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Winning Way Series

130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice


and in the same amount of time!

Our best practice ideas for basketball coaches of all levels


.

Written by the Toolbox Staff:

Kevin Roy

&

Brian Williams
TABLE OF CONTENTS

The seven essential principles of practice success

Introduction.Practice--the lifeblood of every successful basketball program


Principle #1 Mindset--Practice with the mindset and manner of a champion.
Principle #2 Efficiency--Plan for the most efficient use of limited time and facilities
Principle #3 Habits--Motivate players to habitually do the right things right
Principle #4 Competition--Make practice as competitive as possible
Principle #5 Team Building--Incorporate team and chemistry building
Principle #6 Game Planning--Incorporate game planning
Principle #7 Thoroughness-- Be meticulous and cover everything you do in games

Appendices

Appendix A Worksheet for developing your master plan


Appendix B Player Practice Evaluation Form
Appendix C Playing Hard Checklist
Appendix D Sample Master Practice Plan

Some of the concepts we will present can be


organized into more than one category, but we
have chosen one grouping for each of the 130
concepts for the sake of clarity and
organization.

All Rights Reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or
transmitted or distributed , in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the
authors.

Ordering Information

To order additional copies please visit www.coachingtoolbox.net


130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Introduction

W e believe that:

WHAT HAPPENS IN PRACTICE IS THE


LIFEBLOOD OF THE SUCCESS OF YOUR
BASKETBALL PROGRAM.

In order to benefit from this book a coach must believe


completely in that statement. Your program is defined by
the careful planning and skilled implementation of effective
practice plans. Coaches who motivate and inspire their
players to practice in a manner that indicates that they believe that statement to be true
will have the best practicesand having great practices leads to having the most success
in games. A coach must continually advocate that consistently great practices are what it
takes for a team to reach its potential. Whether its during summer workouts, the first day
of practice for the upcoming season, or the night before the state finals, the message must
be the same:

The quality of practice greatly influences the outcome of games, and of


great significance is that practice is something that your team can control.

I continually stress to my players


that all I expect from them at
practice and in the games is their
maximum effort.

--Coach John Wooden

No matter what your vision for your team is, the way to achieve it starts and ends with
having great practices.

Before coaches can have great practices, they must develop their philosophy. The
successful coach will have a written document stating what that philosophy is and
what their core values are. This document is critical as it will guide your planning of
practice. The planning process begins with the building of a master plan or schedule. This
plan will include all of the things that you believe are critical to you teams success. This

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

plan should be constructed by aligning your philosophy of coaching with the skill of your
team and the characteristics of your opponents, including the tendencies of opposing
coaches. Upon completion of a detailed master plan for the upcoming season, the coach
can then plan out individual practices. By referring back to the master plan when
planning individual practices, a coach can ensure that his/her practices are addressing the
needs of the team and that nothing will be left out. We have included an appendix with
24 essential questions to use to develop your master plan.

It is vital to have written expectations that


You get what you expect, inspect, are clearly communicated so that you, your
and accept. assistants, and your players will know what
is important in your program and what will
--Coach Don Meyer be corrected if the expectations are not met.
Then, it is up to you and your coaching staff
to refuse to accept anything other than what
your written expectations have laid out. Studies of successful leaders in all fields
document that high achieving groups have high expectations from their leaders and from
themselves.

We have collected 130 great ideas from various sources that, when applied consistently
and correctly, will put your team on the road to having better practices and enjoying more
victories.. Coaches should work to make the necessary tweaks and adjustments to our
suggestions so that they have the maximum impact possible on their program.

It takes many bricks laid properly over time to build a wall. Each correct principle
applied that leads to better practices adds a brick to the program you are building.
Eventually the wall will become solid, strong, and will stand the test of time. It will be
something that everyone involved will take great pride in having achieved.

Designing great practices starts with committing to planning and executing practice
activities around the core principles that you believe lead to success. Our ideas are
organized into the eight core principles that we feel are essential for consistently having
exceptional practices that lead to victories.

For questions about any of the information contained in this document, and for more
tools to help your program, email us at info@coachingtoolbox.net or visit us at
www.coachingtoolbox.net

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Principle #1 Mindset
Practice with the mindset and manner of a champion

H aving the right frame of mind is what separates the programs with great practices
from all of the others. By whatever means you can, indelibly etch the following
saying into the minds of your players:

EVERY TIME WE TAKE THE FLOOR, WE PRACTICE AND PLAY WITH


THE TECHNIQUE, INTENSITY,
TOUGHNESS, AND TOGETHERNESS OF
"I have no individual goals. We
A STATE (OR NATIONAL) CHAMPION.
play for one reason and that's to
win the title. Practice is more
1. Everyone in the program must believe that
important than the games, and I
championship level practices every single
will practice when I'm hurt,
day of the season are the key to success on
when 95 percent of the players in
game day. If they do not demonstrate that
this league would sit out. I expect
belief, then you must continue working to
all of you to do the same thing.
convince them that it is true. Then
You will follow my lead."...to the
collectively, the team members must roll
Chicago Bulls. And follow they
up their sleeves daily and make that vision
did.
a reality. For practice to impact your win-
loss record, the players must agree to be --Michael Jordan
and want to be held accountable to and be
coached to the highest standards in your
class. Certainly, there is no way to measure what your competition is doing in
practice. However, if the coach and the players have the mindset that your
programs standards for intensity, execution, toughness, and togetherness are those
of a state champion, and you go to work every day to earn the right to feel that
you are succeeding, your practices will be exceptionally productive. Your players
must believe that the coaches are not helping them if they allow anything less than
the championship level.

2. Hard work is merely the price of admission into the competitive arena; it is no
guarantee of success. If it is not present, then you cant even think about
competing. But, consistently doing the right things, in the right way, and in the
right frame of mindall while working very hardover an extended period of
time, can lead to success. Hard work is not a victory in and of itself; it must be
accompanied by technique and toughness. It is possible to be a hard worker with
poor technique and no toughness.

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"My passion is to coach and do 3.


Players must see and believe that the
things to the best of my ability. I coaching staff is eager and excited for
want our team to get better every practice every day. A coachs
day at practice. If we can do that, enthusiasm for practice should be
the other stuff will take care of obvious to the players and assistant
itself." coaches. The coachs enthusiasm
should be contagious. For practice to
-- Coach Mike Krzyzewski be great everyone needs to be
enthusiastically involved. As
classroom teachers, it always amazes
us when we see and hear athletes
cheering in response to an announcement that their practice has been cancelled.
That is not the type of response that demonstrates an understanding of the
importance of high quality practices.

4. Players will do in the games by habit what they learn, rehearse, and are held
accountable for in practice. If coaches allow cutting corners in practice, that is
what they will get in games. Don Meyer says that coaches can be demanding
without being demeaning. We believe that type of interaction with players is
imperative to success. For example, we believe that placing the ball under your
chin after a rebound is an important fundamental. Therefore, in practice situations
we blow the whistle and call a turnover if a player falls to chin a rebound. By
consistently demanding that this fundamental be executed, you will begin to see it
occur more frequently. We want to create the mindset that doing things properly
leads to increased success.

5. The players goal for each practice should be to improve themselves for the good
of the team. A coachs goal should be to instill that goal in the players and plan
practice to make it happen. Spend time making sure that your players see that as
their goal.

6. Everyone involved in your practices must know the expectations that you have as a
coach for the level of performance and effort. Frustration and conflict which lead
to team turmoil are always present when players individually and the team
collectively are being coached to a higher standard than they are currently able to
reach. The tension can be reduced greatly when everyone knows what the
expectations are and why those expectations are so high.

7. The practice court is a classroom. Practice is one of several classes that students
attend each day. Like all classes, the students should expect to be taught
something each day. Coaches should have clear objectives for the day and a well
planned lesson designed to help the players achieve those objectives.

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Stop yelling, and start teaching. 8. Coaches should enter practice


with the mindset that if players
--Coach Bill Walsh are making mistakes, the reason
they are making mistakes is that
the coach has not taught them
properly. Coaches need to make
adjustments in how they are communicating their ideas. Yelling the same
instruction louder does not facilitate the teaching process. Coaches must believe
that everything that happens on the court happens as a result of their actions. A
good coach is like a good teacher. If the student is not learning, the teacher must
change the teaching methods.

9. Coaches must believe that they can win with their team, regardless of the teams
shortcomings or perceived shortcomings. It does not matter whether the team is too
short, too slow, too inexperienced or lacking in basic skills. Coaches must believe
that they can overcome all obstacles placed in front of them. There are ways to
play when your team is too slow and too short. Young players can be taught and
skills can be practiced. If you do not believe that you can win, you will not.

10. Coaches must not accept excuses from themselves, their staff, or team members.
By making excuses for player or team failures, one relinquishes control of their
influence over the outcome.

11. Coaches should take pride in the design of their practices and players need to
develop pride in the way they practice. Pride is an attitude that separates excellence
from mediocrity. Mediocre practices produce mediocre results.

12. Plan your practice as if your career depends on it, because it does.

Prepare for every practice like you


just lost your last game.

--Coach Don Meyer

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Principle #2 Efficiency
Plan for the most efficient use of limited time and facilities

O
ne of the most valuable resources that coaches have is time. In addition to the
many demands on coaches time, there usually is a limited amount of gym time.
Even in situations where coaches have the gym all to themselves, the amount of
time that you can have the players on the court is limited. Players simply cannot
effectively practice much more than two hours per day.

You need a teaching coach who To prepare a team coaches must provide time
understands the game of for individual skill development, teaching of
basketball, not just some guy their offensive and defensive schemes, special
coming on the court talking situations and specific game plan adjustments.
about Xs and Os. In order to thoroughly cover all of these
topics, coaches must employ a practice design
--Oscar Robertson that allows for the efficient use of their limited
time on the court. Efficiency begins with
careful planning. By referring back to the
master plan that was created in the off season, coaches can focus their practices more
effectively on the most important skills and schemes.

Here we have listed some ideas for helping to make your practices more efficient.

