Table of Contents
Welcome message from Greg Popovich and Sean Elliott.………..………………….........……….…4

Setting Up a Practice
Practice Plan .…………………………………………………....………..………………………….....…5 Positioning as a Team .…………………………………………………....………..…...……………..…6 The Free Throw .…………………………………………………....………..………………..…………..7 Out of Bounds Play .…………………………………………………....………..……………………..…8 Executing the Play .…………………………………………………....………..……………………....…9 Balance on the Court .…………………………………………………....………..……………...…..…10 The Fast Break .…………………………………………………....………..………………..………….11 Pivot and Jump Stop .…………………………………………………....………..…………………..…12 Pivot and Jump Stop Drill………………………………………………....………..………………....…13

Scheduling Your Time
Scheduling Your Time .…………………………………………………....………..………………..….14 Teaching Individual Skills…………………………………………………....………..……………..…..15 The First Day .…………………………………………………....………..…………………………...…16 Written Practice Plan .…………………………………………………....………..……………...…..…17

Individual Offense
The Jump Shot.……………………………………………………..……………….………..…….….…18 Holding the Basketball………………………………………………………………….……...…...……20 Bending the Knees .…………………………………………………....………..……………...……..…21 Taking Time to Practice…………………………………………………....………..…………….…..…22 The Free Throw .…………………………………………………....………..………………………..…23 The Lay Up .…………………………………………………....………..……………………………..…24 Form Shooting Drill .…………………………………………………....………..…………..………..…25

Passing
Passing .…………………………………………………....………..………………..…………………..26 The Chest Pass .…………………………………………………....………..………………………..…27 Control .…………………………………………………....………..…………………………………..…28 Elbow Position .…………………………………………………....………..…………..……………..…29 Mechanics .…………………………………………………....………..…………………….………..…30 Chest Pass Drill .…………………………………………………....………..………....……………..…31 Bounce Pass Drill .…………………………………………………....……………...………………..…32 The Overhead Pass .…………………………………………………....………..……………….…..…33 The Baseball Pass………………………………………………....………..……………………………34

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Rocker Step
Catch, Turn and Face………………………………………………...………………………....….....…36 Stutter Step and Cross Over……………………………………………………...……………......……37 Dribbling…………………………………………………………….………………………………...……38 The Grapevine Drill……………………………………………………………………...…………..……39

Team Offense
Quadrant Drill…………………………………………………………….………………..………………41 Three on “0” Drill…………………………………………………………………………..…...…………42 Pass and Screen……………………………………………………………...……………..……………43

Defense
Introduction to Defense…………………………………………………………….……………….……44 Defensive Position………………………………………………………………….…….………………45 Support Position…………………………………………………………………….………….…………46 Rebounding………………………………………………………….……………...…………………..…47 Block Out Drill……………………………………………………………………….……….……………48 Man on Man Defense………………………………………………………….…………………....……49

Summary
Summary………………………………………………………………………….…………………….…50

Copyright NYSCA, All rights reserved.

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Basketball Introduction with Greg Popovich and Sean Elliott.

Hello I’m Greg Popovich along with Sean Elliott. As volunteer coaches I’d like to thank you for joining this online clinic. I think it’s fantastic that you’re here to receive the information that we’re going to give because it is so important to the kids. I’ve got children that have played in leagues that are coached by people like yourselves and I know, both self image wise and basketball wise how important it is to them. The patience that you exhibit is fantastic. To me it’s unbelievable, I don’t think I could do it. I’ve seen games my son and daughter play in, I’ve seen good coaches and bad coaches, and no matter what, you’ve got to be congratulated for putting the time in that you do. Hopefully something that we teach you in this clinic will help you make your job easier. Maybe you will help a youngster develop as a person, and even as a basketball player. We are going to do our best, we are going to work hard to see if we can get some of that information across to you.

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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.

Copyright NYSCA, All rights reserved.

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All rights reserved. 6 . coaches can run whatever plays they would like to run. To the right of the center you will have a guard and to the left of the center you will position a small forward. Straight ahead from the center you should place your power forward or big forward.Positioning as a Team Organizational Set Up Five players Full court When positioning your team on the court you should have a big person in the middle (center). In case they lose the tip you should have a guard behind them as a safety valve. from this. Copyright NYSCA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16 . this young lady is a great defender and you will see what you have. Those two are my shooters. I would make sure that I had that scrimmage situation set for the last ten or fifteen minutes of my practice. this guy can rebound. Copyright NYSCA. 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. If it’s the third year in a row for these kids. let them go crazy. It might be a good situation for you to learn.The First Day The first day. 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 are going to keep control of that practice and get a lot more done. If you are going to shoot. You may walk out into the gym and the number of kids may change from what you thought. All rights reserved. You have to be flexible. because as soon as you stop and you have to think about what to do. Write it down so you know going into the practice the things you want to get accomplished that day. 17 .Written Practice Plan A practice plan should be written down. Know what drills you want to do to get that accomplished. you’ve lost them. You may have to change your plan in some way once you get started. but it’s important to go out there with a starting point. If you know ahead of time what you are going to do and what drills are going to take place. Copyright NYSCA. Have enough of your practice planned to make sure that you keep them busy. 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. 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. what drills are you going to do?. So writing down your practice is really important. now they're going in a million different directions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

