Tuesday, March 29, 2016


The following notes were taken from a coaching video by Larry Eustachy titled "Creating Toughness". The video was made when Eustachy was the head coach at Iowa State.  He is the current coach at Colorado State.

In creating toughness, it starts with the coach.

Eustachy feels that coaches with the label “player’s coach” don’t last long.  Considers himself a demanding coach. Coach needs to be demanding.

Coaches need to have that first day excitement every single day of the season. Your players deserve it.

A coach can be demanding without cursing or raising their voice if it isn’t their way.

You can be demanding, but there has to be some fun/enjoyment so they want to come back.

You can’t ask more of the individual or team than they can give you. Coach has to understand their team and where they are at.

The start of creating toughness...His team prides themselves on being the strongest team in the conference (physical strength). All the weight room time gives your players an edge physically and mentally. Knowing the work they put in, they see results physically, and they believe they are stronger.

Create adversity in practice. Put the players in stressful situations.  You can certainly be complimenting along the way.

Start practice with 5 sprints in 30 seconds.

In practice drills they have no out of bounds.  Gets players in habit of getting after loose balls.
During scrimmage time they use regular out of bounds rules.

95% of coaching is getting players to play hard.

If a player falls down, gets knocked down they must get up within 2 seconds or the team runs. Obviously if they are hurt, stay down.

Go up and back two times.  Have two groups and take turn with their reps.
  • If you miss the shot on the last time, you do it again
  • If you don’t catch the ball with two hands, you do it again
  • If the ball hits the floor, you do it again


  • If a team scores at one end, they keep the ball and continue to try and score at that end.
  • If defense gains possession they transition to the other end and attempt to score.
  • Emphasize things you want to work on. This can change every time you do this drill.
    • Whatever you emphasize that day must be done or there will be a consequence.
    • If it’s hands high on a closeout that is being emphasized and a player doesn’t do it, then the team runs.
  • Any turnover results in running at the end of the drill.  If White team has three turnovers, they run three sprints.
  • This drill also works well in 3-on-3.

Some coaches want practice to go smooth.  Smooth is no good. Things going wrong is good. Makes the players and the team tougher.

Three lines outside the three point line; one at the top of the key and one on each wing. The first three are defenders, the next three are offense.  Back the three lines back to give the 3-on-3 space to play.  They play 3-on-3.  The defense needs to get three stops in a row to get “out”. If the defense gives up an offensive rebound and still get a stop, it doesn’t count.  Need to get three stops in a row without giving up an offensive rebound. Each possession a new offensive team comes in so the defense is going against fresh players to make it more challenging.

5-on-5 halfcourt drill. 60 second drill
Offense cannot dribble, must catch with two hands, can’t travel, and no handoffs. Defense tries to prevent the offense from catching the ball.
Each offensive player keeps track of how many catches they had in 60 seconds. Then switch offense and defense.  New defensive players guard the player that guarded them.  At the end of this 60 seconds determine which player had the least number of catches. That player loses and has a consequence. If they tie, shoot a 3 to determine the winner.

Don’t take the fun out of it.  Be demanding. The players will know if you genuinely care about them. They will buy in if they know you care.

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