Basketball Coaching – Game Situation Skills and Drills Part 1From basketball-drills-and-plays.com
Focus Your Practices on Impactful Skills & Drills that Win Games - Part 1
The limited amount of practice time basketball coaches have puts all of us in a bind. The coaches who succeed game in and game out, year in and year out, follow a simple rule. They spend all of their time practicing things that happen the most often and the things that make the greatest impact in a game. They choose basketball drills that simulate these situations closely.
For now, we will focus on the things that happen the most often and leave the areas of greatest impact for another article.
So, you might ask, what things happen the most frequently in games? It might be different for your team depending on your style of play. But, in general, in most games, the things that happen the most are:
- Rebounding - if there are 50 missed shots in a game, then your team of 5 has 250 rebound opportunities.
- Getting back on defense—happens after each time you have the ball.
- Passing and catching the basketball on offense—hundreds of time per game.
- Adjusting defensive position every time the offense passes or dribbles—also hundreds of times per game.
Here are four ways to practice the "things that happen the most" from our list above so that your efforts in practice carry over to successful performance in games.
1) Stop doing rebounding drills! Teach that rebounding is the last thing you do on offense every time you have the ball and the last thing you do on defense when the opponent shoots. Every time you are running a drill and in every scrimmage, require the offense to have 3 rebounders crash on every shot and that the defensive players block out and go after every defensive rebound like they are going after a game winning shot attempt that misses.
2) Are we done yet? When practicing offense, don't stop play after your offense shoots until you have converted back to defense with a full effort. Teach players to play until the whistle and you can blow the whistle when you are satisfied.
3) Rack 'em up. You can't score if you turn the ball over before you can shoot. Fill your ball rack with 15 basketballs. Take one out every time there is a bad pass or turnover. Doesn't have to be 5 on 5—take them out on turnovers in drills to. When the rack is empty, players run one sprint for every turnover that happens the rest of practice.
4) Practice makes perfect. Require your team to play a minimum of one minute of perfect defense each practice. The time only runs when they are on defense and starts over if all five players don't make the proper adjustments each time the ball moves.
Now it's your turn. Take the principles and philosophies above and hash and rehash them. Work them over until you have identified the specific things that are essential for your team to execute in games. The next step would be to incorporate simple basketball plays that bring all these concepts together.
Set the expectations for practice that will allow your players to carry over their rehearsals into success in games. If there is something that is important to your team that isn't in our "Big Four," don't worry. In Part 2 of this series, I'll cover ways to get everything you do in practice to carry over to games—so be alert for it!
Next see: Basketball Skills and Drills - Part 2