands.

Shooting for five consecutive minutes often leaves the shooter gassed. The drill “burns” the shooters energy. But it’s important for the shooter to maintain the proper form even in the closing moments of the drill.

This drill can be adapted to be an individual workout as well, with the shooter retrieving the ball after each shot attempt. In that case, the shooter can take shots from a variety of spots along the three-point arc. This, too, can be adapted to be a competitive practice game.

Related: Basketball Shooting Drill For Any Level

Resources:

Teach Hoops

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Basketball Shooting Drill For Any Level

Basketball Shooting Drill For Any Level

Developing the right basketball shooting drill remains one of the key elements for any successful coach. Considering the sometimes wild variation of skill level within a team, it’s important that these exercises can maximize any player’s potential. Coaches sift through hundreds of options and seemingly countless variations, hoping to find something that works for their team.

Coaches know that not every player can do everything on the floor. Players have their strengths and weaknesses. And it’s the task of a good developmental coach to find the right drills to improve upon those weaknesses while growing those strengths.

Basketball Shooting Drill: Around the Horn

basketball shooting drillAround the Horn is a useful basketball shooting drill for players at any level. This drill also provides coaches with the ability to set up individual workouts as well as integrate team elements.

Players might recognize a version of this drill as the old playground game “around the world.”

This drill emphasizes repetition. The shooter progresses through seven spots, arrayed around the perimeter of the floor.

Depending upon the skill level of the shooter, this drill could being near the key, in the midrange, or beyond the three-point arc.

As an individual exercise, this drill involves the shooter taking their shot, then tracking down the rebound. This drill can be adapted to include a rebounder and a passer. Those additional players would also find value in this drill, considering they get to work on other skills as well.

To implement this drill well, the shooter must maintain the proper shooting form throughout. Getting their feet set and hands ready to receive the pass also stand as important elements to this drill.

Adding the timing element allow for the player to focus and provide max effort through the progression. This could also become a competitive practice game.

Basketball Shooting Drill: M-Drill

basketball shooting drillAnother valuable basketball shooting drill is the M-Drill. In this sequence, a shooter navigates a timed progression of shots while a teammate rebounds and feeds the ball.

The shooter moves through five perimeter spots on the floor, taking a shot from each one. The shooter can’t move on to the next spot until they’ve made a shot at each stop.

This drill adds an element of urgency through the one-minute time limit. Shooters must progress quickly and efficiently, concentrating on their form, foot work and movement.

The M-Drill is designed to be a multi-round set. The goal for each shooter is to make it to the next round. Round one involves the shooter making one shot from each spot. Round two increases the number to two makes from each spot. The subsequent rounds also increase in makes, but the time never does.

The goal for each shooter is to remain focused and disciplined despite the time crunch. This drill can help in developing end-of-game situations as well.

Related: Basketball Shooting Drills

 

Resources:

Teach Hoops

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3 Favorite Basketball Practice Warm Up Drills

3 Favorite Basketball Practice Warm Up Drills

One of the most important elements to designing a valuable practice plan is deciding what core basketball elements you’ll concentrate on. So when deciding between basketball practice warm up drills, it’s important for a coach to know where the focus will be. Getting your players warmed up and ready to compete needs to happen at the start of every practice. So why not use that segment to instill core elements to your offense and defense?

Many practices begin with traditional layup lines and jump shots. But how often are the players simply going through the motions of those drills? Installing the right warm up drills will vastly improve the efficiency of your practice.

Basketball Practice Warm Up Drills: Argentina Passing

Coaches always love drills that do double duty. When a drill that incorporates multiple basketball elements can be used, it helps maximize the value of that practice segment. Drills that develop specific skills and other elements like conditioning and/or communication are inherently more valuable than single-focus drills.

Argentina Passing sports that layered value because players progressing through the drill develop their passing skills, as well as hand-eye coordination, communication and conditioning. Passing drills in general get players mentally focused, and this one gets them moving as well.

basketball practice warm up drills 1

Eight players start on the court for this basketball practice warm up drill. Each player stands partnered with the teammate directly across or diagonally across from them in the half court. The two balls start with the center players and those players pass to their right. Immediately after a player passes, they cut across the court and exchange places with their partner.

basketball practice warm up drills

This drill rises above a normal passing drill because the players are sprinting through once they’ve made their pass. Players must concentrate on the catch, using a reverse pivot to open their hips on the catch.

Passes exclusively run to one side, meaning the players are always either passing to the right or the left. Coaches can focus on specific pass types. Coaches can also reverse the drill after a set amount of time.

Players work on passing, foot work, communication and conditioning through the drill.

Basketball Practice Warm Up Drills: Star Passing

Star Passing is common one in many gyms, but this version of the drill incorporates the necessary element of finishing with a made basket. This doubles well not only as a basketball practice warm up drill, but also as a game warm up.