13. During the off season make a list of concepts that you believe are important and
that will have an impact on winning. When carefully planning practice, make sure
that every drill that you utilize is teaching or reinforcing something that you
determined has a direct impact on winning. If you cannot associate a particular drill
with a concept critical to your success, do not waste your practice time on the drill.
We, as coaches, often we make the mistake of running a drill because it is
something that we did as a player or because we have always used as a coach.
During the summer we critique each drill that we use and determine whether or not
it is helping us reach our goals. If the drill does not specifically teach or reinforce
what we feel is important, we throw the drill out. Wasting even four minutes of
practice time should not be acceptable.

14. Utilize your staff by giving them definite assignments. Evaluate each coachs
strengths and weaknesses. During the season utilize their strengths in practice.
Work on their weaknesses in the off season.

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

15. Meet with coaches before practice to describe what you want out of practice and
what you expect from them that day. Give each of them a copy of the practice plan.
Get all of your coaches involved in working with players in practice. Good
coaches are constantly teaching.

16. If players must miss practice, they must notify the coach as soon as the need to
miss arises. Excused reasons to miss are church, family emergency, illness,
academic activity that can only be scheduled during practice, or another school
activity that the player is involved in. It is better to miss an athletic practice for a
doctors appointment rather than missing an academic class.

17. Make a list of what you want to see in your practice. Everything that contributes to
long term success and has value happens three timesonce in the mind, next on
paper, and then in the physical realm.

18. In order to prevent spending too much


Practice structure determines
time on one drill or topic, have a
success.
manager run the clock to time each drill.
If you need more time to cover the topic,
--Coach Bob Knight
simply make a note and add it to the next
days practice plan. Remember, you
carefully planned the practice and allotted as much time as you believed that the
topic warranted on that day. If you spend extra time on a drill you will be short
changing another teaching point scheduled later in practice. Coaches frequently
make this mistake during the early stages of practice. We start all fired up and
ready to have a great practice. The team may struggle with something early in
practice and we get caught up trying to make it perfect. The problem occurs later in
practice, because now we are behind schedule and have to skip a drill or shorten
others in order to finish on time. Many times the drills scheduled for the later parts
of practice are actually more important. Most coaches tend to schedule practice
beginning with individual development drills and progressively building to more
complex team drills. While individual drills are important, you do not have to
perfect the skill today. Its development occurs over time. Daily consistent practice
will eventually pay off. Trust that your persistence and quality instruction will,
over time, result in increased skill level. The extra time that you spent on a
fundamental drill earlier in practice is not worth the price you pay for skipping or
shortening other teaching aspects of practice.

19. At the conclusion of each drill assign a location for players to meet the coach and
review the principles of the drill and receive their instruction for the next segment
of practice. We suggest conducting the meeting like a timeout. Quickly, in
approximately the amount of time given during timeout, review what just happened
and give clear concise instructions for what needs to happen next. Players and

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

coaches are now practicing giving and receiving valuable information much like
they are required to in a timeout. By doing this, practice will move quickly and
efficiently from one segment to the other. In addition, you will be utilizing the
opportunity to practice coaching during timeouts. Timeouts are not just
opportunities to give players rest or stop the clock. They are important and like all
things important should be practiced.

20. Have players involved in individual drills while not involved in the scrimmage. We
have our point guards do ball handling drills when they are not in the scrimmage.
Post players do post drills. Wing players might do their spin and catch series. Be
sure and require that they stop their drill anytime that the coach stops scrimmage to
instruct the team. Players involved in individual work are expected to be aware of
anything communicated on the court.

21. Have water available to players at all times. Make it easily accessible. Allowing
players to get dehydrated at practice will affect their performance. As players
become dehydrated the body temperature will increase. Even the slightest increase
in body temperature will reduce muscular coordination and concentration. Players
should drink frequently throughout practice. Stopping practice for a water break
should not be necessary.

22. Require that players pass/dribble with their weak hand in certain situations. For
example, during shooting drills, passing the ball to a coach, to the side, to a
manager, etc This saves time from having to do a drill specific to improve that
skill.

23. Demand that players be on time for the start of practice. The consequences should
be harsh for tardiness. Also demand that coaches end practice on time. Never
extend practice beyond the scheduled ending time. Teach them that time is
important and should not be wasted. Model this with the way you conduct your
practice.

24. Spend at least 20 minutes each day where you can be alone and in uninterrupted
thought. Think about what things
that needs to be happening in
All battles are won before they are
games with your current team and
fought.
how you can keep those areas
sharp or improve the ones that
--Sun Tzu
need to be better.

25. Meet and huddle in a different spot from time to time. Breaking the routine will
grab the players attention. They will be more alert, expecting to hear something
different since you are meeting in a different location. Occasionally, if possible

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

practice somewhere else. Players like the change. Maybe the alternate site has
fewer baskets, but also less distractions and therefore practice can be more focused.
The alternate site may not be suitable for long term practice, but occasionally the
change of venue can help break the routine and add something extra to practice.

26. Determine an emphasis of the day for each practice. Select a coach to be
responsible for praising every example that s/he can find of a player properly
executing the emphasis of the day. This can be a powerful tool that will allow you
to get much more accomplished. If it is important to you that your players fake a
pass to make a pass, have the designated coach praise players when they do it. This
will, without fail, get more players to fake a pass to make a pass more often.

27. Combine drills to reinforce or practice more than one thing at a time. For example
combine a shooting drill with your drill for contesting shots. When working on
post moves, also have players practice feeding the post with pressure.

28. Many times coaches will draw up plays or schemes and discuss them with their
staff; however, there is only way to find out if the idea works for you team. We
feel it is an efficient use of practice time to, on occasion, experiment with various
ideas that a coach may have. This is more efficient than spending countless hours
simply discussing the idea.

Once practice starts, we work 29. Players tend to learn faster when
hard, and that's the best they are taught something in many
conditioning there is. Everything short segments, rather than in fewer
counts. Every little thing counts. longer segments. We believe it is
Run hard, play hard, go after the better to teach something five times
ball hard, guard hard. If you play for five minutes, than it is to spend
soft (what I call signing a 'non- 40 minutes in one session. If you are
aggression pact' with your having trouble with something in
teammates), you won't ever get practice, resist the urge to continue
into shape. hammering the same point. Move
on and come back to it later. In this
-- Coach Pete Carill way you will spend less time
teaching the same thing.

30. Factor rest and recovery into your overall practice schedule. Players need some
time off. Other times it is important to give them low impact practices. It is critical
to give their bodies a break from the physical pounding against the hard floor. It is
possible to have effective practices without having the players run and jump at
game speed. When they need recovery and you cant give them a day off, utilize

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the opportunity to teach and review critical concepts of your system or game plan.
Remember free throws are important and also a low impact activity.

31. At times practice becomes stagnant. You must recognize when players just simply
are not getting what you hoped for out of the practice. Sometimes the players are
tired. Sometimes they simply do not understand the concept that you are teaching.
Whatever the case, sometimes it is best to re-group rather than keep plodding
along. When practice reaches this point consider on of the following:

32. End practice early. Sometimes it is perfectly acceptable to send the players home.
There are times when resting is a more efficient use of time than practicing with
poor effort, concentration or enthusiasm. The coach does not always have to be
angry to send players home. Sometimes it is simply a matter of what would be a
better use of the players and coaches time.

33. Stop practice and pretend it is halftime. Go to the locker room. Talk about how the
first half (of practice) went and what you have to do to have a better second half.
Come back out, warm-up and restart practice

34. Stop what you are doing and simply go to a drill that the players always participate
in with great enthusiasm. Run their favorite drill.

35. It can be helpful to simply change ends of the floor.

36. Consider taking the players off the floor and showing them video.

I do believe in praising that which


deserves to be praised. Only praise
behavior that you want to be
repeated. Never use false praise.

--Coach Dean Smith

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Principle #3 Habits
Motivate players to habitually do the right things right

Practice doesnt make perfect.

T he most critical step in developing great


habits is deciding what habits you want
your players and teams to have. As
mentioned earlier we believe that it is
imperative that you as a coach clearly define
Practice makes permanent.
Perfect practice makes perfect

--Coach Vince Lombardi


what needs to happen in games for your team to
win. We believe this should be written and
reviewed daily. When planning practice, use that document as your guide. For example,
if you believe being competitive and tough are the most important attributes that your
team needs to win this season, then create opportunities for players to develop those
habits. Your practices should be designed to help create the habits that you have
determined that your team needs in order to be successful.

The art of coaching/teaching is determining how to create those habits. If we could just
tell our players to help the helper, contest every shot without fouling, and read the screen
and go opposite the defender it would be very difficult to gain advantages over other
coaches. All coaches would be able to get their players to execute. Because this is not the
case, a coaches can help their team be successful by being better than their opposition at
creating good habits. Most coaches are capable of determining what to tell players. The
difference between good and great lies in the ability of coaches to get their players to
execute consistently what has been taught. The best coaches create the best habits.
Players are under pressure during games and as such there is not much time for players to
stop and think and be intuitive during competition. They are reacting to situations and
responding according to how well they have been taught. In each situation that arises in a
game, the player will respond in a fashion most similar to how he has responded in
practice. The coachs challenge is to create the situations in practice that provide the
opportunity for the players to develop the habits that you as the coach think will help the
team be successful.

To create a habit keep this in mind:

Communicate clearly how the skill or scheme should be performed


Show video of proper execution of the skill or scheme
Demonstrate the skill or scheme
Allow the player to execute each progressive step in executing the skill or scheme
Allow the players to complete the steps as a whole at a slower speed

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Complete the steps as a whole at game speed


Have players evaluate whether the skill or scheme was completed correctly
Have players visualize the completion of the skill or scheme
Give the players many repetitions of each of the above
Provide positive reinforcement for proper execution
Expect it to take 3-4 weeks to create a new habit

37. Take time to encourage and appreciate the efforts of your players in practice.
Research shows that actions that are rewarded increase in frequency. Behavior is
modified more rapidly in a five to one ratio of positive to negative comments.
Praise the actions that you want
repeated. Do not underestimate
We shape our habits, then our the power of this tool. We
habits shape us. sometimes require each coach to
find five examples of a specific
--John Dryden key point to praise during
practice that day.

