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 . 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. 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). coaches can run whatever plays they would like to run. Copyright NYSCA. Straight ahead from the center you should place your power forward or big forward.

You will have a shooter and two middle positions. The defense is going to handle the two inside positions. All rights reserved. just to get a loose ball. and place a safety zone player behind the shooter. Copyright NYSCA. 7 . 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. You can put your extra player on the lane.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

this young lady is a great defender and you will see what you have. 16 . 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. Those two are my shooters. this guy can rebound. Copyright NYSCA. All rights reserved. If it’s the third year in a row for these kids.The First Day The first day. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Passing Passing is something that obviously we are all going to do with our players to try and develop their game. I think we bring the game of basketball back to where a lot of us old timers really liked it. even though it’s simple. 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. Many times we forget what that does for a team and how good somebody feels when they throw a good pass. Copyright NYSCA. It is a lost art. 26 . and get it back into the game. All rights reserved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some kids don’t react well to that. All rights reserved. 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. You need to make sure that no matter what the age group you start with drills that they can do. 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. 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. 38 . Copyright NYSCA.

One line steps forward and performs a variety of ball handling drills. 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. Then do it as you stand up. 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. What we want to do are some basic drills and progress to drills that they can’t possibly do. bend your knees and start low and try to take the ball around your body. 39 . Lines rotate after each player has performed the drill. It’s important to know that the first day.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. Now maybe you won’t become Nate Archibald or Magic Johnson. Alternate directions. Divide your group in pairs. but you can be better than you are today if you want to work at it.

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

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

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

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

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

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. His knees are bent. 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. 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. He’s not too far and he’s not too close. because he can’t see what’s going on.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 can see both the man and the ball. He should be able to see both. 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. both supporting players should be one pass away from the ball. 45 . In relationship to his position on the ball. the defender should be chest to chest. He doesn’t close to the ball. The defending players draw a line on the floor mentally. he’s in good position and if he looks straight ahead.

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

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

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

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

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

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