Monday, August 1, 2011

Using Progression within Your Drills

Progressions within drills are something I have been toying with for a few years but really started exploring this summer. Although the Czar may not agree with me, it's something I have become a fan of lately and will continue using.

When I talk about progression within drills I am talking about a build up of sorts. Start with one skill and just and and build on that skill. For a great progression you need to start with one breakdown drill and build to live play. Each drill should emphasize the concepts from the one before as well as the live play after that.

One of my favorite times to use progressions is when teaching on ball defense using the series below. It's definatley not the only time, you can do this when teaching anything from an offensive move (crossover vs. cone, crossover vs. dummy defender, crossover vs. live defender) to team defense (shell, shell with cuts, shell with cuts and drive, shell into live).

1. Mass Stance (2-3 Min)
-Typical defensive stance drill. Players in lines, facing the coach at half court. Coach calls "stance!" players slap the floor, yell defense and get into a stance. After 2-3x of that (checking the stance) the coach has them chop feet and slide in a direction.
-Emphasize the proper stance

2. Partner Close Out (3 min)
-Groups of two with one ball. Player 1 passes to player 2 and closes out into a good defensive stance. Player 2 rips and pivots while the defender mirrors the ball. The defender (1) uses the verbal ball. Defender slides back and offense (2) passes to defense (1) and becomes defense.
-Emphasize the proper stance, proper closeout (sprint, drop, chop, high hands), and verbals (BALL)

3. Partner Close Out Cut Off (3-4 Min)
-Same groups, same situation as above. This time the offense catches and rips twice. The offense takes 2 dribbles, the defender now bounces back and cuts off the dribble. Use the verbal BALL on the closeout and DEAD on the pick up.
-Emphasize the proper stance, proper closeout, bounce and cut, and verbals (ball and dead).

4A. Iowa 1 on 1 (5-6 Min)
-Group of 2-4 at a basket with one ball. One defender starts under the basket with the ball, one offense starts at the free throw line. The rest of the players are in a line above the top of the key. The defender tosses the ball to the offenses, closes out, and they play 1 on 1. The offense has 3 dribbles max and cannot go outside the lane lines. If the offense scores they go to defense. If the defense gets a stop they stay. Players get 1 point for every stop - losers have pushups. The defender now must work on closing out, being in a stance, bouncing and cutting, and verbals now in a live one on one situation.
-Emphasize proper stance, proper closeout, bounce and cut, and verbals.

4B. 2 on 2 1 Side Drive (6-8 Min)
-Groups of 2, one defense one offense. Offense starts at the wings and has to catch the ball from the wing outside the three on the pass. Defense starts at the rim but is matched with an offensive player. Coach (or player that is out) throws the ball to one of the offensive players, that defender closes out and they play with the other defender as help. The offense tries to score, if the drive is shut down they pass to their partner on the opposite wing. Other defender closes out and plays 1 on 1 on that side with help. Switch every time,keep track of spots for points. Losers have pushups. Just like Iowa we are in a live situation using our skills.
-Emphasize proper stance, proper closeout, bounce and cut, and verbals

5. 3 on 3 Drive (5-8 Min)
-Players play 3 on 3, the offense has to drive and the defense works on closing out, being in a stance, bouncing and cutting, etc.
-Emphasize proper stance, proper closeout, bounce and cut, and verbals

6. 5 on 5 On Ball (6-10 Min)
-Play 5 on 5, the ONLY thing you watch as a coach, and emphasize, is the on ball defense - are they closing out, being in a stance, talking, etc.

Something I think is important is to share with your players the importance of the build up - something I didn't do a great job on this spring. Explain how one drill translates to the next and so on is important. Make sure you go over the emphasis, use the same terms, etc. This is a great way to get things to translate to the game. It's not just a drill followed by another, seemingly unrelated (in a teenager's mind) drill. It's a series where you are working on them in differing situations - really making their brain work and turn the skills into habits.

Have been reading a lot of Brian McCormick lately and he does a great job of talking about this kind of thing as well - teaching players how to play and developing habits with small sided games. One of things I like from him, and is applicable here, is the idea of play more and drill less. Do the breakdown drills quick, then have them play and watch what is happening. Which skill in this are they not getting? Is it a matter of form or practice (forming the habit)? If it's practice play if it's form do a breakdown drill again. After they play, run a quick breakdown drill based on the skill they are missing and have them play again. Kind of goes with what I did in Iowa with the 1 or 2 minute games. Play a few quick games, drill what we lacked, and come back to it.

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