Saturday, September 8, 2012


Saturday Coaches Share is a way for YOU to help other coaches.  Each Saturday this blog gives you an opportunity to comment on a different basketball related topic so our readers can learn from your experiences.

If you are interested in commenting on this week's Saturday Coaches Share all you have to do is email your response to before 8:00 AM Sunday, September 9 (tomorrow).  Then look for your response to be posted on Sunday's blog.

Today's Coaches Share question:  What is your philosophy on 5-on-5 scrimmages (full court or half court) in your practices?  Do you do it every day?  Do you have any special ways of running your 5-on-5 time in practices?

Remember coaches learn from each other.  Share your thoughts on today's question and see it in tomorrow's blog post. 

Friday, September 7, 2012


Guiding your youth coaches is important to the future success of teams in your basketball program.  These are extremely valuable people that are giving their time to help your program.  Here are ten things to consider that might help them feel more comfortable with what their doing, and in turn will help them be more successful. 

1. Give them a list of skills that each grade level should be (at a minimum) should be working on.
2. Give them access to drills. One idea is to create a booklet of drills for them to use. It can be used as a reference guide throughout their season.
3. Give them a list of basketball coaching websites that is applicable to them.
4. Host a coaching clinic for your youth coaches.  During the clinic you can show them, and have them practice specific skills you want them to teach.  Another idea is to record the clinic and give each youth coach a copy so they can refer back to it throughout their season.
5. Attend a practice of each youth team.  Let the youth coach know ahead of time that you will be stopping in to watch or help out.
6. Give them a playbook of what you want them to implement at their grade level. It is important that they start to build the foundation of what you are doing offensively and defensively throughout your program.  Allow them some freedom to add some of their own ideas but the core principles of your offense and defense should be taught.
7. Invite the youth coaches to your own practices.
8. Keep in touch with them through email, texts, phone calls, or visit in person.  Let them know you are available to them.
9. Teach them the things that are of value to you as a coach and what you want all the players in your basketball program to value. 
10. Let them know what they do is important - because it is.  The youth coaches in your program are helping build your future teams.  They need to know they are appreciated.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


2 lines (1 and 2) start along the lane line along the baseline.  Two coaches start out on the perimeter, beyond the three point line, and wider than the lane line extended.  One coach starts with a ball.

The first two players in each line get the first rep.  Because the ball is on 1's side, 1 will sprint out and closeout on the coach with the ball.  2 will sprint out to a help position.  Both players need to be in a good defensive stance.

The coach with the ball will immediately throw a reversal pass to the other coach.  1 will now get to help position while 2 closes out on the ball.

The coaches will make a total of three passes with this group.  Each pass that is made 1 and 2 will either get to a closeout on the ball or to help position.  Immediately after the third pass the first two players are out and the next two sprint in.  The coaches do NOT wait for the next two players to get in to start their passing of the ball.  This forces the next two players to sprint in to the drill.  The drill continues this way until every player has received three reps.

COACHING POINT:  It is important to also teach communication in this drill.  There should be constant chatter by the two defensive players in the drill.  When guarding the ball they should be yelling, "Ball!"  When in help position they should be yelling "Help!"

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


This free throw shooting drill adds requires a little more focus by players if they are to win the drill.  There are a few different ways to run this drill as you can run it as a team, in small groups, or individually.

Regardless of how you decide to run the drill the scoring will remain the same.
Made free throw that is a swish = +1 point
Made free throw that hits rim and/or backboard = +0 points
Missed free throw = -1 point

Have each player on your team shoot a designated number of free throws using the scoring system listed above.  If you have each player shoot one free throw, the goal should be to achieve half the points per number of players.  For example if you have 14 players on your roster the goal should be to get 7 points.  That means 7 swishes.  You can adjust the scoring however you like.

If you run the drill with small groups you could have each group compete against each other. The group with the highest points, wins.  Doing the drill in smaller groups allows your players to shoot more free throws.

If you do the drill by having your players keep individual scores have a record score for the team to try and beat.  For example, if a player gets a score of 6 when shooting ten free throws and that is the high score then this is the score the players will try to beat next time you do the drill. 

