Originally published in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletters, Volume 6.
A physical education teacher asked for help in designing his curriculum. He asked for the three to five exercises that I would do in every class with 4th-6th graders. Without knowing about available equipment, class size, teacher experience, and other important programing variables, I would play tag, crawl, sprint, and do some form of dexterity/coordination exercise such as juggling in every class. […]
A passing drill focused on quick passing and teamwork. The objective is for the team who is it (white) to tag every player from the other (dark) team. Only the person in possession of the ball can tag an opponent; the player does not have to tag with the ball. Each team gets a turn, and the team who tags the other team the quickest wins. […]
I arrived in Europe on Tuesday, and we practiced on Wednesday. I have three teams, essentially, but we practice as two teams. I am coaching a men’s team in the first division and a second men’s team that plays in a local division (rather than a national, domestic league). The third team is an u20 team, but all of the u18 and u20 players play for one of the other two teams, so they get enough practice through those practices. I also coach, along with the women’s coach, the basketball college, which is an option for high-school players who wish to train, since there is no high-school team. Most of the u18 and u20 players train with the basketball college too. […]
Due to my schedule and the team’s schedule, we did our pre-regular season testing this week. These tests measured improvement since our baseline testing, roughly five weeks ago. In addition to basketball workouts, the team has trained four times per week: two times per week in the weight room and two days of conditioning. No workout has taken more than one hour from start to finish. If we had more equipment, the workouts would be closer to 45 minutes, but we are limited by the number of plyo boxes, medicine balls, squat racks, etc. We have had only one workout that included more than a mile of running in total volume; almost every conditioning workout was between 1200m-1600m of sprints, with no effort longer than a 100m sprint. […]
While we grossly misunderstand the talented basketball players, we also misunderstand the idea of skills. Being skilled does not mean dribbling in straight lines or knocking down jump shots in an empty gym. A skill within the context of an invasion game like basketball combines the ability to know what to do with the ability to execute efficiently and effectively. […]
As I watched a group do a simple ball-handling game, I realized an unintended consequence. Because of space constraints, I played one big game rather than several small games, and used multiple balls to increase the activity. When I added the third ball, things really got interesting. The third ball (with 15 players) really forced all the players to be aware of their surroundings. Players turned their backs, lost sight of one of the ball handlers and suddenly were tagged without ever seeing the player who tagged him. With younger players, and more players, the drill worked even better. […]
Today was my second day leading clinics at a school in Kochi, India. Due to torrential downpours, we started inside (above) in a multi-purpose room with no baskets, and the columns. In the first clinic, with middle schoolers, I set up a drill similar to dribble tag or partner tag. […]