Table of Contents
Welcome message from Greg Popovich and Sean Elliott.………..………………….........……….…4

Setting Up a Practice
Practice Plan .…………………………………………………....………..………………………….....…5 Positioning as a Team .…………………………………………………....………..…...……………..…6 The Free Throw .…………………………………………………....………..………………..…………..7 Out of Bounds Play .…………………………………………………....………..……………………..…8 Executing the Play .…………………………………………………....………..……………………....…9 Balance on the Court .…………………………………………………....………..……………...…..…10 The Fast Break .…………………………………………………....………..………………..………….11 Pivot and Jump Stop .…………………………………………………....………..…………………..…12 Pivot and Jump Stop Drill………………………………………………....………..………………....…13

Scheduling Your Time
Scheduling Your Time .…………………………………………………....………..………………..….14 Teaching Individual Skills…………………………………………………....………..……………..…..15 The First Day .…………………………………………………....………..…………………………...…16 Written Practice Plan .…………………………………………………....………..……………...…..…17

Individual Offense
The Jump Shot.……………………………………………………..……………….………..…….….…18 Holding the Basketball………………………………………………………………….……...…...……20 Bending the Knees .…………………………………………………....………..……………...……..…21 Taking Time to Practice…………………………………………………....………..…………….…..…22 The Free Throw .…………………………………………………....………..………………………..…23 The Lay Up .…………………………………………………....………..……………………………..…24 Form Shooting Drill .…………………………………………………....………..…………..………..…25

Passing
Passing .…………………………………………………....………..………………..…………………..26 The Chest Pass .…………………………………………………....………..………………………..…27 Control .…………………………………………………....………..…………………………………..…28 Elbow Position .…………………………………………………....………..…………..……………..…29 Mechanics .…………………………………………………....………..…………………….………..…30 Chest Pass Drill .…………………………………………………....………..………....……………..…31 Bounce Pass Drill .…………………………………………………....……………...………………..…32 The Overhead Pass .…………………………………………………....………..……………….…..…33 The Baseball Pass………………………………………………....………..……………………………34

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Rocker Step
Catch, Turn and Face………………………………………………...………………………....….....…36 Stutter Step and Cross Over……………………………………………………...……………......……37 Dribbling…………………………………………………………….………………………………...……38 The Grapevine Drill……………………………………………………………………...…………..……39

Team Offense
Quadrant Drill…………………………………………………………….………………..………………41 Three on “0” Drill…………………………………………………………………………..…...…………42 Pass and Screen……………………………………………………………...……………..……………43

Defense
Introduction to Defense…………………………………………………………….……………….……44 Defensive Position………………………………………………………………….…….………………45 Support Position…………………………………………………………………….………….…………46 Rebounding………………………………………………………….……………...…………………..…47 Block Out Drill……………………………………………………………………….……….……………48 Man on Man Defense………………………………………………………….…………………....……49

Summary
Summary………………………………………………………………………….…………………….…50

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Basketball Introduction with Greg Popovich and Sean Elliott.

Hello I’m Greg Popovich along with Sean Elliott. As volunteer coaches I’d like to thank you for joining this online clinic. I think it’s fantastic that you’re here to receive the information that we’re going to give because it is so important to the kids. I’ve got children that have played in leagues that are coached by people like yourselves and I know, both self image wise and basketball wise how important it is to them. The patience that you exhibit is fantastic. To me it’s unbelievable, I don’t think I could do it. I’ve seen games my son and daughter play in, I’ve seen good coaches and bad coaches, and no matter what, you’ve got to be congratulated for putting the time in that you do. Hopefully something that we teach you in this clinic will help you make your job easier. Maybe you will help a youngster develop as a person, and even as a basketball player. We are going to do our best, we are going to work hard to see if we can get some of that information across to you.

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Practice Plan

Planning a practice can be a very scary situation. You may have fifteen eight year olds walking into the gym. Where do you start? They probably don’t know a lot and you have a game in about five practices from now. How are you going to get these kids ready? You’ve got to relax. You’re not going to get everything in one practice. You’re not going to be perfect. The players are going to forget where the ball goes out of bounds. Somebody is going to dribble it the wrong way. You’re not going to get all the names in the book and you're going to get a technical. Those things are going to happen. I think if you go into the practice knowing that, you can be a lot more comfortable, because it happens to all of us. Even college coaches get technicals sometimes. Don’t worry about it. You sit down and you decide, what basic things do you have to have ready to play the game? What basic things do you want to teach so they will develop as the season goes along? Now you’ve got a kind of two track system. My suggestion would be to take care of all the game rules and game situations first, so that when game day comes your kids know where to go. Tell them where to go to line up for the jump ball, this is how we do it and this is where you need to go.

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coaches can run whatever plays they would like to run. 6 .Positioning as a Team Organizational Set Up Five players Full court When positioning your team on the court you should have a big person in the middle (center). Copyright NYSCA. Straight ahead from the center you should place your power forward or big forward. All rights reserved. To the right of the center you will have a guard and to the left of the center you will position a small forward. from this. In case they lose the tip you should have a guard behind them as a safety valve.