Monday, September 3, 2012


Flat is a BLOB play that is effective mostly against a man-to-man defense.
ALIGNMENT: The most important spot in the alignment is having a post who can attack off the dribble line up at the block in front of the inbounder. The other post player will line up on the opposite block. 1 will line up in the corner
opposite of the inbounder. 2 will line up in the corner beyond the three point line on the same side as the inbounder.

4 must engage their defender as they line up. Do not stand and allow their defender to play anywhere they like. 4 should try to get their defender pinned on their right or left hip, depending which way they like to face.  To start the play 3 lobs the ball over the top of 4 so 4 catches the ball midway
up the lane. 4's back will be to the basket on the catch.

As the ball is being passed to 4, 5 sets a screen for 1. 1 must get to the top of the key area.  3 will cut to the side away from the ball to clear out the entire ball side.  4 must be in an athletic/strong position with the ball because their back is to the basket or baseline.  When 4 catches the ball, 2 will cut hard around 4 to give the impression of a hand off.  4 fakes the hand off to 2, then takes one dribble to the outside and attacks the basket.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Thank you to the coaches who took the time to respond to our Saturday Coaches Share.  Your input inspires us all.

The topic for this Coaches Share is:  What is the routine of your team prior to taking the floor to warmups?  What do you and your team do to prepare?
 "We typically get to the gym and hour before game to stretch and take care of any pre-game business.  If there is no game prior to ours, the team will get some shots up.  35 minutes prior the team goes into locker room or team room and talk scouting report and game plan. I leave and my team has "Team Time", last year they talked about goals and then did an unusual pre game chant.  I had a manager tape it one day and the girls were getting "Ray Lewis" excited prior to game.  Screaming, yelling, and cheering to the captains commands.  It was pretty cool to see how much they enjoyed each other and coming together at the end before hitting the floor. 
The team then comes out for pre game warmup routine and at the 5:00 mark I bring them in for a quick recap of scouting report and a couple words of encouragement.  They go back out and do full speed lay-ups to get a legs and blood flowing and it's game time." 
~Coach Roger DiCarlo
 "We meet as a team as soon as halftime of the JV game is over.  During this meeting we go over our scouting report and game plan.  We then have a different player speak before each game.  This player will give their teammates some type of inspirational message.  In the past some players use a quote and apply that quote to that night's game, or to a situation the team may be experiencing at that time of the season.  Others have spoken about the importance of that night's game and they highlight major points of the game plan.  By that time the team is ready to go through their individual stretching routine where they are allowed to wear headphones and listen to their favorite music.  Then it is time to take the floor."
~Coach Barry (WI)
"We found every player has a different routine and environment that works for them. Some loud music, some quiet reflection, etc.  We would then meet for 5-8 minutes, go over scouting report, matchups, what we need to do,give them their notecard with 3 focus.  Last year we experimented with it and found before the game players did best when getting self mentally ready. We would take the floor and not go back into the locker room."
~Coach Carrier (MN)

"We have found over the years that the time before you take the floor for pre-game warmups needs to be structured.  The more structured it is the more our players appeared to be focused and ready to play.  We go over scouting reports first.  Then we give our team a specific message for the game.  Then we give the players some time to do what they feel they have to do to get ready to play by giving our team five to ten minutes to themselves in the locker room.  At that time they are on their own to get ready to play.  Whatever they do at that time is up to them.  Music is usually a part of this time.  The coaches will then notify the players when it is time to start warmups on the court before the game."
~Coach T.L. (TN)

"We make sure our team is in the locker room by the end of the 3rd quarter of the JV boys game. At this time, We will talk to the girls for about 8-10 minutes about what we were are going to do and our approach for the game. Pre Game warmups are 15 minutes long and we have a routine of stretching and getting loose. Shooting mid range jumpers and free throws and working on Close Outs before it is time for the tip!"
~Drew Lyness/Assistant Girls Basketball Coach/Soddy Daisy High School