they need to move closer. Coach's Comments: The first thing we will do is a very basic chest pass drill. If some players can't get the mechanics down right. and step. Copyright NYSCA. One thing you want to make sure of is that the elbows start in and then they’ll naturally go out. The knees should be bent as the player steps. and making sure they follow through correctly.Chest Pass Drill Organizational Set Up Divide group into pairs One ball between two Full court Coaching Points: In this drill coach Popovich demonstrates the technique of the chest pass. Try to hit your partner right in the chest with the ball. All rights reserved. The hands should finish with the forefingers high and the thumbs down. the player practice passing the ball back and forth using the chest pass. On the coach's command. 31 . In this practice we are mostly concerned with the hands being in the proper position. Partners face each other approximately 10 yards apart. 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. It’s hard to control it that way. Divide your group in pairs. And you want to bounce it just right so it will be in a good position to catch it. Copyright NYSCA. Partners face each other approximately 10 yards apart. Your hands should be on the side of the ball. and don’t put your hands flat on the ball. the player practice passing the ball back and forth using the bounce pass. 32 .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. On the coach's command. All rights reserved. It’s basically the same thing as the chest pass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imagine that there’s a piece of tape right down the middle. All of a sudden you will have a lot of movement from your players and great floor balance. One ball per group. If someone goes into your square. They can go to any of the other two squares. It’s a wonderful teaching drill. Halfway down the lane we’ll put another piece of tape this way. Coach's Comments: The quadrant drill that we do with the younger players can also be done with older players. you have to go to the square that they came from. This practice is designed to improve each player's movement off the ball. so it makes a plus sign. After passing the ball the player must swap places with one of the players without the ball. All rights reserved. Divide players into groups of four. Coaching Points: In this segment coach Popovich demonstrates the Quadrant drill. Each group has four squares. An emphasis is placed on good movement and passing. Place a player in each square. The rule is. Each player stands in one of the squares. Copyright NYSCA. Divide the court into four quadrants or 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. You could even make your offense the same thing. 41 .The Quadrant Drill Organizational Set Up Groups of four.

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

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

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

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

You should always see both. He uses his fingers like pistols and he points at each one. Player #3 is is two passes away. you are either on the ball or off the ball. Copyright NYSCA. If you're off the ball. He’s going to be a little bit below that line. Player #2 is in a one pass or denied defense position. whether it’s one pass away. two or more. where we help or support our team mates. that line changes. because if he goes above the line very far he loses sight of his man and his man goes to the bucket. he can see them both. This is the beginning of team defense. If his opponent goes low. between man and ball. He doesn’t go above the line. Player #3 is still is on defense so he still has a line between man and ball. The key is when you are on defense. But it’s different now. you've got to know where the man and ball are and draw that line. All rights reserved.Support Position Organizational Set Up Small groups of players One ball Half court Coach's Comments: In this example player #1 is defending the player with the ball. 46 . so that makes him the support player. Once you draw that line between man and ball. you're in good shape.

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

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

49 . I would urge you not to use the zone defense. 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. The reasons are obvious. A man to man defense is more of a challenge. get the rebound and go down the court. that’s fantastic. The responsibility that takes place of guarding that person no matter where he or she may go really helps develop that youngster. but to improve both their basketball skills and their self image. All rights reserved. We’re trying to develop some skills both personal skills and basketball skills for young people. ask yourself why. I think the point here is that our priority when we step on the floor with the kids is not to win.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. If in that process we win the game. 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. It takes somebody a really long time to develop a really good jump shot. One team won’t just sit and wait for the other one to shoot. At the same time it makes everything more fair for both teams. It doesn’t help a young person to develop his or her body to play man to man defense. For me to learn a zone defense at age seven does nothing for me as far as what I’m going to have to do as I progress. Copyright NYSCA. Most kids can’t shoot. with the physical work that takes place with bending your knees and moving. But it doesn’t do the kids any good. It really means a lot to try and develop that in a youngster. Playing man to man takes a little bit more effort. it takes advantage of kids' weaknesses rather than try to take advantage of their strengths. When you play a zone defense.

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

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