You will have a shooter and two middle positions.Setting up the Free Throw Organizational Set Up Five players One ball Use half court Let's talk about a free throw. You can put your extra player on the lane. 7 . and place a safety zone player behind the shooter. The defense is going to handle the two inside positions. All rights reserved. Copyright NYSCA. Your league rules will determine how many players you can have in the lane. just to get a loose ball.

All rights reserved. 8 . three. Players # 3 and # 5 would then come off the screen and look for the basketball from player # 1. Player # 5 is positioned at the middle of the right side of the free throw lane. even for young kids.Out of Bounds Play Organizational Set Up 5 players One ball Half court On the out-of-bounds plays. it’s important to know where to go. Players #2 and # 3 are positioned at the top corners of the free throw lane. and five positions are. four. In this video segment coach Popovich demonstrates an out of bounds play using a screen. It’s important for them to remember what the one. I would suggest. Players # 2 and # 5 on the ball side. Ensure that any substitute who comes into the games knows which number player they are coming in for. that you use numbers. Copyright NYSCA. player # 1 receives the ball from the referee. In the example above. After players # 2 and # 5 jump stop and set the screen. So if you gave your players this setup ahead of time they would know right where they needed to go. Player # 4 is positioned at the middle of the left side of the free throw lane. they should roll back to the ball. run over to players # 3 and # 4 and "jump stop" and set screens on their men. they would know where to run to. So if they just got in the game and there was an immediate out-of-bounds play. It makes them feel like part of the program and it’s good to do. two.

Because not only are they talented but they execute everything better than everybody else. That’s why certain teams become the finalists at the NBA playoffs. A lot of it has to do with how we as players execute and listen. Free throws. Coaches all go to the same clinics and coaches listen to other coaches all the time. All rights reserved. whether it’s a jump ball or a free throw or an out of bounds situation. jump balls. they get the out-of-bounds plays sooner and know where they’re supposed to be more often than anybody else. 9 . That’s the most important thing. You’ve got to know where to go on the court. the play can be very good. That’s why they’re the best. If you do exactly what you practice. There aren’t any big secrets. fast breaks. Copyright NYSCA.Executing the Play What makes the play good is how you execute it.

The following diagrams illustrate a balanced offense using a two guard front and a one guard front.Balance on the Court In this segment coach Popovich demonstrates how a team should stay balanced when running an offense. two wing players and one guard up top. One guard front In this illustration we have two players low. 10 . but this the basic position you would be in. Different coaches will use different movements on the court. Two guard front In this illustration we have one player low. two wing players and two guards up top.

or you’re going to lose the ball once in a while. you’ll have a lot of great opportunities to score without a defense being set. It’s going to be a situation where there are turn-overs. 11 . Whether it’s high school. those people devote a certain portion of their practice everyday to the fast break.The Fast Break The fast break situation is something that’s very natural and very important to the game because it’s the easiest time to score. Then you want to get the guard with the ball in the middle. Know that there will be turn-overs. or professional. he pivots on the outside foot and looks to pass the ball to a player in the outside lane. the outside lanes. but we must understand that they take a great deal of time. but you do it because in the long run it’s to your advantage to run a fast break. college. If you can teach your kids to make the transition quickly and get that outlet pass out up the court. you will lose the ball once in a while. This is just a general picture of how things look. The things that we teach in the fast break are all very important. so your young eight year old players can certainly throw the ball away and not have to be worried about the fact that they’re going to come out of the game or that they just committed some heinous crime. This is usually where you want your players to run into. There is an outside lane on each side between the free throw lane and the side line. Copyright NYSCA. Even professionals sometimes throw it away on the breaks. Organizational Set Up Five players One ball Full court As the player catches the ball from the rebound. All rights reserved.

you pivot off a foot. but you use jump stop all the time. You should make sure that everybody understands the outside pivot and the inside pivot. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and your weight should be on the balls of your feet.Pivot and Jump Stop Now we are going to go over the pivot and jump stop. you pivot on one foot to throw the outlet pass. When you’re playing defense. You pivot all sorts of ways. When you’re in a triple threat position. and have your hands ready to play defense or catch the ball. When you get a rebound. 12 . When you come to shoot a jump shot. You may not know it. When you come to catch a pass. you’ll jump stop to catch a pass. When you’re trying to make a pass and you’re being guarded. you need to pivot. There are a lot of situations where you pivot or jump stop but you just never thought about it before. Copyright NYSCA. When you’re running on the court to change direction. you plant your feet in the ground and you get ready. you jump stop and change direction. right under your body. If you want to do it perfectly you should come to a stop with your knees bent. you pivot off one of your feet. All rights reserved.

they should not stand up. Their body shape should be down and the head should be level. perform a jump stop and an outside pivot. Players alternate running to the right side of the chair. 13 . Knees should be bent with hands up. Copyright NYSCA. All rights reserved. As the player turns on the pivot. Emphasis should be placed on good technique.Pivot and Jump Stop Drill Organizational Set Up Large group of players Supply of chairs Half court In this practice the players are divided into lines. Each line is positioned opposite a chair placed approximately 20 yards in front of the line. After executing the move the player returns to the end of their line and the next player repeats.