38. Every coach should establish what we call the Way of their program. The Way
of your program is a collection of beliefs and ideas that you feel will make the
program successful. This can become your mantra. Develop team pride in your
programs Way. Refer to it frequently and with a sense of great pride. Players
should feel that their Way is special. The Way of the program must be clearly
communicated to the players. Make absolutely sure that players and staff know
what you think is important for team success and what comprises your programs
Way. Put it in their handbooks, put it up in the locker room, and state it as times
as possible in practice. When doing a drill that addresses one of the key areas,
remind the players that you are practicing what you believe is a key to your
success. Every player and coach should be able to state the 3-4 things that you as a
coach believe are critical to success. The style of play your team needs to utilize to
win, the teams collective skill set and attitude towards the program determine
success. Players need to believe that your style of play is the best way to be
successful against your schedule. The skill set must compliment the style of play
and the players must believe that The Way the program is conducted both on and
off the court gives them the best chance to be successful. With that in mind we
shared the following with our players.

Our keys to success are:


a. Schemes and skills
b. Toughness
c. The (insert your programs name) Way. For example The DeMatha
Way, The Duke Way or The Butler Way

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39. Anything a coach allows in practice will surface in games: lack of hustle, poor
shot selection, poor body language, excuses, complaining about calls, etc...
Practice is the time to shape the behavior you want to see in the games. You must
be consistent in this regard. Decide what is intolerable and never ever waiver. Here
it is important to define what is intolerable. Be careful not to be petty. If you are,
the players will not respect you. Be clear that some things simply cannot happen if
we expect to be successful. If you consistently demonstrate that you will not
tolerate actions that hurt the teams chances of being successful, you will earn their
respect and modify their behavior.

40. Players need to practice concentrating. If you are going to expect them to
constantly do the things that you think are important, you will need to teach them
to pay attention to detail in the practice setting. Give the players drills that require
extra concentration and attention to detail. One way of doing this is to begin
practice by saying, Today at practice anytime the whistle blows we want every
player to immediately get into perfect shooting stance. This helps to emphasize a
basic fundamental, but also helps us to practice concentrating and paying attention
to detail. Of course you could have the players do anything you want when the
whistle blows. By selecting something that you believe is important, you are once
again emphasizing how important that concept is. We are constantly setting the
tone that little things make a difference.

41. In order to get players to concentrate on the defensive principles that you believe in
and to develop the proper habits, try the following drill. We ask the players to play
three perfect defensive possessions. The length of the possession is determined by
our playing style. If for example, the oppositions average possession is 17 seconds
against our defense, we ask the players to play perfect defense for three times that
length or 51 seconds. We demand that they execute three perfect 51 second
defensive possessions. During each possession every coach is watching for a
defensive mistake. Be picky. Stress the principles that you believe are important
whether that be jumping to the ball on a pass, keeping the ball out of the lane,
trapping the post, helping the helper or anything else that you believe in. If a coach
sees a mistake, that possession must start over again at 51 seconds. If the defense
causes a turnover you can reward the defense by running 5 seconds off of the
clock, restart the possession and run the clock from that point. If the offense takes a
bad or contested shot and the defense gets the rebound, we just stop the clock and
then resume the possession and run the clock from that point. If the offense scores,
takes an uncontested shot, or gets
a rebound, then the clock is reset
Its true that you can lead a horse at 51 seconds. We continue until
to water, but you cant make him we have played three perfect 51
drink. However, you can salt his second possessions. In this way
oats. we are stressing, without any
--Unknown

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doubt, what we believe is important defensively to our success. We have found this
to be very helpful. Players will focus on what you think is important. They will
communicate better in order to avoid confusion. This drill will also show you who
your leaders are. The leaders will step up and make players accountable for their
mistakes. While players may understand that defense is important, they arent
particularly fond of playing defense for long periods of time. The players will be
motivated to complete this drill in as little time as possible.

42. Most coaches agree that playing hard is important to team success. How can we
get our players to play hard? We start by having the coaches and players make a
list of what playing hard looks like. We create a checklist and refer to it often.
Periodically we will ask the players to watch video of practice and evaluate how
hard they are playing utilizing the checklist that they helped create. If they are not
playing hard in practice, we will show them a video of practice when they did play
hard and ask them to identify the differences.

43. In practice, we believe that the right thing to


do is to make the block/charge calls (and Good sound habits are more
every other call that must be made) with the important than rules - use
same lack of bias that you would if you were concepts.
officiating a game. The only exception to
that rule would be if you have set the stage --Coach Mike Krzyzewski
ahead of time by explaining to the team that
there will be a segment where bad calls will
be made on purpose to practice dealing with that for games. If a block/charge call
is close, call it a charge to teach your drivers to be under control and to reward
your defenders for taking the charge. Add additional rewards such as for every
charge that is taken, it offsets an assigned sprint.

44. If you are a motion team, try this drill. Have four players screening for one cutter.
The offense scores one point for each properly executed screen that is read
correctly. If the offensive team creates and attempts a quality shot they score 2
points, and if they make the shot they score 4 points. If a quality shot is taken,
whether it is made or not, the offense retains the ball and continues trying to score
points, by setting good screens, reading them correctly and attempting what you
clearly define as quality shots. We define quality shots as uncontested jump shots
or power shots inside. The offensive team retains the ball until they turn the ball
over or take a shot that is not a quality shot. The defensive team is now on offense
and they follow the same rules. The game can be played for time or to a specific
score.

45. If your goal is to get the ball into the post on two thirds of your possessions, then it
must happen every possession in practice. To accomplish this, dictate the ball must

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

go to the post a specific number of times before a jump shot can be taken. What
you emphasize consistently in practice will happen in games.

46. If your goal is to double the post each time, award two points to the offensive team
each time it is not doubled. Again, we make this rule because we believe that not
doubling the post causes us to lose games. We want players to suffer the
consequences in practice for poor execution. The biggest consequence is not
winning.

47. To help create the habit of blocking out and pursuing the ball, award 4 points for
an offensive rebound when scrimmaging. That forces the one team to block out
and pursue the ball on defense and provides reinforcement for getting to their
rebound spots on offense.

48. In order to help players understand shot selection and create the habit of attempting
quality shots, we have each player evaluate every shot in a practice scrimmage.
The players simply hold up 1, 2, 3 or 4 fingers after each shot taken. A 4 is a power
shot inside, 3 an uncontested jump shot, 2 is an ok or so-so shot and 1 is a terrible
shot. We want our players to understand that we win more often when we take 4s
and 3s. By making the players evaluate each shot they will be more conscious of
shot selection and understand how important it is to you.

49. Keep the same statistics in practice that you keep in games and go over them with
the players to emphasize the importance of high performance in each area.

50. We ask that players use echo yells. When a call is made every player is required
to repeat the call. This is something we want to happen in games; therefore we
require it in practice.

Systems win! Believe in your


system, and then sell it to your
players.

-- Coach Billy Donovan

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Principle #4 Competition
Make practice as competitive as possible

he more competitive your players are,

T
I firmly believe that anyone's
the more likely you are to reach your finest hour, the greatest fulfillment
clearly defined attainable goals. of all that he holds dear, is that
Competitiveness, we believe, can be moment when he has worked his
developed in properly structured practices. heart out in a good cause and lies
Think of it as a fundamental skill. Practice it exhausted on the field of battle -
consistently and the skill will improve over victorious.
time. Great coaches believe that they can
improve their players in this and all other --Coach Vince Lombardi
areas. Coaches that are creative in finding
ways to make their drills and scrimmages
more competitive have an advantage over their opponents.

There are times when you want your players to focus on concepts and principles. When
engaged in teaching these concepts and principles being competitive is not useful and can
in fact be a hindrance. However, portions of your practice must be competitive, giving
your players the opportunity to utilize the tools that you have helped them develop. They
must be able to execute the fundamental skills and schemes that they have been taught,
while an opponent is fiercely attempting to prevent that execution. It is this fierceness
that we call competitiveness. To be fiercely competitive, players must be able to
successfully execute the fundamental skills and schemes with an appropriate amount of
energy, effort and enthusiasm over a sustained period of time.

In order to make practices more competitive you must create opportunities to win and the
chance to lose. The opportunity to win can come in many forms. You might have players
competing against their personal best score in a particular drill. Individuals might
compete against each other in a particular drill. For example you can have your three best
inside players compete in a rebounding drill. If the skill level of the players is similar,
then the player that is more fiercely competitive will be successful and rewarded with a
victory. Pitting players against each other in situations that require them to execute skills
and schemes while fiercely competing will definitely improve the execution of the skill
or scheme in a game. Players should practice perfect shooting form in a teaching or
reinforcing segment of practice. This is critical to their skill development. However, you
must be able to get that player to execute that skill in a game. Creating the situations that
force them to perform this fundamental skill under fiercely competitive situations will
improve the players percentage in games.

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Other times you might want your first team to compete against the second team. In a
typical practice setting this usually necessitates creating advantages or circumstances that
allow the second unit a chance to win against the first unit. Without the special
circumstances, these segments are not usually very competitive. Your first unit must feel
pressure to execute the skills and schemes of your program. Many times the first unit can
be successful without execution and sometimes without being fiercely competitive. You
must create an environment where the first team must execute while being fiercely
competitive in order to experience success.

To do something youve never Here are examples of special rules you can
done, you must become someone use to makes scrimmages more competitive
youve never been. or to emphasize a particular point. We
suggest that some special rules that fit
--Les Brown your philosophy are standard and never
change.

51. During scrimmages award the second unit two points if they can get free for an
uncontested shot. If they hit the shot it is a four-point play. This will make the
scrimmage more competitive and emphasize how important it is to contest all
shots. Your first unit needs challenged every day and sometimes you have to be
creative. They need to contest every shot like they were playing for the conference
championship. They need to do this every practice, every possession.

52. Award the second team two points for each non-shooting foul by the first team.
Committing unnecessary fouls hurts your team tremendously. Your goal should be
to reduce the 1-and-1 opportunities for your opponents.

