Basketball | Basketball Positions | Hand

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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To the right of the center you will have a guard and to the left of the center you will position a small forward. In case they lose the tip you should have a guard behind them as a safety valve. All rights reserved. 6 . Copyright NYSCA. Straight ahead from the center you should place your power forward or big forward. from this. coaches can run whatever plays they would like to run.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).

You can put your extra player on the lane. and place a safety zone player behind the shooter. The defense is going to handle the two inside positions. 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. 7 . Your league rules will determine how many players you can have in the lane. All rights reserved. Copyright NYSCA. just to get a loose ball.

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

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

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

This is usually where you want your players to run into. All rights reserved. The things that we teach in the fast break are all very important. Whether it’s high school. There is an outside lane on each side between the free throw lane and the side line. or professional. the outside lanes. or you’re going to lose the ball once in a while. you will lose the ball once in a while.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. 11 . This is just a general picture of how things look. 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. but you do it because in the long run it’s to your advantage to run a fast break. but we must understand that they take a great deal of time. Copyright NYSCA. Organizational Set Up Five players One ball Full court As the player catches the ball from the rebound. you’ll have a lot of great opportunities to score without a defense being set. If you can teach your kids to make the transition quickly and get that outlet pass out up the court. those people devote a certain portion of their practice everyday to the fast break. Then you want to get the guard with the ball in the middle. Even professionals sometimes throw it away on the breaks. Know that there will be turn-overs. It’s going to be a situation where there are turn-overs. college. he pivots on the outside foot and looks to pass the ball to a player in the outside lane.

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

Players alternate running to the right side of the chair. Their body shape should be down and the head should be level. All rights reserved. 13 . After executing the move the player returns to the end of their line and the next player repeats. perform a jump stop and an outside pivot. Copyright NYSCA.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. they should not stand up. Knees should be bent with hands up. Each line is positioned opposite a chair placed approximately 20 yards in front of the line. Emphasis should be placed on good technique. As the player turns on the pivot.

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

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

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

You have to be flexible. Have enough of your practice planned to make sure that you keep them busy. but it’s important to go out there with a starting point. If you know ahead of time what you are going to do and what drills are going to take place. You may have to change your plan in some way once you get started. Know what drills you want to do to get that accomplished. If you are going to shoot.Written Practice Plan A practice plan should be written down. because as soon as you stop and you have to think about what to do. 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. 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. All rights reserved. you’ve lost them. Copyright NYSCA. you are going to keep control of that practice and get a lot more done. now they're going in a million different directions. You may walk out into the gym and the number of kids may change from what you thought. So writing down your practice is really important. 17 . what drills are you going to do?. Write it down so you know going into the practice the things you want to get accomplished that day.

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

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

The body alignment should be in a straight line with the toe. Copyright NYSCA. 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. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. 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. The knees should be bent. You should make a “V” with the pointer finger and thumb. When you get ready to shoot you should be balanced. hip. the pointer finger is in the middle of the basketball and your hand should be naturally spread on the ball. When you place your hand on the ball. 20 . You should try to grab as many of the seams on the ball as possible.Holding the Basketball When you talk about shooting you have to start with the most basic thing and that’s holding the basketball. knee. All rights reserved. elbow and the wrist.

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

You can’t do that with seven and eight year olds or you will build guilt in them. 22 . 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. That’s about the worst. We have to make sure that when a player gets older. he or she feels the responsibility to make the free throw. Copyright NYSCA. Many games are won and lost because of free throws. Every time they miss a free throw they are going to feel guilty. taking the time to practice is the most important thing. All rights reserved. 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.Taking Time to Practice In shooting. You can imagine the effect on little kids if you showed the wrong body language.

Over 95% of free throw shooters will have their right foot turned in and it won’t be perpendicular to the free throw line. confidence. As far as the body alignment. Some people need to do something to be comfortable. we are talking mostly about something that is developed over time and that’s self image. my percentage is going to be higher. or they may dribble three times before taking the shot. Both feet are parallel to each other at an angle. 23 . If it’s a little child seven or eight they don’t have a clue. pressure situations. Not so much about the world. but as you get older it reflects your confidence in how well you can shoot a free throw. 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. But if I know it’s going in the basket. The only thing that a player may add here is some sort of ritual. Copyright NYSCA. All rights reserved. They may take a deep breath. The left foot is positioned behind. When we talk about free throws. 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. It doesn’t exactly mean that both feet have to be parallel on the free throw line. the hands. being comfortable and going to the line. People who know it’s not going in. like in the jump shot and turned out slightly. Many of us were taught to be square with the basket and a lot of us take that too literally.The Free Throw With the free throw we want to mention the foot position because it is very important. This is a natural position and is something that people have to understand. the power phase and the follow through are all the same as the free throw. but about themselves.

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

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

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

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

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

It doesn’t matter if it’s your left foot or your right foot. All rights reserved.Elbow Position When you get ready to throw the basketball. At this point the follow through becomes important. 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. your elbows start from the in position. Copyright NYSCA. Along with that you would take a step forward. not an outward position. It is impossible to throw a pass with your elbows in. 29 .