Then send the next five onto the court. or a good portion of it and teach different situations for the players to know. All rights reserved. you five. You should ensure that those situations are understood and taken care of. They come off.Scheduling Your Time In this egment coach Popovich explains how to schedule your time. and let them run onto the court. Sit your players down on the bench and say. Obviously if all the kids are newcomers it might take a whole practice. Maybe after 10 minutes they will have understood everything. Put them in different positions. Copyright NYSCA. Do it over and over and over until you’re satisfied. Maybe you had the group last year. You might take the first whole practice. go”. 14 . You should still take whatever appropriate part of that first practice and teach all those game situations to your players. we're shooting a free throw. “Okay.

Teaching Individual Skills The first day you're not going to do team defense and team offense. you want to put the ball in the basket so you need to start teaching shooting from day one and get them used to shooting. and they must pay attention to you. You won’t have to spend time yelling at your players. They will not be bored. You are going to have to pass the basketball. Offensively. so you should do some basic passing drills. their controlled. You can do this with some basic drills. You should get the players together in the beginning and explain what it is you are going to be doing. At some point in that practice you have to let them play. 15 . they're learning. You may teach man to man defense. so that you do five or six minutes of a defensive drill. they're having fun. I would suggest that you organize your practice. So they have to pay attention. they have to move quickly. There’s got to be a scrimmage situation. you’ll find that the discipline you have to instill is sort of automatically done for you. focus and concentrate. they're excited. Copyright NYSCA. So as you go through this back and forth between offense and defense. If these drills are run quickly. not 20 minutes long because you’re going to lose them. and they will be too busy to misbehave. I would make the drills brief. then five or six minutes of an offensive drill. it’s going to be furious. You can explain that it is going to be fast. You are going to teach some individual skills that you think are important. You’ve got to teach how to move. All rights reserved. You’ve got to teach where to be on the court in relation to the ball and the basket.

Copyright NYSCA. this young lady is a great defender and you will see what you have. All rights reserved. 16 .The First Day The first day. you can go ahead and put them in last year’s offense or the new offense you have planned for them this year and go from there. It might be a good situation for you to learn. let them go crazy. If it’s the third year in a row for these kids. either to learn what they can do or to instill this year’s offense or whatever we are going to do in that sense. Those two are my shooters. I would make sure that I had that scrimmage situation set for the last ten or fifteen minutes of my practice. this guy can rebound.

what drills are you going to do?. You may walk out into the gym and the number of kids may change from what you thought. Copyright NYSCA. All rights reserved. because as soon as you stop and you have to think about what to do. If you know ahead of time what you are going to do and what drills are going to take place. you’ve lost them. Know what drills you want to do to get that accomplished. now they're going in a million different directions. but it’s important to go out there with a starting point. If you are going to shoot. You may have to change your plan in some way once you get started.Written Practice Plan A practice plan should be written down. So writing down your practice is really important. Write it down so you know going into the practice the things you want to get accomplished that day. Ahead of time it would really help you if you knew the strengths and weaknesses of your players and you design specific drills to address them. Have enough of your practice planned to make sure that you keep them busy. It doesn’t take that much time and I guarantee you that you will feel a lot more comfortable when you walk into the gym. 17 . You have to be flexible. you are going to keep control of that practice and get a lot more done.

just like it will help you to be better at doing anything. That sort of concentration and the ability to focus will always help you to be a better shooter. courage. which is shooting. he or she shouldn’t be shooting any more than eight feet away from the basket. being able to give your attention to the task in hand. As players get older they realize that it does take a little bit of courage to be the type of person that wants to take the shot in a pressure situation. if a player has supreme confidence because he or she has shot many. That’s how far they should shoot. You get the worst mechanics because they just can’t get it there. either because of a lack of strength or knowledge. A good rule that they sometimes listen to is your age plus one. Then of course there's concentration. Mechanically. They don’t get a good elbow rise. You’ll see them shooting it from their hip. As a coach you have to talk about their body and how it’s aligned. the ball is still going to go in the bucket. You see a lot of young kids. Then as the group get older it might be important to talk with then about the three “C’s. Confidence is really important. how the body is set up in relation to the feet and body balance. confidence and concentration. 18 . We all know that when we start practice. many thousands of shots. where the feet go. So if a little player is seven years old. So they don’t get a good follow through. younger players want to come out and shoot three pointers. Even though their mechanics might not be great. coaches need to talk about the grip. How a player holds the basketball is very important. Many. many things are being done wrong. hold the ball incorrectly. All of these things are important parts of the jump shot. You should talk about the motion of the shot as the knees bend and as the player follows through on the shot. So the closer in they can be the better. Shooting far from the basket is maybe the worst thing that a coach can allow a player to do.The Jump Shot The jump shot is something that needs to be taught fundamentally.

but when you start practice those shots should be around six. The legs are where the power comes from. 19 . arm and head position. Most importantly remember their legs. seven or eight feet away for that age.They are going to do some other things before practice and you don’t want to take away all their fun. They get a kick out of that because they see it on television. As long as you do that. All rights reserved. Copyright NYSCA. then you're able to keep body. You will find that their mechanics will be a lot more sound and they will have a lot more success.

