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

Copyright NYSCA, All rights reserved.

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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.

Copyright NYSCA, All rights reserved.

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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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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). To the right of the center you will have a guard and to the left of the center you will position a small forward. Copyright NYSCA. Straight ahead from the center you should place your power forward or big forward. All rights reserved. from this. 6 . 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The First Day The first day. this guy can rebound. It might be a good situation for you to learn. All rights reserved. If it’s the third year in a row for these kids. let them go crazy. 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. 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. 16 . this young lady is a great defender and you will see what you have. Copyright NYSCA. either to learn what they can do or to instill this year’s offense or whatever we are going to do in that sense.

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

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

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

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

A straight elbow allows you to release the ball and follow it all the way to the rim. where your knees will bend to get ready to take the shot. As you come up to take the shot you should rise up on your toes and finish with your elbow straight. All rights reserved. 21 .Bending the Knees The next stage of shooting is the power phase. 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.

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

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

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

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

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. even though it’s simple. I think we bring the game of basketball back to where a lot of us old timers really liked it. 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. It is a lost art. 26 . Copyright NYSCA. If we can do a good job of teaching passing. Many times we forget what that does for a team and how good somebody feels when they throw a good pass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All rights reserved. The drill begins with player #1 with the ball. 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". 43 . Player #2 runs towards player #3 and sets a screen. Copyright NYSCA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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