53. A turnover by the first team is two points for the second team. Dick Bennett uses
the term sureness to stress the importance of taking care of the basketball. In a
game, being sure with the ball increases your points per possession. If your team
averages 1 point per possession, then every turnover costs you 1 point and gives
the opposition another opportunity to score. The first unit needs to feel the
consequence of a turnover. In a normal scrimmage the second unit might not be
capable of making the first unit pay for the mistake. They need to see the value of
sureness.

54. If the first team is scoring too easily or too quickly, then impose some restrictions
on the first team. For example the ball must be touched in the post before the first
team can shoot each possession.

55. For motion offensive teams, the first team cannot shoot until they have set a certain
type of screen a certain number of times that is specified by the coach. If that is

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

not a good offensive rule for your team, use it as a defensive drill by requiring the
second unit to set the specified screens and number of those screens before
shooting. Therefore your offense can practice defending those screens.

56. No dribble or limited dribbles. By eliminating the dribble we are not implying
that dribble penetration isnt important. This drill is designed to eliminate
excessive dribbling. The second purpose is to simulate cutting to get open against
pressure defense. The receiver often must make more than one cut to get open and
relieve pressure.

57. Require a certain number of passes before a shot, or certain number of reversals.

58. When restricting how quickly a team may shoot, require the players to fake a shot
when they have a shot they might normally take.

59. Require that the shot must come off an inside out pass. This forces a team to work
hard to get the ball in to a post player and the other team to deny the post entry.

60. Award the second unit two points for


getting the ball into the paint. This I am not a strategic coach; I am
teaches them that it increases scoring a practice coach.
opportunities when the ball gets in the
lane and at the same time reinforces to the -- Coach John Wooden
first team how critical it is to keep the ball
out of the lane.

61. Require your first team to defend the ball handler with their hands behind their
back. This will obviously make the first team focus on moving their feet when
defending the ball handler, but more importantly will simulate playing against an
opponent that excels at breaking down the defense with the dribble. Your other
players will have to be prepared to help on penetration as well as helping the helper
in rotations created by the penetration. This is particularly important as more and
more coaches are utilizing the Dribble Drive Motion Offense.

62. A missed free throw by the second unit is one point, a made free throw is two
points. This also helps teach the first unit not to commit fouls

63. Anyone on the first team not chinning a rebound is a turnoverloss of possession
and the two points that are the result of every turnover.

64. If a player takes an unacceptable shot, for us that is anything except an open
jumper or power shot inside, award two points to the defense.

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Here are a few examples to help make drills more competitive. Find a way to keep
score of even the simplest of drills. Find out who hates to lose and who will do
anything to win. You have to know who the winners are on our team.

65. Rebounding allow 1 point for defensive rebound and 2 points for offensive
rebound. Play to a score.

66. Wing denial 1 point for offense for receiving the pass. 3pt for defense for
denying at least five seconds. Play to a score.

67. Shooting Put a passer, shooter and rebounder at each basket. Give each team of
players two basketballs. The shooter takes five shots from the same spot. The
rebounder quickly retrieves the ball and passes to the passer. The passer then
passes to the shooter. After the shooter takes five shots, he becomes the rebounder.
The rebounder becomes the passer and the passer becomes the shooter. After each
player has taken five shots at that spot, then a new spot is selected. We set the
clock for five minutes. We have each basket compete against the other baskets to
see which group makes the most. We also have the record for most baskets made in
five minutes posted on the scoreboard. Players then can compete against the all-
time best score. This situation creates game speed shots. Players pass quicker,
hustle for rebounds, are more careful to make perfect passes and the shooters are
more disciplined in their technique. Every shot matters. To win players must
execute several fundamentals correctly several times. The same drill can be
repeated but this time the players must shot fake and take a one dribble pull-up
jump shot. We do this everyday.

68. Free Throws Many coaches use a Free Throw Hearing improves with
Ladder. Two players are pitted against each other praise!
and shoot a designated number of free throws. --Coach Mark Gottfried
The player making the most free throws moves
up the ladder one spot and the players making the
least moves down one spot. Each day there will be new match-ups for the contest.
The original rankings may be determined by having each player shoot 50 free
throws and then ranking them from best score to worst score. A variation of this
game is as follows. Rather than simply counting the number made out of ten, we
play this way. You score 1 point for a make, 2 points if it is a swish and lose 3
points if you miss. We play to a score. The top third of the ladder plays to 20,
middle third to 15 and bottom third to 10. If a player finishes with negative
numbers, they must run an equivalent number of sprints.

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

69.
Here is another Free Throw
competition drill. We have players
Practices should be for the
shoot 1-and-1 free throws. Player
players and not the coach.
A shoots. If he makes both Player
Practices should be fun for the
B shoots. If he makes both, the
players, positive in nature, and
next player shoots. We continue
last no more than two hours."
until we have a miss. We compete
against the teams all-time record
--Coach Norm Sloan
of consecutively making both ends
of 1-and-1 free throws. At the end
of the game you want your team to
have confidence in making pressure 1and1 free throws. The Two Minute Drill at
the Coaching Toolbox is another way to work on pressure free throws. The link
will take you to the site to see the drill.

70. Individual offense and defense Place three players of similar ability at each
basket. Player A assumes a position on the perimeter. Player B assumes a help side
position. Player C will pass the ball to player A. Player B must close out to the
shooter (Player A) and contest any jump shot and contain any drive. Player A may
shoot the jumper or make a move to the basket to score. We limit the player to
three dribbles and we play live to the defensive rebound or score. If Player A
scores s/he remains on offense. This time Player C will be the defender and Player
B will be the passer. If Player A fails to score, s/he becomes the next passer and the
defender becomes the next offensive player. We score this way. A 3-point shot is
worth 3 points and a 2-point shot worth 2 points. If a player is fouled, he shoots 1
free throw. If the free throw is made s/he scores 2 points. Sometimes the defense
does a great job and the offense cannot get off a good shot after three dribbles.
When this happens we do not want the offensive player to force a bad shot. We
simply have him/her pass back to the passer and the possession is over. If a bad
shot is taken, the offensive player loses 4 points. In either scenario the defender
becomes the offensive player and the offensive player becomes the passer. We play
to a score and the losers run.

The will to win is important, but


the will to prepare to win is
essential.
-- Coach Bob Knight

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Principle #5 Team Building


Incorporate team and chemistry building

W e need not explain why team


chemistry is important. When a
team has great chemistry the
whole will be greater than the sum of its
A person really doesnt become
whole until he becomes a part of
something thats bigger than
parts. It is obvious on game night which himself.
teams have great chemistry and which teams
do not. The question is how do we get our --Coach Jim Valvano
team to work as one and have faith in each
other? If coaches wait for it to happen, it will
occur occasionally with the right group of players. To have great teams you must have
chemistry with every group of players. We believe it is something that must be modeled
and taught. Therefore it should be an objective for each lesson plan in the class we call
practice.

71. The key to team chemistry is clearly defining roles and expectations for each team
member. Players become frustrated when they are unsure of their role. This
frustration leads to whining and complaining and ultimately team chemistry is hurt.
Clearly communicate what role you see each player playing. If that role starts to
change as the season progresses, be sure and communicate that with the players.

72. If your players feel they are a part of something that is special, they will take pride
in being a member. You can create that feeling by designing your practices like
those of championship teams. Make the players feel like they are working harder
and smarter than any other team.

73. Demand perfection from everyone in practice. Coach the 12th man the same as the
star player. The 12th man may not see the floor during game time, but if s/he is not
being coached in practice and feels neglected, s/he can hurt your team by damaging
team chemistry. The same can happen if the best players appear to get special
attention. Treat all players equally. You can be disciplined and demanding
without being demeaning.

74. Give responsibility to older players to help teach younger players the Way of
your program. This will help develop leadership and create the feeling that they are
a part of something special. Leadership helps team chemistry. Establishing a
pecking order reduces conflict, if the pecking order is determined properly.
Young players will respect an older player, if that player is helping them. The older
player will take some ownership in the young player's development. They need to

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

feel connected to each others success. This type of mentor/student relationship


will reduce tension between players.

75. Require coaches and players to acknowledge good passes, great effort, and other
positive actions. Let players know that you appreciate it when they compliment
each others play. Tell them repeatedly that you believe these are some of the
things that will help us have a great season.

76. End practice with a team huddle and make every effort to end on a positive note.
There will be times that confronting an issue or a lack of effort must take place, but
the less of those endings, the better. Give some thought about the progress for that
practice, and where you are going to have to improve. Keep in mind that the last
things that you say will be some of the easiest things for the players to remember.
As you break the huddle, have the players slap five with each other and say
something positive to each person before leaving the floor.

77. Have the players shake every coachs hand before leaving practice, or find some
way to communicate before leaving.
Great teamwork is the only way That way, you can get a feel for each
we create the breakthroughs that ones frame of mind as they leave
define our careers. practice It is also a good time to
-- Coach Pat Riley have a few moments of conversation
without the demands of moving on to
the next activity.

78. Huddle up to start practice, just like when you send the team out on the floor at the
start of the game or to begin the second half. We believe that this is a great time
for your captains to offer vocal leadership and say something to set the tone for a
practice in which everyone is going to have that championship attitude and effort
that the sign says. It can also be helpful to huddle up periodically throughout
practice. This can be a great way to regain focus or re-energize practice

79. Once a week during the season have dinner together as a team. We do this after
practice every Thursday during the season. Attendance is mandatory; in fact we
count it as part of practice. At the beginning of the year parents and coaches sign
up for dates to host the dinner. The players look forward to it each week. It is great
for team chemistry. Spending time together after practice helps develop better
bonds between players and coaches.

80. We find it to be a good idea to celebrate every player, coach or mangers birthday.
We have ice cream in the team room immediately after showers.

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

81. Occasionally let seniors (you will


know when to do this and when not
Coming together is a beginning,
to) plan a practice. If you have
keeping together is progress,
modeled for them how important
working together is success.
practice is and consistently
organized great practices, you will
--Henry Ford
be amazed at what they will come
up with. Players love this, and it
allows them to take ownership.