You should also have a little space between the ball and the hand so you are using the fingertips and not the palm of the hands to rest the ball. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. When you get ready to shoot you should be balanced. knee.Holding the Basketball When you talk about shooting you have to start with the most basic thing and that’s holding the basketball. The opposite hand is used as a guide. A lot of young basketball players put both hands on top of the ball to try and shoot it. 20 . hip. You should try to grab as many of the seams on the ball as possible. the pointer finger is in the middle of the basketball and your hand should be naturally spread on the ball. elbow and the wrist. When you place your hand on the ball. You should make a “V” with the pointer finger and thumb. All rights reserved. The body alignment should be in a straight line with the toe. The knees should be bent. Copyright NYSCA.

All rights reserved. As you come up to take the shot you should rise up on your toes and finish with your elbow straight. 21 . where your knees will bend to get ready to take the shot. A straight elbow allows you to release the ball and follow it all the way to the rim.Bending the Knees The next stage of shooting is the power phase. What we like to do with a lot of the young players is have them bounce up and down to get the body motion. Copyright NYSCA.

Sometimes you will see coaches and their body language will be unbelievable and you may see a disgusted look on their face when a player misses a shot. That’s about the worst. All rights reserved. Every time they miss a free throw they are going to feel guilty. You can’t do that with seven and eight year olds or you will build guilt in them.Taking Time to Practice In shooting. Many games are won and lost because of free throws. That makes it very different from a jump shot in the course of a game and we should try to instill that in players as they get older. he or she feels the responsibility to make the free throw. 22 . taking the time to practice is the most important thing. We have to make sure that when a player gets older. You can imagine the effect on little kids if you showed the wrong body language. Copyright NYSCA.

People who know it’s not going in. The left foot is positioned behind. Some people need to do something to be comfortable. confidence. Many of us were taught to be square with the basket and a lot of us take that too literally. Copyright NYSCA. like in the jump shot and turned out slightly. The only thing that a player may add here is some sort of ritual. If it’s a little child seven or eight they don’t have a clue. 23 . but as you get older it reflects your confidence in how well you can shoot a free throw. As far as the body alignment. All rights reserved. This is a natural position and is something that people have to understand. it usually doesn’t go in. I honestly believe that a free throw is almost like a religion where it reflects someone’s inner beliefs. Not so much about the world. It’s the same as a jump shot and there is no reason to set up any differently from your free throw than your jump shot. the hands. They may take a deep breath. Both feet are parallel to each other at an angle. my percentage is going to be higher. we are talking mostly about something that is developed over time and that’s self image. the power phase and the follow through are all the same as the free throw. but about themselves. or they may dribble three times before taking the shot.The Free Throw With the free throw we want to mention the foot position because it is very important. When we talk about free throws. It doesn’t exactly mean that both feet have to be parallel on the free throw line. But if I know it’s going in the basket. being comfortable and going to the line. Over 95% of free throw shooters will have their right foot turned in and it won’t be perpendicular to the free throw line. pressure situations.

24 . It makes that coordination. so we are one step from the basket. Then after that they can go ahead and take their dribbles. but they have already developed what foot they are going to go off on. A lot of coaches will put two lines out on the court and one line will dribble in from about twenty feet and lay it up and one person from the other line will go and get the rebound and then they will alternate. that kinesthetic sense. because you will find that they can’t shoot lay ups very well with the opposite hand. When we first learn to shoot lay ups with children we have to make sure that they understand the mechanics more than anything. As they become comfortable with that. where all I will take is one step.The Lay Up The lay up is a shot that is mandatory and has got to be taught from the beginning with any group. Copyright NYSCA. even if it’s the fifteen year old group or the seventeen year old group. The hardest part is going off the correct foot. All rights reserved. and this helps them do it. you can move them back and let them take one dribble into the lay up. If I am going to make a right handed lay up I will go off my left foot. What I find is best is to pick a spot right at the rim. but it’s too difficult for a youngster to coordinate all those dribbles and see the basket and the ball. Plant the foot in the ground and bend the knee and rise the right way up. We all know that drill. By far the most important thing we have to do is not allow them to dribble into a lay up. that spatial sense a lot better in each person.

