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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from this. In case they lose the tip you should have a guard behind them as a safety valve.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 . coaches can run whatever plays they would like to run. To the right of the center you will have a guard and to the left of the center you will position a small forward. Straight ahead from the center you should place your power forward or big forward. 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. just to get a loose ball. and place a safety zone player behind the shooter. You can put your extra player on the lane. 7 . The defense is going to handle the two inside positions. You will have a shooter and two middle positions. Your league rules will determine how many players you can have in the lane. Copyright NYSCA. All rights reserved.

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

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

10 . 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. two wing players and two guards up top.Balance on the Court In this segment coach Popovich demonstrates how a team should stay balanced when running an offense. two wing players and one guard up top. but this the basic position you would be in. The following diagrams illustrate a balanced offense using a two guard front and a one guard front.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

because you would have less feel. It’s not contrived. It’s not something that you have to work to get. touch and therefore control. All rights reserved. It should be a natural spread hand with the index finger and thumb forming a “V” on the basketball. 28 . The ball should rest in the finger pads and touch the palm just a little. 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. 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. Not closed and not exaggerated but a natural “V” on the ball. It’s mostly the fingers that hold the basketball. That will give you the most symmetrical and the most balanced position for your hands on the ball. It’s a natural position.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and I know their parents do too. I wish it was around when I was a kid.Summary I would like to take the time to thank you for taking the NYSCA Online Basketball clinic. NYSCA is a heck of an organization. Thanks again for being here. because I wasn’t as fortunate as far as being coached. 50 . All rights reserved. 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. Take care and good luck. It’s so important. Copyright NYSCA.

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