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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright NYSCA.Passing Passing is something that obviously we are all going to do with our players to try and develop their game. and get it back into the game. 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. All rights reserved. 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. even though it’s simple. It is a lost art.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You need to make sure that no matter what the age group you start with drills that they can do.Dribbling Dribbling may not be quite as important as passing and shooting. but it is something that needs to be developed. They may become angry or frustrated. 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. 38 . They’re not going to be able to do the drills as perfectly as they would like. 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. All rights reserved. Copyright NYSCA.

Then do it as you stand up. bend your knees and start low and try to take the ball around your body. the first two days can be frustrating. 39 . Now maybe you won’t become Nate Archibald or Magic Johnson. Player should perform the following ball handling drills in sequence: Around the legs Feet together. It’s important to know that the first day. But if you get a routine and work on it everyday you’ll find that the improvement will be dramatic. One line steps forward and performs a variety of ball handling drills. What we want to do are some basic drills and progress to drills that they can’t possibly do.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. Alternate directions. 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.

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

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

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

Player #2 runs towards player #3 and sets a screen. All rights reserved. Player #3 runs into open space and receives the ball from player #1.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. 43 . Copyright NYSCA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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