The Shoot-Around or Walk-Through

Most teams at the high-school level and above have a walk-through or a shoot-around the day of a game or the day before. These are designed to rehearse the plan for the game, go over the opponent one more time, and build confidence in one’s shooting by watching the ball go through the net with some easy, uncontested shooting drills. 

In Finding the Game, a book about finding pick-up soccer games across the globe,  Gwendolyn Oxenham writes about the walk-throughs when she was a college soccer player versus the brincadeira’s the day before the game when she played professionally in Brasil.

“A brincadeira is half game, half performance. The whole point is to surprise. Feet hovering over the ball, you wait to see what you will make. Defense is light; tricks are prized….

My summer in Santos, we played them the day before every game. In college, the day before games, Americans do walk-throughs, shadow play where you go over all the runs you’re supposed to make. What you’re told to do versus what you’re inspired to do. Maybe this is why Brazilian soccer looks more magical than anyone else’s” (Oxenham, 2012).

If we want to develop decision makers on the court, players who play creatively, maybe there is a better way to approach a shoot-around or walk-through than running through the other team’s sets.

By Brian McCormick, M.S.S., PES
Coach/Clinician, Brian McCormick Basketball
Author, Cross Over: The New Model of Youth Basketball Development
Director of Coaching, Playmakers Basketball Development League

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