82. If you have a youth program that you organize, have your players coach a team.
We have a third and fourth grade league that we run. Our varsity players coach
teams and are assisted by the JV players. The players help conduct the preseason
clinics with the kids and then draft their teams. On game day they coach the teams
and we (high school coaches) officiate. The players take great pride in their teams.
Once a week we invite one of the youth teams to attend practice. The young kids
really look up to the players. This builds pride in being a part of the program. With
the young kids in attendance the players seem to go out of their way to practice the
right way.

83. Spend the time to make the locker room, or team meeting room a special place.
Make it nice, nicer than last season. Allow the players some freedom to make their
space their own.

84. In attempting to build a team and create the right chemistry, you must be willing to
make some tough decisions about your roster. Sometimes you might have to
remove a player that you feel will not adhere to the principles that you believe are
important to success. Never compromise when selecting a team. When making a
decision regarding the character of a player, the players skill level is not an issue.
Ask yourself, would the other parents want their son/daughter to spend time with
this player. If the answer is no, then that player is probably not going to be
successful in your program.

Look for players with character


and ability. But remember,
character comes first.

-- Coach Joe Gibbs

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Principle #6 Game Planning


Incorporate game planning into your practice plan

T he more carefully you create your


master plan and utilize it to plan
your practices, the less time you
will have to devote to covering every small
detail regarding your opposition. Well
Failing to plan is planning to fail

--Coach John Wooden

planned practices throughout the season should help you prepare for 80-percent of what
you will encounter for each particular game. However, there will be times when you must
make adjustments and prepare specifically for a team. We try and work drills in each
week that help us prepare for our toughest opponents. If we felt that the team mostly
likely to prevent us from reaching our goals ran flex, we would defend flex cuts each
week.

Players should not feel like practice is completely different when preparing for certain
opponents. Most of practice should consist of drills that you consistently run throughout
the year. We have listed some tips to help incorporate game planning ideas into practice.

85. Unless your second (scout) team runs something frequently that your upcoming
opponent runs, we suggest walking through the specific plays of your opponent
that you want to make your players aware of. For instance, if there are several
teams that run a certain pattern on your schedule, and the second group has done it
before, it will help to defend it live. But, we feel that to teach your second group a
new play or pattern and then to expect them to run it well enough to have your first
team gain anything from defending it is not realistic. Walk through the other
teams plays and emphasize your rules and how you will defend. Make sure that
you are selective and walk through things that will make the biggest difference in
the game.

86. Evaluate opponents in the preseason and set the drills you do each week
accordingly so that you are working on specific game plan adjustments every week
throughout the season rather than the night before or the day of the game. For
example: if you play a lot of flex teams, practice defending flex at least once each
week. Almost every offensive scheme and movement that you have to guard
against can be incorporated frequently throughout the season and efficiently into
your nightly shell defensive drill sequences.

87. Evaluate your upcoming opponents plays to make sure that you are not spending
80% of your time defending what they do 20% of the time (The 80/20 rule says
that 80% of the results come from 20% of the activities and can be applied in

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

almost every circumstance where prioritization is essential.) If your defensive rules


are sound, trust that many of the plays that are run against you will be defended
properly. Trust the habits that you have created and resist the urge to walk through
every play that the opposition might use in a game. For example, we do not feel
that you need to go through each inbound play that your opponent runs, but rather
have a system for defending inbounds plays that is consistent. Practice defending
their most successful movements and plays, not everything they do. Dick Bennett
says that When you attempt to defend everything, you defend nothing. Focus on
the essential movements and your rules will handle the rest.

88. In your drills and your 5-on-5 scrimmages, designate certain JV players as the
other teams players and work on defending them the way you will defend them in
the game, including who will guard them if you are a man-to-man defensive team.
Make sure to work in your second and third choices for defending that individual
as well.

89. We suggest that you end each practice with a two minute live clock segment. We
want our players to be prepared for any situation. By doing this every practice, we
believe our players play with more poise and confidence. This also helps coaches
determine the best late game strategies for that particular team. We rehearse all
possible scenarios in this drill. Put the players in every possible game ending
situation. Maybe you are up and holding the ball and the other team is fouling
quickly and you have to shoot several 1 and 1 free throws. You might be down by
several and have to foul. Sometimes we play the final minutes pretending a key
player has fouled out. Be creative and do this consistently. With respect to game
planning, you can rehearse situations for that opponentsuch as who to foul and
who not to foul if you are behind at the end of the game, what shooter to leave at
the end of the game to help, what shooter to not leave at the end of the game, who
are the likely players for them to take pressure shots, and what type of press or half
court trap to look for at the end if you are ahead.

The mediocre teacher tells. The


good teacher explains. The
superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.

--William A. Ward

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Principle #7 Thoroughness
Be meticulous in covering everything you do in games

I n order to make your practices thorough, they must reflect the key components of
your master plan for the season. You also must continually find creative and unique
ways to reconnect to The Way of your program and the goals that you have set.
Goals are much more effective when they are measured and emphasized. You must
continually address the core areas in order to be thorough. Your practices must be
thorough in that they cover all of the values, as well as the various skills and schemes you
have defined for your program. Coaches should realize that, until the habit is formed the
concept has not been taught. A thorough practice accounts for that. Everything must be
covered completely until the habits have been formed.

In order to be thorough, you must segment your practices so that all of your key areas are
being addressed daily and in the proportion that you want. We address the key areas of
basketball while keeping in mind our other 7 principles for successful practices of
Mindset, Efficiency, Habits, Competitiveness, Team Building and Game Planning.

The Coaching Toolbox practice plan has seven segments that we feel help to organize
your planning and ensure that you are thorough in covering the core concepts of your
program. The following is our suggested
The only way to get people breakdown for practice segments:
to like working hard is to
motivate them. Today, people 1. Team time for announcements and
must understand why they're meetings
working hard. Every 2. Warming up, stretching, and loosening
individual in an organization 3. Individual skill development
is motivated by something 4. Defensive team fundamentals and
different. execution
5. Offensive team fundamentals and
--Coach Rick Pitino execution
6. Situations
7. Evaluation

The amount of time that you will spend on each of the six segments of practice will vary
from practice to practice. Each segment will not get the same amount of time as the
others. The meeting segment needs to be kept to a maximum of 15 minutes. Have an
assistant coach time you or put the time on the scoreboard if you are meeting in the gym.
We suggest spending at least 20 minutes per night on individual development, regardless
of what night it is. The night before a game, cut back on the amount of game pace
shooting and dribbling you do and focus on repetitions of technique drills.

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Segment #1 - Announcements and Meeting

Getting practice started in the right fashion is critical. The first segment of practice allows
time for more making necessary announcements, sharing information and setting the tone
for practice. Use this time to discuss information that cannot simply be posted for players
to read. Just like a pregame talk in a locker room, a pre-practice talk sets the tone for the
practice. These are the areas that we recommend focusing your team meetings on. It is
important that this stage of practice be timed just like your drill work. Spending too long
with meetings will reduce their impact and effectiveness. Recommended time is a
maximum of 15 minutes per day. Have your main points written out and dont deviate
from those! We have listed some topics to consider.

90. Teach and reinforce attitude and effort every day. You can never remind them
enough how much you value good attitude and great effort.
91. Grades and behavior in school. How are we doing compared to the goals we have
set in those areas?
92. Give players a Quote of the Day
93. Pass out any items from players notebook
94. Care of locker room
95. Pre-game, game, post game (bus) conduct Natural abilities are like
96. Diet, rest, taking care of themselves natural plants; they need
97. Communicate the goals for that days pruning by study.
practice.
98. Reconnect to the program values that you --Coach Red Auerbach
have established
99. Remind players of your teams statistical
goals
100. Reinforce to your players how the team approaches each offensive and defensive
possession.
101. Sometimes it is helpful to show short segments of video in order to stress a
teaching point that is a scheduled point of emphasis for the day.
102. Remind players of what the team needs to be good at in order to reach its goals.
103. Evaluation of statistics from the last practice or last game
104. Indicate to players the portions of todays practice that are most pertinent to the
game plan for this weeks opponent. This helps reinforce that the planned activities
in practice are designed to increase the chance of success and helps set the tone for
practice.

105. Make announcements (Include Managers)

Bus Departure Times


Special Events (team meals, team gatherings etc...)

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Change in practice times


Rescheduled Games
Changes in quarters for JV or varsity games if a player plays on both teams
Changes in who will be dressing for the varsity and JV game

Segment #2 - Warming up, stretching and loosening

106. Warm up and prepare your team for top performance and to go hard in practice. We
suggest beginning practice with a series of dynamic stretching exercises as opposed
to the traditional static stretches that most of us did as players. Five to ten minutes
would be sufficient.

107. The next thing that we like to do is run our press offense, transitions or secondary
break, half court offense or set plays. We run those five on zero and at less than
game speed. These types of drills serve as great warm-up activities, while also
reinforcing concepts that are valuable to your program. They also get the players
concentrating and ready for a good mental practice.

108. We do not believe in doing the 3-man weave or similar types of drills for warm-up.
The 3-man weave and other drills, like four corner passing, are just not game like.
Try and eliminate any drill that is not game like. If the drill does not teach or
reinforce a skill or scheme then eliminate it from practice. The time is too valuable
to waste.

Segment #3 Individual Development

109. The individual development workout phase focuses on shooting technique and then
finding ways to simulate the shots that players will get within your system and
against various defensive schemes.

It's better to have a good


player with the basketball in 110. Make a list of everything that your perimeter
late game situations than to players must do within your offensive system to
have good plays." dribble the ball, pass the ball, and score
successfully. Use this portion of practice to work
--Coach Rick Pitino on all of these skills.

111. Diversify the plan so that your primary ball


handlers are getting shots off the dribble and that your cutters are getting the types
of shots that you screen to get them in games. Give your post players the

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

opportunity to work on their post moves as well as their spot up shooting and face
the basket moves.

112. We suggest working your perimeter players in the post. Many times you will find
that your most skilled post players will be perimeter layers. If you work on this
consistently, you can create an advantage as the opposition many times will not
have their perimeter players prepared to defend the post.

