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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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). In case they lose the tip you should have a guard behind them as a safety valve. 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. 6 . All rights reserved. from this. coaches can run whatever plays they would like to run.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is a lost art. Copyright NYSCA. 26 . Hopefully people like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird have brought it back to the point where players realize how great a pass can be. If we can do a good job of teaching passing. I think we bring the game of basketball back to where a lot of us old timers really liked it.Passing Passing is something that obviously we are all going to do with our players to try and develop their game. All rights reserved. even though it’s simple. and get it back into the game. 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. the better off they will be. or put it in the correct position to pass it. The younger they begin to learn that this is a better way to pass or shoot. Copyright NYSCA. The correct position is when all the seams are lined up. All rights reserved. 27 . The most important thing is the mechanics. but it’s the most logical place to begin. or they will get one hand behind it because they are not strong enough and try to push it at you. they will automatically catch a pass and put it in the correct position to get ready to shoot. It sounds like it might be a lot of work. It’s not so important that you begin with the chest pass.The Chest Pass The first pass that you should teach is the chest pass. I think it’s really important for the young kids because very few of them are going to do it correctly to begin with. The mechanics of the pass begin with how you hold it with your hands. They don’t automatically get the ball in the correct position. but it’s an automatic thing that all players do. If they learn that when they are young. It starts with your hands and how they are placed on the basketball.

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

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

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

Try to hit your partner right in the chest with the ball. In this practice we are mostly concerned with the hands being in the proper position. All rights reserved. The hands should finish with the forefingers high and the thumbs down. 31 . Partners face each other approximately 10 yards apart. Divide your group in pairs. The knees should be bent as the player steps. 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. and making sure they follow through correctly. If some players can't get the mechanics down right. the player practice passing the ball back and forth using the chest pass.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. On the coach's command. Copyright NYSCA. they need to move closer. and step.

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

Again. 33 .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. and it should be nice and controlled. Hold the ball exactly as you would with any other pass. It’s a little tougher for young players to throw. Partners face each other approximately 10 yards apart. but it’s going to be more of a knuckle ball. you want correct form. but it starts above the head. it’s not going to spin very much. On the coach's command. Divide your group in pairs. The follow through will be there. You should aim for your partner's forehead. the player practice passing the ball back and forth using the overhead pass. Copyright NYSCA. If you can’t throw a straight line. then get closer. Coach's Comments: The overhead pass is a little bit different than the chest pass and the bounce pass. that’s fine. All rights reserved. if they have to get a little closer. Use the same step as the chest and bounce passes and follow through right at the target. 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 want to grip it like you do in the other passes with a space in between your palm and the ball. The target is really dependent on where the receiver is. The chest pass and the bounce pass are the passes you’re going to use to the greatest degree in the half court. It’s not going to go right to a body. The basic principles are the same as throwing a baseball. 34 . You should have total control over the ball. but the baseball pass.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. Usually it’s going to be from out of bounds. but a spot in front of that body. Divide your group in pairs. is a leading pass. Partners face each other approximately 10 yards apart. The one handed pass is exactly like a baseball throw in that the ball is brought behind the right ear. if you’re right handed. Most of the other passes are right at a target. Coach's Comments: The last pass we’re going to go over is the baseball pass. depending on where the defense is. the elbow is out and then we go ahead and follow through just like we would with a baseball. You’re going to use it mostly in the forecourt offense for breaking traps and breaking presses. You may be aiming at a spot that’s away from a player. maybe to half court or maybe somewhere in the back court onto the front court. very often. When you use the baseball pass you’ve got to think about use. the player practice passing the ball back and forth using the baseball pass. On the coach's command. The baseball pass is great for a fast break or down court or a long pass in most cases. leading him or her to get to the basketball.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Player #2 runs towards player #3 and sets a screen. 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 . All rights reserved. Copyright NYSCA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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