Basketball Practice Warm Up Drills

The drill begins with players arrayed in a star across the half court. The ball starts with the line under the basket. There are lines in the corners, as well as on the wings.

The first pass goes from under the basket to the left wing. The passer follows their pass and joins the end of that line. From there, the left wing passes to the right corner and follows. Right corner makes a baseline pass to the left corner and follows.

The final move in this initial turn through the drill involves the left corner feeding the player that cuts from the right wing. That player receives the pass and finishes the turn with a layup.

Variations of the drill can incorporate a number of additional basketball elements. Coaches can require that the ball never hits the floor. They can reverse the flow of the drill to work on left-hand layups. Coaches can have a defender waiting at the rim to challenge the finisher. The list goes on an on.

Basketball Practice Warm Up Drills: Pivot Passing

The final basketball practice warm up drill here is called Pivot Passing. While this drill remains a staple at the youth level, there are practical elements here that can be incorporated into the practice plan of more advanced teams.

This drill stresses the specific development basic footwork. Players pair off and stand in four lines. If the players start on the baseline, they explode out with an attack dribble to the free throw line extended area. From there, the players jump stop, reverse pivot then pass to their partner at the baseline. The partner receives the pass an immediately explodes into the dribble.

Basketball Practice Warm Up Drills

The reverse pivot helps practice creating space, a necessary skill for any level of player. Coaches can layer shot fakes, step throughs, rips, etc. Change the specific pivot foot for the players and force them to adjust. Even the most athletic players may struggle with this seemingly basic drill because it layers specific movements and does so quickly.

Related: Youth Player Development and Practice Planning

RESOURCES:

High School Hoops Podcast:

Ep. 39: Coach Steger, 3 Favorite Practice Drills

High School Hoops podcast

Teach Hoops

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Basketball Pre-Game Warm Up Drills

Basketball Pre-Game Warm Up Drills

For many coaches, the quest for new and engaging basketball pre-game warm up drills seems like it’s never ending. And for the coaches who are tired of doing the same old things, sifting through all of the resources online can feel like a daunting task.

The key to any pre-game warm up routine is to get the players physically and mentally prepared. The traditional layup lines can certainly provide movement and the chance to practice an important shot. But too often, this drill engages just two or three of the players on the team. There’s a lot of standing around and waiting, and that’s not what you want your team to be doing in the run up to a game.

RELATED: Youth Basketball Development, Practice Planning and Drills

The reality is, pre-game is often an underutilized part of the game for many coaches. Instead of passively moving through a series of routine drills, coaches should approach pre-game with the same intensity and focus that’s expected of the game itself. The following drills should engage and prepare players of any age or ability.

 

Basketball Pre-Game Warm Up Drills: Four Corner & Show Time Passing

 

In this episode from the TeachHoops YouTube channel, Coach Collins and Coach Vann talk through a couple great options for any team.

Four Corner Passing has been a stable of so many coaches, thanks to the great Bobby Knight. While chaotic at first, this drill gets multiple players moving and practicing a key skill. Starting with four lines (two on the blocks and two at the elbows), players pass to the right, receives a pass back and runs through a dribble hand-off (DHO). Players rotate and the lines keep moving. This drill can go right or left and multiple balls can be added as the players improve.

Show Time Passing is another active drill that gets the players moving and thinking. The five line set up features near constant movement from the players, and involves the basic pass-and-cut, give-and-go action that’s integral to good team basketball.

Basketball Pre-Game Warm Up Drills Basketball Pre-Game Warm Up Drills

Addition Pre-Game Warm Up Sequences

 

This quick video below demonstrates a few pre-game warm up drills, including drive-and-kick for layups and baseline curl shot sequences.

 

This video provides an extended look at additional basketball pre-game warm up drills. A solid defensive sequence involves 3-on-3 close outs. It focuses on help-side responsibilities on defense and attacking the basket on offense. In addition, there’s a 5-on-5 walk through of offensive sets and a basic, four-person shooting drill.

 

Teach Hoops

 

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Basketball Competitive Practice Games

Basketball Competitive Practice Games

Basketball coaches everywhere are constantly searching for new Competitive Practice Games. Keeping young players engaged throughout a practice period often means mixing up physical warm-ups and stretching, technical drills and competitive contests. Coaches need to layer the information and embed key skills before introducing and installing specific sets.

But running through the same drills over and over can result in bored, disengaged players. Yes, they need to master the basic layup. But running through the same two-line drill every practice might have players check-out on their coach.

Enter the competitive practice games.

