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.

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6 . 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). Copyright NYSCA. coaches can run whatever plays they would like to run. All rights reserved. In case they lose the tip you should have a guard behind them as a safety valve. from this. To the right of the center you will have a guard and to the left of the center you will position a small forward.

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

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

That’s the most important thing. You’ve got to know where to go on the court. If you do exactly what you practice. That’s why certain teams become the finalists at the NBA playoffs. Copyright NYSCA. Free throws. There aren’t any big secrets. Because not only are they talented but they execute everything better than everybody else. jump balls. All rights reserved. the play can be very good. they get the out-of-bounds plays sooner and know where they’re supposed to be more often than anybody else.Executing the Play What makes the play good is how you execute it. fast breaks. A lot of it has to do with how we as players execute and listen. That’s why they’re the best. 9 . 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 following diagrams illustrate a balanced offense using a two guard front and a one guard front.Balance on the Court In this segment coach Popovich demonstrates how a team should stay balanced when running an offense. Two guard front In this illustration we have one player low. but this the basic position you would be in. two wing players and two guards up top. two wing players and one guard up top. One guard front In this illustration we have two players low. Different coaches will use different movements on the court. 10 .

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

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

Copyright NYSCA. 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. As the player turns on the pivot.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. Players alternate running to the right side of the chair. they should not stand up. 13 . All rights reserved. After executing the move the player returns to the end of their line and the next player repeats. perform a jump stop and an outside pivot. Knees should be bent with hands up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. All rights reserved.Passing Passing is something that obviously we are all going to do with our players to try and develop their game. It is a lost art. 26 . 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. Copyright NYSCA. If we can do a good job of teaching passing. and get it back into the game.

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

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

your elbows start from the in position.Elbow Position When you get ready to throw the basketball. Then as the basketball comes towards you the elbows will naturally go out as you go to pass. Copyright NYSCA. 29 . 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. not an outward position. At this point the follow through becomes important. It doesn’t matter if it’s your left foot or your right foot. It is impossible to throw a pass with your elbows in. All rights reserved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coach's Comments: The beginnings of team offense start with the “three on o” drill. Jab step. they should screen in the opposite direction. When we pass and screen away. All rights reserved. After passing the ball the player must "Jab step" and make a run. Supporting player #3 runs to player #2 and receives the pass.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. At the same time it’s a very simple drill. The drill begins with player #1 passing the ball to player #2. It’s a very. it becomes a little bit more complicated. 42 . then go opposite and through trying to catch the ball. The player must then pass to one of them. Copyright NYSCA. If the player passes in one direction. very complicated drill. or three offensive people and no defensive people. Divide players into groups of three. 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". The drill begins with player #1 with the ball. All rights reserved. Copyright NYSCA. Player #3 runs into open space and receives the ball from player #1. Player #2 runs towards player #3 and sets a screen. 43 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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