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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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. All rights reserved. Straight ahead from the center you should place your power forward or big forward. 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). Copyright NYSCA.

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

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

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

two wing players and two guards up top. The following diagrams illustrate a balanced offense using a two guard front and a one guard front. Different coaches will use different movements on the court. 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. two wing players and one guard up top. 10 . One guard front In this illustration we have two players low. but this the basic position you would be in.

All rights reserved. This is just a general picture of how things look. Copyright NYSCA. or you’re going to lose the ball once in a while. This is usually where you want your players to run into. Even professionals sometimes throw it away on the breaks. Then you want to get the guard with the ball in the middle. The things that we teach in the fast break are all very important. the outside lanes. those people devote a certain portion of their practice everyday to the fast break. but you do it because in the long run it’s to your advantage to run a fast break. If you can teach your kids to make the transition quickly and get that outlet pass out up the court. so your young eight year old players can certainly throw the ball away and not have to be worried about the fact that they’re going to come out of the game or that they just committed some heinous crime. but we must understand that they take a great deal of time. There is an outside lane on each side between the free throw lane and the side line. you will lose the ball once in a while. college. 11 . you’ll have a lot of great opportunities to score without a defense being set. or professional. Know that there will be turn-overs. he pivots on the outside foot and looks to pass the ball to a player in the outside lane.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. Whether it’s high school. It’s going to be a situation where there are turn-overs. Organizational Set Up Five players One ball Full court As the player catches the ball from the rebound.

you pivot off a foot. You may not know it. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and your weight should be on the balls of your feet. 12 . When you’re in a triple threat position.Pivot and Jump Stop Now we are going to go over the pivot and jump stop. When you’re trying to make a pass and you’re being guarded. 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 should make sure that everybody understands the outside pivot and the inside pivot. You pivot all sorts of ways. and have your hands ready to play defense or catch the ball. you need to pivot. you jump stop and change direction. but you use jump stop all the time. When you come to catch a pass. All rights reserved. When you’re playing defense. you pivot off one of your feet. Copyright NYSCA. When you’re running on the court to change direction. If you want to do it perfectly you should come to a stop with your knees bent. you pivot on one foot to throw the outlet pass. When you come to shoot a jump shot. right under your body. When you get a rebound. you’ll jump stop to catch a pass.

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.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. As the player turns on the pivot. perform a jump stop and an outside pivot. Their body shape should be down and the head should be level. 13 . they should not stand up. Knees should be bent with hands up. All rights reserved. Players alternate running to the right side of the chair. Emphasis should be placed on good technique. Copyright NYSCA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

hip. Copyright NYSCA. When you get ready to shoot you should be balanced.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. knee. When you place your hand on the ball. A lot of young basketball players put both hands on top of the ball to try and shoot it. The body alignment should be in a straight line with the toe. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. You should try to grab as many of the seams on the ball as possible. 20 . elbow and the wrist. The knees should be bent. the pointer finger is in the middle of the basketball and your hand should be naturally spread on the ball. All rights reserved. You should also have a little space between the ball and the hand so you are using the fingertips and not the palm of the hands to rest the ball. The opposite hand is used as a guide.

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. 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.

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. We have to make sure that when a player gets older. Sometimes you will see coaches and their body language will be unbelievable and you may see a disgusted look on their face when a player misses a shot. he or she feels the responsibility to make the free throw. Copyright NYSCA. That’s about the worst.Taking Time to Practice In shooting. Many games are won and lost because of free throws. Every time they miss a free throw they are going to feel guilty. All rights reserved. taking the time to practice is the most important thing. 22 . 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. It takes somebody a really long time to develop a really good jump shot. I would urge you not to use the zone defense. At the same time it makes everything more fair for both teams. It really means a lot to try and develop that in a youngster. If in that process we win the game. with the physical work that takes place with bending your knees and moving. Copyright NYSCA. 49 . ask yourself why. One team won’t just sit and wait for the other one to shoot. A man to man defense is more of a challenge. It doesn’t help a young person to develop his or her body to play man to man defense. but to improve both their basketball skills and their self image. The responsibility that takes place of guarding that person no matter where he or she may go really helps develop that youngster. get the rebound and go down the court. 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. that’s fantastic. 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. Playing man to man takes a little bit more effort. What’s most important about it is to not win at the expense of any teaching or development that can take place in the individual.Man on Man Defense Coach's Comments: As a coach you will have to make a decision defensively whether you're going to play a man to man or a zone defense. When you play a zone defense. All rights reserved. Most kids can’t shoot. But it doesn’t do the kids any good. We’re trying to develop some skills both personal skills and basketball skills for young people. The reasons are obvious. If you’re someone who does run a zone defense.

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

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