Saturday, September 20, 2008

Diving on the Floor - You've Got the Ball, Now What!?

I've always done drills where players had to dive on the floor to get loose balls. But eventually it occured to me that I wasn't teaching the players what to do AFTER they secured the ball (probably took longer for me to realize than most!). They can't get up without dribbling first, which is almost impossible to do in traffic. They can't roll over, and they can't just lay there, what do they do?

In light of that, I designed a drill that allowed players to get on the floor for loose balls and then do something with it. It teaches them how to recover a loose ball.
The drill has three players, one defender and two on offense. The ball is rolled out and one of the offensive players dives on the floor. When he gains posession of the ball, he has to pass it to his teammate while the defender tries to stop the pass. At first have the defender guarding the player on the floor to work on getting rid of the ball quickly, dealing with the pressure, and looking for passing angles. Later, change it up and have the defender guard the player recieving the pass so that he has to work to get the ball. If mastery of the drill is achieved, then add a second defender. Players rotate through the drill.

You should also talk to your players about when it is approperiate to use a time out in reguards to a loose ball. Every coach have a different opinion on using time outs, and there is no magic secret. Figure out if and when they can use timeouts on loose balls and make sure they know your philsophy.

This may be just a little thing, but it's an important little thing in my humble opinion. Teaching your players what to do once they've secured the loose ball can save you a possession or two each game. Not something you spend 25 minutes on in practice obviously, but hey a 5 minute session here and there can help. This isn't the only loose ball drill I use, but it's one of my favorites. If you guys that read this have any loose ball drills to add, I would encourage you to do so!

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