All rights reserved. 25 . the power phase of the shot and the follow through of the shot. Pretend to cock the basketball in the up position. Copyright NYSCA. Coaching Points: This shooting drill is called “form shooting”. knee and elbow. Feel that rhythm. We don’t use a basketball. If you're left handed get the left foot out a little in front of the right foot. If you're right handed get the right foot out a little in front of the left foot. We talk about hand position. feel that body position. Coaching Points: When the coach says “Shoot” the players visualize shooting the ball into the basket while concentrating on the mechanical points below: The players first start with good feet position. Line up the foot. foot position and balance. Pretend to have your hands on the ball and start bouncing. Half court. body alignment.Form Shooting Drill Organizational Set Up Entire group. Set Up: Players are positioned in a line facing the basket.

All rights reserved. and get it back into the game. I think we bring the game of basketball back to where a lot of us old timers really liked it. Many times we forget what that does for a team and how good somebody feels when they throw a good pass.Passing Passing is something that obviously we are all going to do with our players to try and develop their game. It is a lost art. Copyright NYSCA. Hopefully people like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird have brought it back to the point where players realize how great a pass can be. 26 . If we can do a good job of teaching passing. even though it’s simple.

It’s not so important that you begin with the chest pass. 27 . What you will find is that they will hold the ball either with two hands on top. or put it in the correct position to pass it. All rights reserved. If they learn that when they are young. but it’s an automatic thing that all players do.The Chest Pass The first pass that you should teach is the chest pass. but it’s the most logical place to begin. Copyright NYSCA. The most important thing is the mechanics. It starts with your hands and how they are placed on the basketball. The correct position is when all the seams are lined up. the better off they will be. they will automatically catch a pass and put it in the correct position to get ready to shoot. The younger they begin to learn that this is a better way to pass or shoot. The mechanics of the pass begin with how you hold it with your hands. They don’t automatically get the ball in the correct position. I think it’s really important for the young kids because very few of them are going to do it correctly to begin with. It sounds like it might be a lot of work. or they will get one hand behind it because they are not strong enough and try to push it at you.

All rights reserved. Copyright NYSCA. That will give you the most symmetrical and the most balanced position for your hands on the ball. It’s not contrived. Don't tighten your hands because that is just as disadvantageous. 28 .Control As far as control is concerned it’s a pretty logical situation. because you would have less feel. touch and therefore control. It’s mostly the fingers that hold the basketball. It’s a natural position. Not closed and not exaggerated but a natural “V” on the ball. If your hand is on one side of the ball the other hand should be the mirror image of that. The ball should rest in the finger pads and touch the palm just a little. It’s not something that you have to work to get. It should be a natural spread hand with the index finger and thumb forming a “V” on the basketball. Don't spread your hands out to get a big as surface as possible.

your elbows start from the in position. After you pass the ball the elbows are extended with the thumbs down and fingers pointed up. Then as the basketball comes towards you the elbows will naturally go out as you go to pass. not an outward position. It doesn’t matter if it’s your left foot or your right foot. Along with that you would take a step forward. All rights reserved. Copyright NYSCA. 29 .Elbow Position When you get ready to throw the basketball. At this point the follow through becomes important. It is impossible to throw a pass with your elbows in.

The elbows will naturally go out. All rights reserved. Then let the ball go. Copyright NYSCA. not out Step with the left or right foot. Elbows should be in. It will make the ball rotate backwards. Aim your hands towards your team mate’s chest.Passing Mechanics • • • • • • • Begin with a balanced position with feet together. Thumbs rotate down. As you step forward the ball will come to you. 30 .

On the coach's command. All rights reserved. If some players can't get the mechanics down right. Copyright NYSCA. One thing you want to make sure of is that the elbows start in and then they’ll naturally go out.Chest Pass Drill Organizational Set Up Divide group into pairs One ball between two Full court Coaching Points: In this drill coach Popovich demonstrates the technique of the chest pass. The knees should be bent as the player steps. Divide your group in pairs. the player practice passing the ball back and forth using the chest pass. The hands should finish with the forefingers high and the thumbs down. Partners face each other approximately 10 yards apart. 31 . Try to hit your partner right in the chest with the ball. they need to move closer. In this practice we are mostly concerned with the hands being in the proper position. and making sure they follow through correctly. and step. Coach's Comments: The first thing we will do is a very basic chest pass drill.

It’s hard to control it that way.Bounce Pass Drill Organizational Set Up Divide group into pairs One ball between two Full court Coaching Points: In this drill coach Elliott and coach Popovich demonstrate the technique of the bounce pass. the player practice passing the ball back and forth using the bounce pass. On the coach's command. All rights reserved. Partners face each other approximately 10 yards apart. and don’t put your hands flat on the ball. Coach's Comments: Now we’re going to learn the bounce pass. Your hands should be on the side of the ball. It’s basically the same thing as the chest pass. Divide your group in pairs. except you want to hit it about three quarters of the way to the player that’s going to catch the pass. And you want to bounce it just right so it will be in a good position to catch it. Copyright NYSCA. 32 .

