The problem with stutter steps 

Originally published in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter, 8.15. Subscribe here.

I attended a college practice, and the team practiced closeouts. Fake Fundamentals explains my philosophy on the traditional closeout. This drill mixed short and long closeouts depending on one’s starting position, and the staff treated them the same. Players ran a few steps and stutter-stepped to close the distance to one arm’s length from the attacker. Because it was a  non-competitive shell drill, nobody gave up an open shot or was beaten on the drive. The closeouts worked!  […]

How to play defense: No Fake Fundamentals

My friend and future NBA coach Jon Giesbrecht put together the above video on Oklahoma City’s Andre Roberson’s defense. Many consider Roberson to be the NBA’s best perimeter defender, especially with Kawhi Leonard’s persistent injury problems this season. As I watched the video, I noticed two things. More specifically, I noticed the absence of two Read more about How to play defense: No Fake Fundamentals[…]

What is skill development?

Recently, I read several articles that suggested that children need more skill development. Of course. It is the same as suggesting that players should play hard or that practice makes you better. These are uncontroversial statements with which almost nobody disagrees. However, nobody defines skill development. It is similar to fundamentals. These are terms that are used frequently and rarely defined because everyone assumes that we know what each other means. What do people mean by skill development? […]

Indecision with the ball

A friend sent me an email with the following drill:

How to develop an explosive dribble

Only allow one dribble to get to the hoop after grabbing the ball off the chair to develop an explosive, fast first step.

Why use it

Too often players look indecisive with the ball in a game – give them a lot of first–step repetitions in practice so they are better prepared to attack in game situations.

Set up

Place a chair near the 3–point line at the top of the key. Place a ball on the chair facing the player. The player is in a basketball position with knees bent and hands ready to grab the ball.

How to play

Snatch the ball off the chair and attack the basket. The player is allowed one dribble. If the dribble isn’t explosive enough, then the player isn’t close enough to the basket to shoot the layup.

When the dribble is explosive, the player plants off the left foot and surges toward the hoop completing a power layup.

Technique

Players quickly learn they must explode with the only dribble they are allowed or be forced to shoot 10 feet from the basket. Institute a penalty for a missed shot, which makes getting to the basket and creating a higher percentage shot all more worthwhile.

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