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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bending the Knees The next stage of shooting is the power phase. Copyright NYSCA. 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 . As you come up to take the shot you should rise up on your toes and finish with your elbow straight. All rights reserved. A straight elbow allows you to release the ball and follow it all the way to the rim. where your knees will bend to get ready to take the shot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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