Look, more point guard drills!!

Because nothing says, “I’m training to be a point guard” quite like staring at the ground while dribbling with your coach pushing you in the chest.


The Lakers blog was excited about seeing these intense drills. If I was the Lakers coach, there are dozens of things that I would rather my point guard do during his off-season workouts.

We tend to think of point guard as the position that passes the ball, yet workouts seem to be dominated by dribbling. Is there no way to practice passing in the offseason?

By Brian McCormick, PhD
Director of Coaching, Playmakers Basketball Development League
Author, The 21st Century Basketball Practice and Fake Fundamentals

8 thoughts on “Look, more point guard drills!!

  • I always feel like if the coach is sweating a ton then something is wrong because that means they are the ones playing dummy/simulated defense and not a live human defender. Or they are the one providing the energy and not the player(s).

  • Coach Z:
    The irony is that people believe that it is a sign of good training or a good trainer because he is so energetic and fit and pushes the player so hard.

    Training is all marketing now; it’s more about looking good or looking smart for whomever may be watching your workout or video, so each workout/client is simply about impressing the next potential client.

  • The sad thing is that if Russell improves next year, this will be training will be cited as a main reason why rather than a multitude of other factors that may be more responsible such as experience, maturity and confidence. Imagine seeing a bunch of ten year olds do this drill?

    My youngest child is in daycare and one of the other children’s parents were worried he wasn’t talking well enough for a two year old, so they hired an ‘early intervention specialist’ to come in and work with him. To me he seemed like a happy, playful two year old but he is not my child.

    My questions are, how do you know that the specialist helped rather than him just developing the skills at his own pace? If you just left him alone, would he be in the same place now?

    Learning is not linear, it has times of steep growth and plateaus. Which makes same age grouping and grade level skills irrelevant. Unfortunately, we seem to be going more in this direction with earlier and earlier select teams rather than in the opposite direction of multi-age groups as adolescents and holding off the select teams until the teenage years.

  • Mike:
    Last year, a number of coaches reacted elsewhere to something that I wrote about NBA players and their dribbling practice. These coaches – primarily high-school coaches I believe – were very defensive of these types of drills.

    I go back to the “skill in a box” post that I made: http://learntocoachbasketball.com/skill-in-a-box

    “Complexity translates better to simplicity, but not vice versa.” – Rafe Kelley

    Improvement in game dribbling will improve one’s ability to do a simple drill such as this, but a simple drill such as this will not improve game dribbling. Unfortunately, most coaches view it in the opposite: A simple drill such as this improves game dribbling, but game dribbling will not improve one’s ability to do this drill (as if doing this drill or others like it has any real value outside of what it may do to enhance game performance).

    As for interventionists and the like, I’m not a parent, so I won’t comment on parenting. I don’t know what it would be like to perceive that my child was behind in this ultra competitive world. But, I also read articles about unschooling and the like and wonder if I’d even put my child in that competitive school environment that is more about performance than learning: http://www.outsideonline.com/1928266/we-dont-need-no-education

    Having a child likely would have limited the amount of traveling that I have done in the past decade, but it also would have provided fascinating experiences for a growing child. I mean, even last summer, the coach who I work with in Kenya brought his son when we went to a poorer village in Uganda, and you could see him learning and appreciating what he has and ultimately relating to these other children and making friends to the point that I don’t think he wanted to go home! Isn’t that as much of a learning experience as anything that one does in school?

  • It’s more than one does in school.
    As a teacher and parent, I’ve developed many reservations regarding modern education and its priorities. I’ve read a great deal regarding Unschooling as well and believe they are a lot closer to the right idea on learning than we are in schools. The human brain has evolved to learn, it doesn’t have to be forced to learn. If we couldn’t learn, we would have been extinct long ago.
    Schooling is a relatively new phenomenon in human history and seems to more to create non-learners than learners. Because it makes learning a passive, isolated activity rather than the active, multi-sensory activity that it really is.

  • Mike:
    I was very smart and interested when I was young. I tried to answer every question in school. I would finish my homework at the end of each class while the other students talked or goofed around. I worked so far ahead in math, and the school was so ill-equipped, they bought me an Algebra textbook and told me to teach myself Algebra. I used to write word problems for the other students in my class.

    BY 8th grade, I wanted no more of school. I was bored. I wasn’t really interested in anything in high school. I ended up trying to graduate early from college. I majored in Literature, but I never finished a book in college. It was a matter of trying to stay ahead and read enough to complete assignments. The spring after I graduated, I started to read for fun. I spent all day reading and then went to a basketball practice or workout. I finally started to learn again because I did not have to worry about completing an assignment. I could choose what I wanted to read or learn.

    School definitely got in the way of my learning.

  • Many many guys/trainers have made a name on these types of drills. I never understood the should pushing thing. I think if trainers trained by the “Can I use it in a game” thought….they would probably have to eliminate 90% of their drills.

  • Kelin:
    Agree. Much of what you see on the Internet with trainers has almost no value. Totally confuse hard and complex. Training, and especially training videos, is more marketing than skill development. Make it look good and hard and attract more clients; if players do not improve their game performance, blame the team coach for not using the player correctly…Can’t be the training because, look at how good he is in these useless drills!

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