Saturday, September 22, 2012


We would enjoy hearing from you.  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 opinions, philosophies, and 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 (CST) Sunday, September 23.  Then look for your response to be posted on Sunday's blog.

Today's Coaches Share question:  Coaches are always making changes with their teams/programs during the off-season; some big, some small.  Some changes are philosophical, some relate to practice, and some with X's and O's.  Which changes are you most excited about with your team/program for this season?

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

Friday, September 21, 2012


Superhero Rip Through Drill is an offensive drill only.  Defense will be asked to do things that you wouldn't normally teach, but it is necessary for them to do it in this drill to teach an aggressive rip through.

1 starts with the ball at the top of the key.  2 starts in the corner.  They are offense.  X is the defense and starts on the wing, just inside the three point line.

2 will cut to the wing where X is located.  1 passes to 2.  On the catch X will attempt to grab and steal the ball from 2.  Be physical, and foul without being too grossly aggressive.  X will NOT stay with the offensive player in the drill.

On the catch 2 will immediately inside pivot as this will keep the ball away from the defense.  They will execute a proper rip through and attack the basket and score.  X does not guard them once the rip through takes place.  Make sure to do this drill from both wings.

Drill Variation
*Have a coach stand at the basket with a football pad and bump the offensive player as they attempt to score.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Have you ever wondered what you have to do to get your players to "want" to play hard for you as a coach?  Here are four easy techniques to use that can help develop a connection with your players that could lead to a stronger desire to play hard.
  1. Use a player's name out loud when they are getting praise.  Use their name in a smaller voice when you are pointing out a mistake.  People naturally give you their attention when they hear their name.  If players hear their name loudly when it is connected to positives it can inspire them to continue to do the right things.  You are at risk of having them go in a shell if you constantly have them them hear their own name with negatives connected to it.  There is a time and place for harsh tones, but pick and choose those times instead of doing it often, and it will have more of an impact.    names + a positive = desire to succeed.
  2. Expectations should be set for players and the entire team.  Letting your players and team know what is expected for each drill helps them understand what is to be done.  Be clear in the expectations you give and you will see your players play quicker and stronger because they know exactly what is to be done.  Spending an extra minute before a drill explaining the expectations might save you more time in correcting during the drill.
  3. Learn from mistakes and losses.  Nobody likes mistakes.  Nobody likes to lose.  Coaches have to realize that there are teaching moments after mistakes have been made or after you have experienced a loss.  Take time to teach so the possibility of it happening again is less than before.  This may require the coach to take a moment, step back, take a breath, and think about why it happened.  Analyze it quickly and then speak.  A loss is only a bad thing if you don't learn from it.  Your players will see that you aren't reacting out of anger and will work hard for you as a result. 
  4. Let your players know you appreciate them.  Take a quick moment to let your team, a player, or a group of players know you appreciate something about them.  Point out something to them that might be something different than their basketball abilities.  Let them know you notice they are a good teammate.  Let them know you saw them try to pick up a teammate that may be having a bad day.  You have to see your players as people too, not just basketball players.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Full Court Catch Up Drill is a 1-on-1 transition defense drill.  The drill puts 
defense at a disadvantage to start and forces them to give maximum effort to
prevent the offense from getting to the other end of the court without having a defender in front of them.  The goal of the defender is to get in between the dribbler and the basket.

1 and 2 are on offense.  X's are defense.  The X's each start on the block,
right in front of the offensive player, and facing the baseline.  Coach stands in the lane with a ball in each hand.  To start the drill Coach will pass a ball to 1, then wait for a count of 2 and pass the other ball to 2.

As soon as 1 and 2 catch the ball they will start their speed dribble down the court.  The defense starts when they see the person they are defending catches the ball.  When their person catches the ball they will sprint to touch the baseline in front of them (which will only be a step or two away) and then sprint down court to get ahead of the person they are defending.  Once they get in front of the dribbler they will try to force them to change directions with the dribble as many times as they can.  When the offensive player gets to the opposite baseline the rep is over.

*Focus on the plant foot when the defender touches the baseline to turn and sprint back on defense.
*The defender should get their entire body in front of the dribbler and square up on them.

*You can make the drill a contest by seeing which player can get totally in front of the ballhandler furthest in the back court.  Make that the standard for the rest of the team the next time you do the drill.
*Split your team into two groups.  Keep track of how many times each group makes the offense turn throughout the entire drill.  The team that makes the dribblers turn the most, wins.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Thank you to the coaches that took the time to share their thoughts with other coaches.  Check back again next week and your thoughts will be welcomed on our next topic.

Coaches Share question:  Let's say Team X has a reasonably comfortable lead in the second half of a game.  The coach of the team with the lead substitutes players into the game that have not played yet.  Do you feel the team with the lead should hold the ball a little bit before looking to score so it doesn't appear they are running up the score?  Or do these players deserve to play the game like the players in the regular rotation get to play?  SIDE NOTE:  Let's assume the team with the lead is not a full court pressing team for the sake of the discussion.

"Team X is doing the right thing by putting players into the game whom have not yet played, you cant tell players who work just as hard in practice as the starters to just pass the ball around, they deserve to be able to showcase there skills and prove to there coach they deserve more playing time with the regulars and this is a way of doing that."
 ~Coach Ken Lessig/Head Coach Northgate HS/Womens Basketball

"I feel the only thing that should be be held in check is any type of full court pressure or trapping.  Other than that your substitutes should be allowed to play the game the same way as the team's philosophy.  I don't think a team, substitutes or not, should ever have to change their style of play no matter what the size of the lead or the time left in the game (except for full court pressure or trapping)."
~Coach B (High School Boys Coach from IL) 

"All of the coaches I've ever worked with say "do what you do". I think you should out in your backups but if they are running the offense and scoring then there isn't much you can do. We had an example of that this past year. We were up big on a team. And jumped out of our half court trap. A big percentage of our offense comes from that defense. We went back into our match up zone. While the other team picked up offensively, we failed to score in the 4th quarter. I bothered our head coach until our next game. He spent the next few days telling me, "do what you do". And what we did was our half court trap."
~Coach K.T.

"I don't think the leading team should change their game plan at all. The substitutes wouldn't want to be treated any different from the starters. In fact, the players might regard it as a little disrespectful to slow the ball down and 'take it easy on them'. The substitutes need to get use to the real game if they won't to improve to that level."
~Coach Mac.

"You let the subs play - they deserve the opportunity to get out there and show what they can do - lead or not."
~Coach John Carrier (MN)

"The coach of the team ahead has to be careful because I've been at this long enough to know that what goes around, comes around. I do feel every single player on the roster has the right to play the way the coach expects.  Each player deserves that.  But there is a point where you don't want to cross that line and look like you're trying to run up the score."
~Coach B.W.