Segment #4 Defensive team fundamentals and execution

113. In the teaching defense stage of practice, the focus is on applying your defensive
rules to the types of offensive schemes that your team plays against during the
season. A major emphasis of this segment of practice must be working on
converting to defense, not just defending a set half court offense.

114. In order to be thorough coaches must teach individual defensive techniques, team
schemes and intangible characteristics of their defense.

115. Communicate the characteristics of your defense. Here are a few examples:
Communication, enthusiasm, energy, echo yells, competing, playing hard, tough
enough to outlast even the most patient opponent, high energy, playing togetherit
is a team defense. Constantly remind the players what intangible qualities are
necessary for your defense to be successful.

116. Identify the phases within each defensive possession that you feel are important and
that can be taught and evaluated. Then constantly teach your defensive principles
and defensive philosophy throughout every practice.

117. Incorporate the specific movements that you must defend in games into your drill
and 5-on-5 work. Run your shell defensive drill every night and vary it by
defending a different movement daily.

118. Make a list of the following things you must defend to beat the teams that are in the
way of you reaching your goals.

What cuts must you defend?


What screens must you defend? First, master the
What set plays must you defend? fundamentals.
How will you defend the post? --Larry Bird
How will you defend dribble
penetration?

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

What tempo must you defend?


What are your rules for defending each movement?
What game adjustments you will make if your primary rule is not working?

119. List all of the defenses that you will need to practice for use in games. Give them a
priority as to which ones you play the most frequently. Practice the percentage of
possessions in practice that you use in games.

What defenses meet your teams skills and match up against your opponents?
What will you do to speed up the tempo if you are behind and what time in the
game will you do it?
What defense will you play to slow down the game and not foul if you are ahead?
How many half court packing defense(s) will you need?
How many half court pressuring defense(s) will you need?
How many full court pressure defense(s) will you need?

Segment #5 Offensive team fundamentals and execution

120. During the teaching offense stage of practice,


Keep it simple, when you get have your JV or second unit, defend in various
too complex, you forget the waysswitching, pressure, pack, playing
obvious." screens in various ways, trapping, not
--Coach Al McGuire trapping, or whatever you must prepare for on
your schedule.

121. Stress the principles within your offense. Here is a list of ours (add, subtract, or
change to fit your program).

Communication, enthusiasm, energy, echo yells, competing, playing hard,


tough enough to outlast even the most patient opponent, high energy,
playing together, take the shot we wantnot what the opponent gives us,
change speeds, change directions, more passesless dribbles, too slow is
better than too fast

122. Identify key components within each possession that you feel are important and that
can be taught and evaluated. Then constantly teach your offensive principles and
offensive philosophy throughout every practice.

123. Your team should be prepared to attack each specific style of defense. Whether you
have principles in place or sets, to attack each specific style of defense it does not
matter. What matters is that you have a plan and the players are prepared.

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Man to man full court press


Run and jump full court press
Run and jump half court trap You were born to win, but to
2-2-1 full court press be a winner, you must plan to
2-1-2 full court press win, prepare to win, and
1-3-1 half court trap expect to win.
1-2-1-1 full court press
--Zig Ziglar
Packing man to man
Man to man denying all passes
Switching man to man
3-2 zone
2-3 zone
Match up zone
Box and 1
We will cover last second shot plays, delays, and other special situations in
practice segment #6

124. Design your offensive system with a purpose in mind. When selecting plays or
offensive schemes keep in mind the following:

What tempo do you want to establish or dictate?


What do you want to accomplish with your set plays?
Run a play for one of your players specific strengths?

125. Make a list of your offensive plays, sets, motions, principles, and practice them in
proportion to their frequency of use in your games and against all of the defenses
you will face. Refer to the list every practice to make sure that you are including
everything you need and in the proper proportion. Include half-court, full-court, and
inbounds plays.

Here is a very short sample list as an example:

Press Offense
Rotation Offense against a half court trap
4 out 1 in motion
Kentucky (Thumbs Up)
Iowa (Arms Spread)
Duke (Fist)
Stack

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Segment #6 - Situations

"The more your players have This segment is devoted to working on specific
to think on the basketball situations that the players must be prepared to
court, the slower their feet handle in a game. You want to be sure and cover
get." what we call Automatic Situations, Coachs
Adjustments and End of Game Scenarios. By
-- Coach Jerry Tarkanian covering all types of situations your players will
be more confident and make fewer bad decisions
at the end of the game. Communication can be
difficult in late game situations. Players and
coaches are excited and in that state it is more difficult for coaches to get information
across to players. By practicing all situations regularly, players will need less instruction
and will be able to rely, at least partially, on the habits that you create.

126. There are some situations that we call AUTOMATIC SITUATIONS. We make
these decisions based on our philosophy and our players skills. We teach them to
the players and then practice them frequently. This will help eliminate bad decisions
because you have eliminated the decisions that they make by making some things
automatic. The following is a list of our automatic calls.

Jump ball lineupwe are all between our man and his/her basket with a safety at
our opponents free throw line. The goal of the jump ball is not to give up a lay-
up.
Savesthrow it to our player or our basket. Never save under the opponents
basket
First two timeouts we call in the game are 30s
Free Throw Lineup 2 back when we shoot free throws. Offensive free throw
rebounders look for tip outs if you cannot grab the ball with two hands.
Do not call Time Outs to save possession until last 2 minutes of game--unless
coach instructs you to do so.
Clock and score are unimportant to players until last 45 seconds of a quarter or 2
minutes of a game.
Under 2 minutesman with the ball calls timeout if possession is in doubt.
Under 2 minutes in game and we score and are still behind with the clock running
everyone calls an immediate and animated time out that the officials cannot
overlook.
Last shot of quarter Clock is what we say to alert teammates. Do not say
Time as that will be confused by the officials as a timeout request. Iowa 4 (45
sec.) Start the play at 12 sec. We say set to start the play. (shot is taken at 5
SEC or less) vs. man to man we run Butler (quarters 1 and 3) and Bulldog
(quarters 2 and 4). We run overload vs. a zone, regardless of the quarter.

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Full Court Out 3 sec or less in quarters 1, 2, 3 throw it long and inside our arc.
Firewe have spread out a half court trap and the basket is unprotectedreceiver
yells itthrow pass to the bottom of the net
Do not try to beat the clock at the end of a quarter. A shot that is late is better
than a shot that is rushed. No shot is better than a quick shot that leads to an
opponents basket
We run Duke the last 2 minutes of a game if we are behind
Gain possession in last 5 seconds of game tied or behind time out immediately.
We will throw to half court for another time out.
Force the ball outside to end a quarter

127. There are some special situations that arise in the game. We like to have special calls
for the situations. We feel they must be practiced in the situation portion of your
practice. The following is a list of special calls we might make during the game:

Ball (signal is Hand grabbing wrist)make a play for the ball with two hands
and either steal the ball or get called for a non-intentional foul. Stay with your
mando not trap the ball.
Open hand Ball is off back straight man to man
Trap a Ball Screen right fist pounding left hand to stop 3s late in the game
Fouls to give3 point lead or more
Substitute defenders or foulers for scorers or players in foul trouble.
GreenSwitch everything
Delay of gameknocking the ball away after scoring
Game Plan adjustments for a specific opponent or player

128. As you practice various game ending Shout praise and whisper
situations, practice them against a variety of criticism.
defenses, with a variety of lineups due to --Coach Don Meyer
injury or foul trouble, in and out of the
bonus, with the possession arrow pointing
each way, define the number of timeouts each team has, and any other relevant
information that you would face in a game. Set the team fouls, possession arrow,
number of timeouts left, and individual player fouls to simulate the types of
decisions you and your players must make during the game.

At times, warn your players ahead of time that you will be making intentional bad calls to
prepare them for the inevitable call that goes against you in a tight game.

Missing a free throw on purposedown 2 and down 3


Up 1 and ball out of boundsno time outs 0:10 to go in the game
Down 10 3:00 to go

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Down 10 with 2:00 to go with the ball


Down 5 1:00 to go with the ball
Down 1 with :05 to go (practice going full court and half court both)
Down 2 with :05 to go (practice going full court and half court both)
Down 3 with :05 to go (practice going full court and half court both)
Up 2 against a dangerous 3 point shooter, :05 to go, opponents ball
Up 3 at the end of the game, opponents ball out of bounds, full court
Up 3 at the end of the game, opponents ball out of bounds, full court
Fouls to give (when behind and when ahead)
Opponents up 1, ball out of boundsno time outs
Up 2 and the ball with 1:00 to go
Inbounding the ball from the dead cornerboth half court and full court ):05 to
go.
1:00 remaining in game tied or ahead we call 4 which on our shot rating system
is no shots other than a layup

a. Hold the ball and run the clock (timeout if in doubt)


b. Shoot wide open lay ups and free throws
c. A shot other than a lay up is not tolerable
d. A missed lay-up is not tolerable
e. A turnover (contact is not an excuse to lose the ball) is not tolerable.

Segment #7 Practice Evaluation

Treat each player as your 129. At the conclusion of practice coaches


own son/daughter if you should take a few minutes to consult
can...the parents have with their staff. Discuss what went
invested in you." well and what did not. The head
coach should then write an evaluation
of the practice. Items to consider
--Coach Hank Iba
when evaluating include:

What concepts did the players struggle with and need further attention
Where there any problems with communication? Suggestions to improve
Was any time wasted? Did you spend too much time on a segment?
Did the practice flow easily from one segment to another
Which players showed good effort and which ones did not
Did the drills selected for practice teach and/or reinforce a key concept. What
improvement if any could be made
In what ways did your team improve today? Was the improvement measurable?
Did I spend enough time planning this practice?

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

130. We also ask the players to evaluate the way they practiced. Evaluations are
recorded in the players notebook. We ask that they evaluate the following:

Did I practice with the mindset of a champion? Give examples


Did I play hard? (they refer to their checklist. Appendix B.)
Was I fiercely competitive today? Give Examples
Was I a good teammate today? Give Examples
List three teammates that practiced well today.
What did I do well today?
Which concepts, if any, do I need more explanation or practice in order to
completely understand?