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright NYSCA. All rights reserved. usually in fast break situations. 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. in most cases. It was the correct pass. The younger kids are going to use the baseball pass to a greater degree than one might think. 35 . that probably was a great pass. 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. it is a bigger ball than they’re used to. So in that case it’s a big positive response facially so that he or she knows that it was a good pass. Rather than say anything in a negative way to the player. they just can’t do it. That their body just couldn’t execute it. the baseball pass will be tough for those who haven’t begun to develop yet. Hopefully the younger ages have a smaller ball so that they can throw all the passes a little bit better. So the baseball pass is going to feel pretty natural to them. But since. he or she should be praised for realizing that that was the only pass that was going to get it there.The baseball pass is probably something you won’t use unless you’re thinking about throwing a long pass down court.

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

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

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

bend your knees and start low and try to take the ball around your body. but you can be better than you are today if you want to work at it. the first two days can be frustrating. One line steps forward and performs a variety of ball handling drills. Player should perform the following ball handling drills in sequence: Around the legs Feet together. 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. Coach's Comments: All players can get a lot better as ball handlers because they can practice it. Alternate directions. Now maybe you won’t become Nate Archibald or Magic Johnson. 39 .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. Divide your group in pairs. Lines rotate after each player has performed the drill. But if you get a routine and work on it everyday you’ll find that the improvement will be dramatic.

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

All rights reserved. Copyright NYSCA. You could even make your offense the same thing. Divide players into groups of four. If someone goes into your square. The rule is. Place a player in each square. 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 the court into four quadrants or squares. This practice is designed to improve each player's movement off the ball. An emphasis is placed on good movement and passing. After passing the ball the player must swap places with one of the players without the ball. Coaching Points: In this segment coach Popovich demonstrates the Quadrant drill. The drill begins with one player passing the ball. All of a sudden you will have a lot of movement from your players and great floor balance. Imagine that there’s a piece of tape right down the middle. you have to go to the square that they came from. One ball per group. Each player stands in one of the squares. Halfway down the lane we’ll put another piece of tape this way. It’s a wonderful teaching drill. Coach's Comments: The quadrant drill that we do with the younger players can also be done with older players. 41 .The Quadrant Drill Organizational Set Up Groups of four. so it makes a plus sign. Each group has four squares.

Coach's Comments: The beginnings of team offense start with the “three on o” drill. It’s a very. Supporting player #3 runs to player #2 and receives the pass. The player with the ball sets their men up. At the same time it’s a very simple drill. 42 . or three offensive people and no defensive people. When we pass and screen away. All rights reserved. Jab step. After passing the ball the player must "Jab step" and make a run. they should screen in the opposite direction. Divide players into groups of three. it becomes a little bit more complicated.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. The player must then pass to one of them. If the player passes in one direction. then go opposite and through trying to catch the ball. very complicated drill. Copyright NYSCA. 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. 43 . All rights reserved.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". The drill begins with player #1 with the ball. Copyright NYSCA. Player #2 runs towards player #3 and sets a screen.

Defense is something the kids don’t really do naturally. Because every coach understands the importance of it. push off. if you are a great defender. All rights reserved.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. but play a great fundamental solid defense. but you can make the basketball team through middle school. grade school. balanced with one foot in front of the other. The knees are bent. there’s a place for you on a basketball team. push off. Now they should have an understanding of the fundamentals of defending. The thing that I tell them is. not because you foul or hit or knock people out. step". Copyright NYSCA. high school. The basic starting point is the basketball position. the feet spread apart. The basic slide is "Step. but how do we get that across to the kids?. hands ready. you could be the worst player in this gym. If you’re the guy that drives people crazy. The defense is important as we all know. 44 .

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

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

All rights reserved. We start with a block out position to try to teach them that blocking out is very important. Most importantly. 47 . up. 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. It involves keeping your opponent from getting to the board. but at some point you’ve got to go get the basketball. What’s important is. Copyright NYSCA. we want to teach them that the arms stay. there is a place for them on a team. Sometimes players become a little bit too worried about making contact with other players. 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. With young players we use the line drill just so that they get a really great feel for their body position. Try to convince players that if they can get good at rebounding. Players have to be taught how important to the game that is. and that they shouldn’t be holding the opponent. 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. He has to start up his momentum again. He is frozen to the point where he can’t move.

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

One team won’t just sit and wait for the other one to shoot. A man to man defense is more of a challenge. 49 . 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. 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. Playing man to man takes a little bit more effort. We’re trying to develop some skills both personal skills and basketball skills for young people. I would urge you not to use the zone defense. it takes advantage of kids' weaknesses rather than try to take advantage of their strengths. I think the point here is that our priority when we step on the floor with the kids is not to win. but to improve both their basketball skills and their self image. It doesn’t help a young person to develop his or her body to play man to man defense. It really means a lot to try and develop that in a youngster. The reasons are obvious. with the physical work that takes place with bending your knees and moving. Most kids can’t shoot. When you play a zone defense. 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.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. get the rebound and go down the court. It takes somebody a really long time to develop a really good jump shot. The responsibility that takes place of guarding that person no matter where he or she may go really helps develop that youngster. If in that process we win the game. Copyright NYSCA. But it doesn’t do the kids any good. If you’re someone who does run a zone defense. All rights reserved. ask yourself why. that’s fantastic. At the same time it makes everything more fair for both teams.

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

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