Basketball Competitive Practice Games

These games aren’t teaching drills per-say. The goal of competitive games is to get your players practicing key skills within the controlled environment of the closed gym. Here, the players are learning as they make their way through the progressions and reads, relying on their teammates to pick them up.

It’s important for coaches to allow their players to play through their mistakes and learn as these competitive practice games to unfold. These controlled situations and scrimmages also provide plenty of information for coaching staffs to digest. They’re learning the strengths and weaknesses of their teams.

One-Way Basket

This is a full-court competitive game that allows coaches to install a specific play or set, while also practice key defensive principles. In the half court, the offense runs their first action against a full compliment of defenders. If this action results in a basket, then the offense and defense switch. But if the defense gets a stop, then it’s a full court game.

The defensive stop flows into transition offense as that squad seeks to score. Only points scored off of defensive stops count in this competitive practice game. This game should flow back and forth for several minutes before coaches change anything.

Emphasis: Defense. Basketball coaches that incorporate this competitive practice game look to establish the mindset that the team needs to focus on getting defensive stops before getting to the offensive end of the floor.

RELATED: Youth Basketball Development, Practice Planning and Drills

Perfection

One of the most frustrating elements of coaching at seemingly any level is dealing with unbalanced teams. Having a starting five that’s far more talented than their teammates forces a coach to come up with different ways of maximizing practice time. Since a starting five typically sports a team’s top players, scrimmaging the first five against any combination of the rest of the roster might not produce the practice results coaches are looking for.

And on those teams where there’s a dramatic split in playing level between the first five and the next five, scrimmages can often become just as frustrating for the players. But it’s also important for the best players in the rotation to get practice time together on the floor.

“Perfection” ultimately handicaps the competition, evening the practice floor to make it more interesting and engaging. The idea with this competitive practice game is for the “strong” team to play like normal. They need to be “perfect” and they get points for scores or anything else a coach is looking for. The “weaker” team, meanwhile, has access to all of the normal points, but also could get points for specific accomplishments, like offensive rebounds, forced turnovers, etc.

Emphasis: Attention to detail, competitive balance. While the top players might be more talented than their teammates, this competitive practice game can balance the scales to a certain extent and keep all parties engaged throughout. Afterwards, and this is true of any basketball competitive practice game, it’s important that coaches debrief with their players to emphasize specific elements.

Basketball Competitive Practice Games

One Way Basket Basketball Competitive Practice Game

Teach Hoops

 

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Basketball Shooting Drills

Basketball Shooting Drills

One of the most important parts of any coach’s practice plan is the incorporation of basketball shooting drills. These drills are valuable no matter the level of the team or the talent of the individual player. Shooting remains a key aspect of the game, and only through repetition and focus can a player improve.

For coaches, finding the right drills for your team can be frustrating. Depending on the team’s level and the talents of the gathered players, coaches sift through dozens of drills, searching for the right series. It’s important for a coach to understand their team’s ability and continuously push them to improve.

When developing shooting drills, a good coach must consider what types of shots they want to focus on. Drills should reinforce the skills that will help the players perform within the context of a game. So shooting drills should be designed around shots that would normally result from a team’s offensive actions. The best basketball shooting drills are representative of a team’s base offense.

 

Basketball Shooting Drills: 3-2-1 Shooting

This drill involves at least two players and is a high-volume, high-repetition practice. Over the course of one or two minutes, non-stop, a single shooter progresses through a series of jump shots. The other player rebounds and feeds the shooter from near the hoop.

The shooter begins behind the three-point line for their first shot. From there, the shooter moves into the midrange for their second shot. The last shot in the sequence is a layup (which is worth one point). The rebounder keeps track of the shooter’s score as their teammate progresses through the drill. After the time is up, the players switch roles.

This shooting drill provides valuable practice for any shooter, regardless of talent-level. The shooter must move, set their feet and find a repeatable release. Even the other player gets reps at securing rebounds and making solid passes.

This drill can incorporate internal competition as well. The two partnered players can compete with one another, or with another pair at another hoop.

RELATED: Basketball Competitive Practice Games

 

Basketball Shooting Drills: Team Spot Shooting

Team Spot Shooting is one of the most valuable basketball shooting drills. This practice sequence emphasizes form shooting and positioning, all within the framework of a team competition.

This drill involves a set number of players progressing through a series of shots on the floor. The group might start at the short corner, then move to the elbow, free throw, opposite elbow and opposite short corner. In order to progress to the next spot, the group needs to make a designated number of shots in a row. Once the group has made three from the short corner, for example, they move to the elbow. But if they miss at the elbow, a coach can signal either that the team runs or returns to the previous spot.

This drill can be redesigned as a practice game as well.

Related: Basketball Pre-Game Warm Up Drills

Resources:

Basketball Shooting Drills

Basketball Shooting Drills
Teach Hoops

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