We feel that by asking the players to answer these questions they become more conscious
of the way they practice. The evaluation helps them to focus on things that we feel make
practices better.

Final Thoughts It's not what you've got, it's what you use
that makes a difference

E very coach has ideas about


the way they like to play
basketball. Coaches win
--Zig Ziglar

with many different styles. Some like to play pressure defense and run at every
opportunity. Others like to play a conservative style of defense and be patient on offense.
Some like set plays, while others prefer motion offense. There are coaches everywhere
winning with all types of styles and philosophies.

The thing that all winning coaches have in common is that they have clearly defined what
they believe in and designed their practices to effectively teach and reinforce the core
values and principles that they believe will make their team successful.

It is their care and diligence in planning and conducting their practices that determines
their success. This is far more critical than the actual systems they choose to implement.
Keep this in mind as plan for the season and plan each practice. Your team can be no
better than your practices. Fortunately, as the coach, you have complete control over
what happens in practice.

We hope that this book has given you a few ideas to help make your practices more
effective or at the very least stimulated some creative thought.

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Appendix A
Worksheet for Developing Your Master Plan

Step #1 Answer each question with at least 6 answers, but the more answers you can
give, the more thorough you will be in your practice planning.

Step #2 For each of the questions above, go back and read your answers and write out 3
drills or practice activities that you will do (3 so that you have a variety) to accomplish
each of the answers you wrote to the questions. How you will measure and evaluate
success in that area and how you and your staff will coach it.

Step #3 Make a master list with every drill and activity from step #2 and organize the
drills, skills, and schemes into your segments of practice. Make several copies of your
document and

1. What are the core values of our program?

Ex: We are the hardest playing team on our schedule


No one in the program has any disciplinary violations at school
Our on court communication is constant

2. What is the (our program name) Way?

Ex: We never show bad body language


We play with discipline

3. What life lessons and experiences do we want our players to have through our
program?

Ex: Learning to work through the inevitable tough times of losing, playing
poorly, etc..

4. What are the rituals and traditions that make our program special or what do you
want to start?

Ex: We have dinner at a different coach or players homes the night before a
game

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

5. What are our season goals?

Ex: Win the district round of our state tournament

6. What statistical areas will we measure in practice and in games?

Ex: Blockout Percentage


Field Goal Percentage
Free Throw Percentage
Rebounds
Turnovers
Fouls

7. In what areas is there the most potential for individual and team improvement
throughout the course of the season?

Ex: We have players that play hard, but we must teach them to play hard without
Fouling

8. What individual and team strengths we must sharpen and utilize to reach our
goals?

Ex: We are a good free throw shooting team, so we must attack the basket to get
fouled.

9. What teams must we beat to reach our goals?

10. What must we do to beat those teams?

Ex: Defend flex or a particular offense


Beat them on the road
Make their All State Candidate take more shots than he or she scores points

11. What skills must we practice to do the things necessary to beat those teams?

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

12. What are our adjustments that we will make if Plan A is not working?

13. What habits do we need to develop in practice that will lead to success in games?

Ex: We must get more ball reversals in our offense


We need to chin every rebound

14. What special practice rules in our 5 on 5 play will level the playing court between
the first and second teams?

Ex: Second team gets double the point value for every shot made.

15. What must we do to build a team rather than a group of individuals?

16. What are our goals for each defensive possession?

Ex: Keep the ball out of the lane


Challenge every shot

17. What are our goals for each offensive possession?

Ex: Maintain proper spacing


Get a lay-up, power shot, or a wide open perimeter shot

18. What are the non negotiable areas in practice that we will not compromise on
that are established to make our team the best that it can be?

Ex: When the head coach needs everyones attention, all activity stops and all
eyes and ears are on the coach.

19. What will be our offensive schemes be to attack press, trap, zone, pack man,
switching man, man to man with denials?

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

20. What cuts or movements will the shots come from in our offense and inbounds
plays?

Ex: We are a flex team, so we need to be able to score from catch and shoot at
the elbow.

21. What are the situations we will always do a specific way?

Ex: Players do not use a timeout to save a possession in the first 3 quarters
At 20 seconds, we hold for the last shot of the quarter or a lay-up

22. What specific offensive movements will we defend during the course of the
season?

Ex: Flare screen


Backdoor cut

23. What are the rules for each movement that we must defend?

Ex: Ball screensscreeners man will hard hedge, ball handlers man goes
under

24. What will our in game adjustments be for the movements in #24 that we are not
defending well?

Ex: If the hard hedge is not working and the ball handler is beating us, we will
trap it.

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Appendix B
Player Practice Evaluation Form

Rate your self from 0-5 in each category that applies. Five is the highest rating.

I. Did I practice with the mindset of a champion? 012345


Example(s)________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

II. Did I play hard? 012345


Example(s)________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________

III. Was I fiercely competitive? 012345


Example(s)________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

IV. Was I a good teammate? 012345


Example(s)________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

V. Name three teammates that had a great practice

A.____________________________

B. ____________________________

C._____________________________

VI. List three things I did well today

A.____________________________

B. ____________________________

C._____________________________

VII. Which concepts, if any, do I need more explanation or practice in order to


completely understand?
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Appendix C

Playing Hard with Intensity Looks Like

There are many areas in basketball coaching that are more art than a science. Getting
players to continually play hard is one of those areas. If you can come up with a list of
things for your program that you believe constitute playing hard and then look for and
praise those things when they happen, you are likely to develop a culture in your program
that playing with all out intensity is the only way you practice and play. This list was
designed for a high school basketball program, but can be modified for your level.

Applicable to Both Offense and Defense

We are relentless in everything we do!


Sprinting from spot to spot in practice
Beat the ball down the floor in transition and conversion
Constantly communicate to teammates
Sprint to follow a breakaway layup to rebound a miss on both offense and defense
Attack a rebound rather than waiting for it to come to you
Dive on loose ballsif you can pick it up on your feetchin it

Playing Hard on Offense

Go to your rebound position on every shot


Protect the ball when you have it by chinning it and pivoting
Rip the ball through on pivotsbe strong with the ball and establish space
Meet every pass with two hands, two eyes, and two feet
Change direction and speed on cuts--cut to get open, not just to move
Fake a pass to make a pass
Tip offensive rebounds out that you cannot control
Throw passes with velocity, but that are catchablesoft passes are turnovers
When screening, screen the defense, do not screen air
Sprint to give the ball an outlet when a teammate is trapped
Fight to maintain post position when posting
When we are running a set play, be in your spot before the ball is ready
Attack the basket by driving under control. We want a layup or a foul
Get to your spacing spots quickly when the ball is driven or fed to the post

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130 Great Ideas to Get a Lot More Accomplished in Practice

Playing Hard on Defense

Block out every time our opponent shoots


Play defense in a stance
Provide early help and then recover quickly
Help the helper
Close out with hands above shoulders
Chin rebounds and face our basket
Take a charge in the lane or on the baseline
Steal passes that are thrown too far
Contest every shot
Deflect passes without reaching and fouling
Always be in position, so you do not get into foul trouble
Move your feet on defense rather than one-hand reaching and grabbing
Put your foot on the out of bounds line when shutting of baseline or sideline
Sprint to your new spot on the airtime of the passarrive when the ball does
Use active hands to distract dribblers, shooters, and passers without reaching
Reach to tie up or take the basketball from an opponent with two hands
When you are a trapper, sprint out of the trap when the ball is passed out of it
Adjust your defensive position each time the ball or your man moves

Appendix D
Sample Master Plan
The following two pages are a sample of a Master Practice Plan for a season
developed for a high school basketball team. The plan was constructed after going
through the questions in Appendix A.

The terminology is for one particular program. The purpose of the document is to
show a sample plan, not to explain the terminology that is used.

This sheet was used as the daily practice plan by making several copies of the
document and then circling or highlighting the drills, activities, and teaching points
for the day.

For questions about any of the information contained in this document, and for more
tools to help your program, email us at info@coachingtoolbox.net or visit us at
www.coachingtoolbox.net

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Philosophy Individual Skill Development Teaching Defense

