Friday, September 14, 2012


Saturday Coaches Share is a way for YOU to help other coaches.  Each Saturday this blog gives you an opportunity to comment on a different basketball related topic so our readers can learn from your experiences.

If you are interested in commenting on this week's Saturday Coaches Share all you have to do is email your response to before 8:00 AM Sunday, September 9.  Then look for your response to be posted on Sunday's blog.

Today's Coaches Share question:  Let's say Team X has a reasonably comfortable lead in the second half of a game.  The coach of the team with the lead substitutes players into the game that have not played yet.  Do you feel the team with the lead should hold the ball a little bit before looking to score so it doesn't appear they are running up the score?  Or do these players deserve to play the game like the players in the regular rotation get to play?  SIDE NOTE:  Let's assume the team with the lead is not a full court pressing team for the sake of the discussion.

Remember coaches learn from each other.  Share your thoughts on today's question and see it in Sunday's blog post. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Have you ever coached a player or players that had a competitive spirit you wished every player had?  I'm guessing your answer is "yes."  All players have a sense of competitiveness in them or they wouldn't be involved with your team.  But there are always a few that have a higher level of competitive spirit than the average person.

I was reminded of this during a recent season when I was having a pre-game discussion with one of our players.  I was also reminded how special it is to be able to coach people like this.  I'm sure some of you reading this can connect with this story.

Our opponent that night had been struggling in recent games, and we were in the middle of a winning streak.  On paper were supposed to win, but my way of thinking never allows me to feel too confident going into any game no matter who our opponent is.  

As I watched our team go through warmups I was thinking about the defensive assignments I was going to give our players when we went back into the locker room.  I thought we had an overall advantage, but their star player was going to be a tough matchup for us.  Their star player is a taller and stronger guard that could attack the basket and shoot from the perimeter.  One of our starters usually was assigned the opponent's best perimeter player, and more often than not our player did a great job in containing that player.  For some reason though I didn't like this matchup for us.

So I called our player out of the warmup line and the following conversation occurred:

Coach:  "I'm kind of concerned about our matchup on their #15 tonight."
Player:  "Why?"
Coach:  "You know normally I assign you to the other team's best perimeter player, but the size of this
                player concerns me.  I'm not sure it's a good matchup for you."
Player:  "Ok. What are your saying, Coach?"
Coach:  "I'm thinking we should have someone else guard that player."
Player:  "Why would you want to do that, Coach?  I'll be fine."

Needless to say that is all the convincing I needed to give this player of ours the tough defensive assignment.  Our player went out and played another spectacular defensive game and helped us to a win.  The win was great, but what I will remember the most from that night is how one of my players looked me straight in the eye with total confidence and conviction that they would do what was needed for our team to be successful. 

A coach's job can be a bit easier when we get a chance to coach players with a competitive spirit like this player has.  I can tell you this coach sure is thankful.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WOLF DRILL: Defensive Intensity & Toughness

The WOLF DRILL is a defensive drill that allows you to work on a variety of defensive skills in one rep:  closeouts, on the ball defense, blocking out and taking a charge. 

Three offensive players align around the perimeter, one at the top of the key and 2 and 3 on the wings.  One defender starts with a basketball and under the basket.

X1 rolls the ball out to 1.  X1 will execute a closeout.  They play one-on-one.  1 gets three dribbles to try and score.

 As soon as X1 and 1 complete their part of the drill, the ball is immediately passed out to 2.  X1 will now sprint to 2 and execute a closeout.  2 will immediately catch and shoot.  X1 must box out 2 after the shot.  Both players attempt to get the rebound.

If 2 makes the shot X1 immediately passes the ball to 3.  If 2 misses and 1 gets the rebound they will immediately pass to 3.  If 2 gets and offensive rebound, they play until 2 scores or X1 gets a rebound or turnover.
On the catch 3 will immediately attack the basket off the dribble to attempt to score on a layup.  Meanwhile X1 is sprinting over to set up to take a charge outside the lane (if possible).

Players rotate 1 to 2.  2 to 3.  3 to defender.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012



*Three players line up in lane facing rim.  One on each block and one just inside the free throw line
*Remaining players divide evenly into five lines standing on the three point line facing the rim.  One in each corner, one line at each wing, one line at top of key. Lines are numbered
1 through 5 (players must know numbers).

*Coach stands about 15 feet away from the rim, anywhere, with the ball.

*Coach yells three out of the five numbers (for example 2, 4, 5).
*Coach shoots the ball and everyone in the gym yells "shot!"
*Players from the three lines called must crash the basket hard as soon as ball is released.
*The three players in the lane must turn and locate crashers, make body contact, and secure the rebound. Do not just look at the ball and rim.
*Players must get three rebounds before being allowed to leave the lane and get in crashing lines.

*Keep track of how many reps it takes for each group to get their three consecutive rebounds.  The group that takes the least amount of reps, wins the drill.

*Make players get more or less than three rebounds before leaving the lane depending on the skill of your team or rebounders.

Monday, September 10, 2012


1 starts with the ball at the top of the key area.  The rest of the group forms a single line at the half court line.

The drill starts with 2 sprinting to a spot beyond the three point line (wing area) and 1 passes them the ball.  1 must make a good pass to 2's target area so they are able to catch and shoot.  After making the pass 1 becomes the rebounder.

After shooting the ball 2 will replace 1 at the top of the key area.  1 grabs the rebound and passes to 2.  1 then sprints around the outside of the drill to the end of the line.

As soon as 1 grabbed the rebound then 3 sprints to the shooting spot behind the three point line.  2 passes to 3 for a shot.

*Have a group doing the same drill on the other half of the court.
*Do not have more than five players in a group to ensure high amounts of reps.
*Have your shooters call for the ball with their hands and feet ready.
*Switch sides so players get reps on both sides of the court.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Thank you to the coaches who added to this weekend's COACHES SHARE.  Taking the time to share your knowledge with us is appreciated as you are helping us all on our path of continued improvement.

What is your philosophy on 5-on-5 scrimmages (full court or half court) in your practices?  Do you do it every day?  Do you have any special ways of running your 5-on-5 time in practices?

"When we have our team go 5-on-5 live in practice we keep score and every basket counts as 1 point. It is rare for us to have these sessions go past 3 points. Keep them shorter sessions and then every possession counts."

~Coach R.S. (IA)

"We finish our practices with five-on-five scrimmages. We will do at least fifteen minutes."
~Coach B (IL)

"Once we are into our season and the majority of the X's and O's are set I have a larger scrimmage session in practices.  I have one or two focuses (one offense and one defense) for our players to work on each day during these scrimmages."
~Coach Williams

"We will play for a determined time and keep score. To promote effort and hustle we will add a point for an effort play.  This play must stand out and we don't hand them out for a standard basketball play.  It must be a play that signifies what we want out of our players."
~Coach Sean R.

"We don't do a lot of controlled 5-on-5.  We do most of our team stuff in a continuous drill that is run full court.  It fits our style of play and we coach them "on the run" during this drill."
~Coach Ray (CA)

"We do some 5 on 5 scrimmages but we always time it. So we put sometype of situation on the line. For example: 2 minutes left and Blue team is down by 4. We like to do the 5 on 5 game type situations so we can see how our girls react under pressure.  When we do half court 5 on 5, the focus is in bounds plays and defensive close outs. We do not do it everyday, we will do it more often as the season goes on. We usally always conduct the 5 on 5 at the end of practice. We also put some incentive out there, like push ups or sprints"
 ~Drew Lyness/Assistant Girls Basketball Coach/Soddy Daisy High School