If you can’t throw a straight line. in that it’s more of a wrist pass and the follow through is a little bit different. Copyright NYSCA. Coach's Comments: The overhead pass is a little bit different than the chest pass and the bounce pass. On the coach's command.The Overhead Pass Organizational Set Up Divide group into pairs One ball between two Full court Coaching Points: In this drill coach Elliott and coach Popovich demonstrate the technique of the overhead pass. if they have to get a little closer. the player practice passing the ball back and forth using the overhead pass. but it starts above the head. The action is a wrist action. Use the same step as the chest and bounce passes and follow through right at the target. Divide your group in pairs. then get closer. Again. and it should be nice and controlled. Hold the ball exactly as you would with any other pass. that’s fine. All rights reserved. 33 . you want correct form. It’s a little tougher for young players to throw. Partners face each other approximately 10 yards apart. The follow through will be there. but it’s going to be more of a knuckle ball. You should aim for your partner's forehead. it’s not going to spin very much.

The basic principles are the same as throwing a baseball. is a leading pass. When you use the baseball pass you’ve got to think about use. You may be aiming at a spot that’s away from a player. the elbow is out and then we go ahead and follow through just like we would with a baseball. The baseball pass is great for a fast break or down court or a long pass in most cases. The one handed pass is exactly like a baseball throw in that the ball is brought behind the right ear.The Baseball Pass Organizational Set Up Divide group into pairs One ball between two Full court Coaching Points: In this drill coach Elliott and coach Popovich demonstrate the technique of the baseball pass. the player practice passing the ball back and forth using the baseball pass. but a spot in front of that body. It’s not going to go right to a body. Most of the other passes are right at a target. Partners face each other approximately 10 yards apart. The target is really dependent on where the receiver is. but the baseball pass. On the coach's command. 34 . You want to grip it like you do in the other passes with a space in between your palm and the ball. Coach's Comments: The last pass we’re going to go over is the baseball pass. The chest pass and the bounce pass are the passes you’re going to use to the greatest degree in the half court. Usually it’s going to be from out of bounds. You should have total control over the ball. if you’re right handed. very often. leading him or her to get to the basketball. Divide your group in pairs. maybe to half court or maybe somewhere in the back court onto the front court. depending on where the defense is. You’re going to use it mostly in the forecourt offense for breaking traps and breaking presses.

But since. 35 . Copyright NYSCA. The pass they’re not going to use very much is the two handed overhead pass because they don’t have the wrist or forearm strength. So in that case it’s a big positive response facially so that he or she knows that it was a good pass. the baseball pass will be tough for those who haven’t begun to develop yet. that probably was a great pass. they just can’t do it. So the baseball pass is going to feel pretty natural to them. All rights reserved. A coach needs to understand that if a young person throws a pass on a fast break and it comes off his hand and it immediately goes out of bounds.The baseball pass is probably something you won’t use unless you’re thinking about throwing a long pass down court. It was the correct pass. The younger kids are going to use the baseball pass to a greater degree than one might think. it is a bigger ball than they’re used to. in most cases. usually in fast break situations. That their body just couldn’t execute it. Rather than say anything in a negative way to the player. he or she should be praised for realizing that that was the only pass that was going to get it there. Hopefully the younger ages have a smaller ball so that they can throw all the passes a little bit better.

36 . he’ll pivot and turn and face the basket with the basketball. or the bucket. faking or jab stepping or de-cutting toward the bucket. It seems simple. He’ll come out and catch and stop. On his inside foot. The very first step that you would teach in the catch. Copyright NYSCA. his right foot. You might know it as a triple threat position or catch. turn and face. turn and face. seven. At some point during the season the very basics of this are important for everybody. six.Catch. The first thing that’s going to happen is you’ll see the player set up his man. all the way up. turn and face. So what we’re talking about is setting our defensive man up. is important for five. eight. The important thing to remember is that it is a progressive sort of a skill. It takes a long time to develop. but for a lot of kids it’s tough. nine. Turn and Face The rocker step is a really important part of the game as far as scoring is concerned. We don’t want the player to be off balance. All rights reserved. then popping out on the wing and catch. You’ll see a lot of kids catch the ball and they’ll be off balance and they’ll try to travel or walk and they don’t know what to do because they haven’t been taught to face the basket. Beyond that you’ll spend more time with it the older the kids are. It is not something you would teach in the very beginning of your practice session or your season with your eight year olds or nine year olds. ten.

In this demonstration coach Elliott catches the ball. All rights reserved. After you pivot. turns and face. 37 . In this situation the defense does not take the fake.Stutter Step and Cross Over The cross over is something that takes place once you’re guarded. and the cross over. so he continues to the basket. Copyright NYSCA. Use the same pivot foot. you’ll make a little stutter step and go in the opposite direction. The stutter step is to get the defense to lean in the wrong direction and throw them off balance. The next phase of the rocker step is the continuation move. and used the stutter step.

but it is something that needs to be developed. It’s important for coaches to understand that the development will take place at different rates for different players just like the other skills that we’ve talked about.Dribbling Dribbling may not be quite as important as passing and shooting. Copyright NYSCA. All rights reserved. When you first speak about dribbling you’ve got to make the kids understand that it’s not going to happen overnight. Some kids don’t react well to that. You need to make sure that no matter what the age group you start with drills that they can do. 38 . They’re not going to be able to do the drills as perfectly as they would like. They may become angry or frustrated.