1. The emphasis should be on whats important. Varsity players will receive the most attention 1. Communication, enthusiasm, energy
20% of the activities bring about 80% of the Echo yells
results. Take into account what the individuals Perimeters 2. Toughness, competing, playing hard
and the team needs to improve on and what we 1. Form Shooting (10 minutes) Tough enough to outlast opponent
need to keep sharp. 2. Free Throws (Shoot 25 and report) 3. Dive on or chin all loose balls
2. We emphasize communication in everything 3. Cuts off a flare screen 4. Playing together
3. I do not want a fast moving practice. I want Passer recognition 5. Slow the ball in conversion (no points)
one where teaching and learning is constantly Out cut and shot ALL OTHERS SPRINT
taking place. The process must be one where Turn 6. Establish and maintain high gappers, goalie,
the players learn and then can react quickly Princeton post. Jump to gap immediately on pass or
and properly in games 4. Inside out 3s dribble. Stop baseline drive
4. Taking a charge wipes out a sprint. 5. Getting open off screens 7. Pressure ball no penetration, no foul
5. Harder in practice than in games. We will be Indiana 8. Red/recover/block out top, wing, base drive
playing against much better competition on Flare 9. Closeout, Contest, and Contain
game night than in practice. Players and Re-screenBack Screen Pin Screen 10. Contest every shot with mirror hand
coaches find ways to overcome this Re-screenDown/Flare 11. Block out, pursue the ball, chin rebound
discrepancy. Play at a disadvantage each night Re-screenFlare/Down 12. T-up a Flash cutter
6. Players slap five at the end of practice Elbow double 13. Help the helper force another pass
7. End on a positive note 6. Hop Back 14. Take charges dont reach or swing.
8. Repetition with variety Hop back and finish at basket 15. Ball screens at various spots
9. Make it competitive (Losers run, Three 7. Shot selectionno hand in face 16. Block to Block Cross Screen
perfections, plus/Minus Points) Shot Fake, One Dribble Pull Up 17. Constantly teach our defensive philosophy
10. Huddle up to start and end practice Shot Fake, Pass, and basket cut 18. Help and recover on dribble penetration
11. No sitting in practice. Guys off are reminding Shot Fake, Dribble on arc, pull up 3 19. Back cutturn to your man find the ball
those on of teaching points Penetrate and kick for a 3 point shot 20. Basket cut and help side clear out by cutter
12. Play and teach basketball, dont just run drills 8. Transition dribble pull up 3 pointer 21. Basket Cut and Corner the post by cutter
13. Play until the whistle in everything 9. Shots off 22. Flex/Flex High (open hand and blue)
14. Conditioning (psychological and physical) Elbow screen cut 23. Dribble Weave (open hand and green)
15. Change baskets/ends to get things moving Re-screen cuts 24. Under out Screen/Screener, screen inbounder
16. Water as they need itno water breaks Duke Ball Screen 25. 1-4 Low no help up the lane on penetration
17. They figure something out each night. 10. Scoring off a drive in traffic 26. Point to wing screen
18. Experiment each day 11. NBA Dribbling 27. Inside out down screen, block screen for curls
19. Its about Skills, Conditioning/Toughness, 12. Driving off a flare cut and wing catch 28. Trail (6 gap) cutters off screens
Program Way, Schemes Hesitation move 29. Go under on flares.
20. Put everyone in all spots for 3 reps on all 13. Back cutswide wing, deep elbow 30. Back screens
defensive breakdown drills. 14. Feeding the post 31. Help side interchange no dribble, with dribble
21. Pass/dribble with weak hand when there is no 32. America 3, backdoor, slip the screen
pressure 33. Single, Double Handoff
34. Jayhawk
Meetings 35. Bulldog Screen the screener
Posts 36. Staggered Down and flare screen the second
Teach Attitude and Effort every day 1. Form Shooting (10 minutes) screener
1. Grades and behavior in school (Season Goals) 2. Free Throws (Shoot 25 and report) 37. Screenrescreen
2. Individual roles in program 3. Flash cuts, square, and score 38. Jump Ballbetween man and their basket
3. Changes in quarters or dressing for a game 4. Princeton pivot and crossover straight 39. Pairs style motion
4. Coaching phrases from coaches notebook at the basket vs. defense 40. 4 out 1 in style motion
5. Items from players notebook 5. Crack back and shot 41. 3 out 2 in motion Cutters on wings, cutters on
6. Care of locker room 6. I Cut and shot blocks
7. Pre-game, game, post game (bus) conduct 7. Pin screen and slip 42. Run a 3 point shooter out of a 3 by jumping at
Teaching Philosophy of Play 8. Flare screen and slip his shot
8. Goals for each Quarter 9. Scoring in traffic 43. Traditional UCLA for a post duck in
9. 12 phases Strong finishes against air dummies and 44. Force the ball outside to end a quarter
10. Definite Dozen using shot fakes. 45. Post defensive position around
11. Mission statement 10. Bruin 46. Illinois
12. Videotape teaching 11. Princeton passes and drives 47. UMass
13. Game Plan 12. Inside out three point shots 48. Turn Out
14. What we need to do to win the sectional 13. Pivoting when catching the ball at the elbow 49. High/Low Post Feeds
15. Evaluation of statistics 14. Offensive rebounding and finishing in traffic 50. Help on baseline drive from post
Communication (Include Managers) 15. Power shots and scoring in post 51. Side out
16. Bus Departure Times 16. Posting up
17. Special Events (meals, etc..) 31 (open hand means ball is off)
18. Change in practice times 34
Individual Roles Sheet 34 Ball (Hand grabbing opposite wrist)
19. What can you contribute?
20. What do you need to do to improve? 4 on 5 (open point, wing, post, shooter)
21. What kind of progress are you making? 5 man change (half and full)
3/3 Izzo Drill
Teaching Offense Situations, Competitions, and Toughness AUTOMATIC SITUATIONS

Phases 1. Game Plan 1. Savesthrow it to our player or our basket.


1. Press O (vary press), Rotation, Transition 2. Pre-Game Warmup Never save under the opponents basket
3 x 15 foot receivers against all traps 2. Free Throw Lineup
3/2, 2/1, 3 Lane Push, 5 spacing spots Cut throat with a special rule 2 back when we shoot. Look for tip outs
Long lead pass is thrown to circle 1. 4 points for an offensive rebound 3. Under 2 Minutes in game behind score clock
2. Spacing 2. Turnover is minus 2 running Time out.
3. Surenesscatch triple threat, use bounce 3. Ten Man Jump Ball 4. Do not call Time Outs to save possession
passes. Pass with outside hand to outside hand 4. Get it and go either way until last 2 minutes of game--unless coach
of receiver. 5. Touched in post tells you to do so. Under 2 minutesman
4. Put the ball in the lane to collapse the defense
6. Certain types of screens with the ball calls it
and get to the free throw line 7. No dribble or limited dribbles 5. Clock and score are unimportant until last 45
5. Shot selection3s or 4s or were off the floor 8. All bounce passes seconds of a quarter or 2 minutes of a game.
Who, what, when, where we want 9. Certain number of passes before a shot 6. First two timeouts we call are 30s
4 = Lay ups and Power Shots 10. Designate a back cutter 7. Last shot of quarter Clock is Iowa 4 (45
Free Throws 11. Designate skip passes sec.) Start the play at 12 sec. (shot at 5 SEC
3 = Wide open shot for a shooter 12. 4 (Fake a shot when you have one) or less) Do not try to beat the clock at the end
2 = 2 point jump shot with hand in face 13. Only shots in lane of a quarter. A shot that is late is better than a
1 = Pull up 2 point shot with hand in face, 14. Only shots off penetration shot that is rushed. No shot is better than a
shots off the arc 15. Only shots off screen quick shot that leads to an opponents basket
6. Fill rebound spots 16. Post in and out 8. Gain possession in last 5 seconds of game tied
17. Cutters cannot score to improve at hitting or behind time out immediately. Throw to
Principles and concepts within double screeners half court for another time out.
1. At all times we have 5 players, screening, 18. Point per pass 9. 1:00 remaining in game tied or ahead4
cutting, spacing, slipping 19. Number of Possession games We want
2. Too slow is better than too fast 20. One point games A. Hold the ball and run the clock
3. Side top Sideball movement makes the 21. Short times games (timeout if in doubt)
defense think less about helping. 22. 7 point games win by one B. Shoot wide open lay ups and free throws
4. Both deep elbows filled at all timesbest if 23. Scoring team rebounds own in cut throat that are made
filled by screeners 24. Not trapping the post is minus 4 points We will not accept
5. Follow every double screen by screening the 25. Dribble is a minus, pass is a plus. C. A shot other than a lay up
screener 26. Ball in the lane is a point D. A missed shot
6. Follow every screen by a second cut by the 27. Offensive rebounds of others E. Any kind of a turnover
screener after reading the cutters cut missed shot without fouling is a point 10. 0:45 seconds of game tiedwe will take the
7. Fake a pass to make a pass 28. Defense wins on a turnover, losers dribble run last shot and will not take a lay up even
8. Cutters change sides of the floorthat way we 29. Dribbling, not driving point for the defense 11. We run Duke the last 2 minutes of a game
get a vertical and a horizontal stretch to the 30. Bad shot is 1 point for the defense if we are behind
defense. 31. No catch, triple threat is loss of possession
9. Cutters change directions and change speeds 32. Anything not fundamentally sound 1 for D Under Out Triple
when coming off a screen. Touch screener. Side Out Line, Bulldog, Triple (invert s and c)
10. No low block postingall screens above the Toughness Drills Full Court Out 3 sec or less in quarters 1, 2, 3
volleyball line 1. Rebounding Cut throat throw it long and inside our arc.
11. Do not fake backdoor 2. 4 minute quartersturnover start again
3. 15 Deflections in 5:00 Last Shot of Quarter (start play at 12)
Actions we want in double 4. 5 X 51 seconds of perfect defense Vs. man Butler (1, 3) /Bulldog (2,4)
1. Flare (Single, Wide, Staggered) 5. Take 4 charges and get a loose ball Vs. zone Overload
2. Re-screen 6. Buddy Loose Ball Drill
(Back /Pin, Down/Flare, Flare/Down Turn) 7. 5 minutes of 4
SITUATIONS COACH WILL CALL
3. Princeton (best practiced 5/0)
4. Set a flare two steps wide of elbow and slip 1. Ball (Hand grabbing wrist)make a play for
Situations to Practice
5. Down screen (Single, Elbow Wide, Staggered) 1. Missing a free throw on purpose the ball and either steal the ball or get called
6. Pin screen (Single, Wide, Staggered) for a non-intentional foul. Stay with your
2. Up 1 and ball out of boundsno time outs
7. Drive and Space, Elbow Feed and Space mando not trap the ball.
3. Down 10 3:00 to go
8. High tight curl, Low inside curl 2. Open hand Ball is off back to 31
4. Down 5 1:00 to go
9. Bruin (best practiced 5/0) 3. Trap a Ball Screen right fist pounding left
5. Up 2 against a dead 3 point shooter
10. Indiana hand to stop 3s late
6. Up 3 at the end of the game other teams ball
11. Backdoor (Deep elbow and wing) 4. Fouls to give3 point lead or more
out of bounds
12. Basket cuts 5. Substitute defenders or foulers for scorers or
7. Fouls to give (up and down)
13. Ball Screens players in foul trouble.
8. Guests up 1, ball out of boundsno time outs
6. GreenSwitch everything
9. 2 point lead and the ball with 1:00 to go
Double vs. 31, 32, switching man, 7. Delay of gameclosest man takes it out after
10. Fire we score and the clock is running. Throw it
zones (3-2, 2-3)
Double no dribble to promote getting open in to one of our players and put it in the
Kentucky (Thumbs Up) basket again.
Iowa (Arms Spread)
Duke (Fist) EXPLANATION
4nothing but a wide open lay up that will not
Stack be missed (sureness, attack)