39 . Lines rotate after each player has performed the drill. Divide your group in pairs. Now maybe you won’t become Nate Archibald or Magic Johnson. One line steps forward and performs a variety of ball handling drills. But if you get a routine and work on it everyday you’ll find that the improvement will be dramatic. but you can be better than you are today if you want to work at it. Coach's Comments: All players can get a lot better as ball handlers because they can practice it. Player should perform the following ball handling drills in sequence: Around the legs Feet together. bend your knees and start low and try to take the ball around your body. the first two days can be frustrating. Alternate directions.The Grapevine Drill Organizational Set Up Divide group into pairs One ball per player Anywhere on the court Coaching Points: In this drill coach Popovich demonstrates ball handling skills. What we want to do are some basic drills and progress to drills that they can’t possibly do. It’s important to know that the first day. Then do it as you stand up.

Back and forth Pick a spot right in front of your right foot. The ball’s going to go there every time. push it. All rights reserved.Through the legs Spread your legs out and go around your right and left leg making a "figure eight". pull. Keep the head up and alternate directions. but back and forth. Around your back Move the ball around your back and back down around your ankles. 40 . and hit that spot every time. pull. Copyright NYSCA. Try to push it. Dribble the ball using only one hand. Alternate directions. Not just straight up and down.

The Quadrant Drill Organizational Set Up Groups of four. 41 . The rule is. An emphasis is placed on good movement and passing. This practice is designed to improve each player's movement off the ball. All rights reserved. You could even make your offense the same thing. Each group has four squares. so it makes a plus sign. The drill begins with one player passing the ball. Coaching Points: In this segment coach Popovich demonstrates the Quadrant drill. They can go to any of the other two squares. the player who just passed the ball can go any place that they did not pass the ball. Divide players into groups of four. Place a player in each square. One ball per group. you have to go to the square that they came from. It’s a wonderful teaching drill. After passing the ball the player must swap places with one of the players without the ball. Coach's Comments: The quadrant drill that we do with the younger players can also be done with older players. Each player stands in one of the squares. Divide the court into four quadrants or squares. Imagine that there’s a piece of tape right down the middle. If someone goes into your square. All of a sudden you will have a lot of movement from your players and great floor balance. Copyright NYSCA. Halfway down the lane we’ll put another piece of tape this way.

or three offensive people and no defensive people. All rights reserved. When we pass and screen away. The player must then pass to one of them. Copyright NYSCA. then go opposite and through trying to catch the ball. Supporting player #3 runs to player #2 and receives the pass. After passing the ball the player must "Jab step" and make a run. very complicated drill. it becomes a little bit more complicated. Jab step. If the player passes in one direction. It’s a very. Coach's Comments: The beginnings of team offense start with the “three on o” drill. they should screen in the opposite direction. Divide players into groups of three. The player with the ball sets their men up. 42 .Three on "O" Drill Organizational Set Up Groups of three players One ball per group Half court Coaching Points: In this segment coach Popovich demonstrates the Three on "O" drill. At the same time it’s a very simple drill. The drill begins with player #1 passing the ball to player #2.

Player #3 runs into open space and receives the ball from player #1. The drill begins with player #1 with the ball. Copyright NYSCA. 43 .Pass and Screen Organizational Set Up Small groups of players One ball Half court Coaching Points: In this segment coach Popovich demonstrates the "Pass and screen drill". Player #2 runs towards player #3 and sets a screen. All rights reserved.

but play a great fundamental solid defense. balanced with one foot in front of the other. Now they should have an understanding of the fundamentals of defending. The thing that I tell them is. there’s a place for you on a basketball team. All rights reserved. The knees are bent. step". Defense is something the kids don’t really do naturally.Introduction to Defense Organizational Set Up Group demonstration Half court Coach's Comments: The defensive part of the game will be of least interest to your kids no matter what age. high school. the feet spread apart. 44 . grade school. hands ready. The basic starting point is the basketball position. Because every coach understands the importance of it. if you are a great defender. If you’re the guy that drives people crazy. you could be the worst player in this gym. push off. push off. The basic slide is "Step. but you can make the basketball team through middle school. but how do we get that across to the kids?. Copyright NYSCA. not because you foul or hit or knock people out. The defense is important as we all know.

he can see both the man and the ball. He should be able to see both. because he can’t see his man behind him.Defensive Position Organizational Set Up Small groups One ball Half court Coach's Comments: In a good defensive position the players feet are spread shoulder width apart. he’s in good position and if he looks straight ahead. In this defensive stance the player should have one foot in front of the other. He doesn’t close to the ball. the knees are bent and the hands out and ready to go. because he can’t see what’s going on. He doesn’t close just to his man. His left foot is close to that line and his lead hand is in the passing lane or over that line. the defender should be chest to chest. His thumb should be turned down to make sure he’s in a position to swat at that ball if need be. 45 . In relationship to his position on the ball. He’s not too far and he’s not too close. The defending players draw a line on the floor mentally. facing the player with the ball and he should be able to reach out and touch him if he had to. In this video sample. It should be a direct line between his man and the ball. both supporting players should be one pass away from the ball. His knees are bent.

you are either on the ball or off the ball. you're in good shape. He doesn’t go above the line.Support Position Organizational Set Up Small groups of players One ball Half court Coach's Comments: In this example player #1 is defending the player with the ball. If his opponent goes low. This is the beginning of team defense. If you're off the ball. where we help or support our team mates. two or more. so that makes him the support player. he can see them both. between man and ball. He uses his fingers like pistols and he points at each one. But it’s different now. Player #2 is in a one pass or denied defense position. Player #3 is still is on defense so he still has a line between man and ball. Player #3 is is two passes away. because if he goes above the line very far he loses sight of his man and his man goes to the bucket. He’s going to be a little bit below that line. Copyright NYSCA. You should always see both. Once you draw that line between man and ball. All rights reserved. 46 . The key is when you are on defense. whether it’s one pass away. that line changes. you've got to know where the man and ball are and draw that line.

What’s important is. He is frozen to the point where he can’t move. With young players we use the line drill just so that they get a really great feel for their body position. There are very few good drills that you can use because it’s a very basic thing and it involves going up and getting the ball off the board. we want to teach them that the arms stay. We start with a block out position to try to teach them that blocking out is very important. and that they shouldn’t be holding the opponent. Try to convince players that if they can get good at rebounding. Players have to be taught how important to the game that is. All rights reserved. Sometimes players become a little bit too worried about making contact with other players. but at some point you’ve got to go get the basketball. Most importantly. He has to start up his momentum again. Copyright NYSCA. It involves keeping your opponent from getting to the board. there is a place for them on a team. You don’t want to go overboard to the point where they’re getting such a big kick out of keeping this person off the board that they forget to go get the ball. you block out to the point where you freeze your opponent.Rebounding Coach's Comments: Rebounding is another aspect of the game that is very similar to defense. 47 . up.

The defending player will immediately turn and try to get the rebound. All rights reserved. Once we get the rebound. As the coach shoots the ball. The defenders should keep in a good defensive position. This conditions players to know that it’s time to go get the basketball. The coach starts the drill by shooting the ball at the basket. The offensive people are going to make a half hearted effort to get the offensive rebound. and staying back to make some contact with the opposing player behind them. Copyright NYSCA. the other team on offense. Coach's Comments: Three players are on offense. 48 . One team is on defense. The coach is going to shoot the basketball. Divide your group into tow teams of three. After each attack the defensive players rotate. knees bent. It’s time to block out. Defenders are trying to use this contact to freeze the offensive player and stop his or her momentum. the coach will rotate the defense. We want the defenders to pivot and make that contact.Block Out Drill Organizational Set Up Three versus three One ball Half court Coaching Points: In this drill coach Popovich demonstrates the technique of rebounding. and another three players are on defense. with hands and arms up. the three defenders are going to all yell “shot”.

One team won’t just sit and wait for the other one to shoot. with the physical work that takes place with bending your knees and moving. It’s true that it takes a lot less time to teach a player to just guard an area than all these techniques and fundamentals. At the same time it makes everything more fair for both teams. Most kids can’t shoot. The reasons are obvious. But it doesn’t do the kids any good. When you play a zone defense. Copyright NYSCA. If you’re someone who does run a zone defense. We’re trying to develop some skills both personal skills and basketball skills for young people. If in that process we win the game. The responsibility that takes place of guarding that person no matter where he or she may go really helps develop that youngster. It really means a lot to try and develop that in a youngster. that’s fantastic. All rights reserved. For me to learn a zone defense at age seven does nothing for me as far as what I’m going to have to do as I progress. It takes somebody a really long time to develop a really good jump shot.Man on Man Defense Coach's Comments: As a coach you will have to make a decision defensively whether you're going to play a man to man or a zone defense. but to improve both their basketball skills and their self image. get the rebound and go down the court. It doesn’t help a young person to develop his or her body to play man to man defense. I would urge you not to use the zone defense. What’s most important about it is to not win at the expense of any teaching or development that can take place in the individual. A man to man defense is more of a challenge. ask yourself why. it takes advantage of kids' weaknesses rather than try to take advantage of their strengths. 49 . I think the point here is that our priority when we step on the floor with the kids is not to win. Playing man to man takes a little bit more effort.

All rights reserved. 50 . and I know their parents do too. NYSCA is a heck of an organization. Copyright NYSCA. It’s so important. because I wasn’t as fortunate as far as being coached.Summary I would like to take the time to thank you for taking the NYSCA Online Basketball clinic. I hope that you were able to get something out of it. Take care and good luck. I wish it was around when I was a kid. It’s been great for my kids and all the kids that you coach someday are going to appreciate it. Thanks again for being here.

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