Thursday, August 3, 2017


Below are two 1-on-1 drills that will work on finishing at the basket while the offensive player's shot is being contested. Your players will also work on contesting shots without fouling.                

                  Michigan Finishing Drill

  • 1 and 2 both face the basket.
  • While still holding the ball, 1 places the ball on 2's back.
  • The rep is live when 1 rips the ball off 2's back and attacks the basket.
  • 2 tries to defend the basket as 1 tries to finish.


                     Handoffs Finishing Drill

  • Coach stands between 1 and 2. 1 and 2 are facing the basket.
  • Coach starts with the ball. 
  • Coach will handoff to either 1 or 2.
  • If Coach hands off to 1, 1 is offense and 2 is defense. 
  • 1 attacks the hoop while 2 tries to contest and/or block their shot.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Your team just got beat in the playoffs, and your season just ended. What now? In the first few days that follow the last day of a the season a coach's emotions are still all over the place. Coaches constantly wonder what they could have done differently in that last game that could have helped their season continue. Hindsight is still 20/20, right? As coaches, we typically struggle with the end because we all want to win. We want to advance as far as we can in the playoffs. It's part of our competitive nature that we strive to win, win, win. These emotions will eventually settle, and that is when coaches gain a clearer perspective of the experiences of the season. 

To keep moving forward, after the completion of your season, coaches should consider the following:

1. Keep things in perspective. Whether your team won 30 games, or finished in last place, remember the big picture. 
  • How much progress did your team make during the season?
  • Did your team follow and live by the core values of your program?
  • Did your players enjoy the experience?
  • In twenty years do you think your players will say they are glad they were part of this team?

 2. Even though the season has ended your job as a coach has not ended.
  • What message/theme do you want to have for your post-season meeting with your team?
  • Have your planned your team banquet?
  • Will you have exit meetings with each of your players? 
  • What kind of off-season opportunities have you planned for your players?
    • Workouts
    • Strength Training
    • Camps
    • Leagues and/or tournaments
  • What teams do you want to add/delete to next year's schedule?
  • Will you be making an changes or additions to your coaching staff?
  • Are there any style of play changes you need to make with the personnel you have coming back next season?

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Buckeye Shooting works on perimeter shooting, ball handling, and conditioning. 
Line of 1's have a ball. 
Line of 2's start just inside the sideline. 
Line of 3's have a ball and line up along the lane line. 

1 and 2 start at the same time. 1 speed dribbles around the cone. 2 sprints around the cone. Designate that 1 goes closest to the cone and 2 goes over 1 to avoid a collision. 2 will spot up at spot they want to shoot from. When 1 goes around the cone they make a pass to 2. 2 shoots. 1 continues and receives a pass from 3. 1 shoots. Each player gets their own rebound. Players rotate 2-1-3.     

Drill Variation:  Require 1's (ball handlers) to make a dribble attack move during their speed dribble.

Saturday, May 28, 2016


1 starts at the elbow while X1 starts right underneath the basket. On coach's call, 1 dribbles around the cone and attempts to get to the basket while X1 sprints to touch the cone. X1 attempts to stop the score.

If 1 scores, they go back to the offense line. If X1 gets a stop, they go to the offense line and 1 goes to the defense line.     

1 and 2 both face the basket.
1 places the ball on 2's back.
1 rips the ball off 2's back and attacks the basket.
When 2 feels the ball leave their back they can start to defend as 1 attempts to finish at the basket.      

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.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Jaguar 4-on-4 can give you both an offensive and defensive focus for your players. On offense you can have your team work on specific cuts, screens, or reads against pressure defense.  This drill also forces your players to offensive players to be strong with the ball, and execute great pivots.  On defense you can specify certain parts of your defense you need work on (stance, seeing both player and ball, jumping to the ball on the pass, etc).  

In Jaguar 4-on-4, the offense cannot dribble, but they are looking to score while the defense attempts to get stops. 

Each team gets 90 seconds to play offense. Most points, wins. You can add as many rounds as you like for the drill.  Each team gets to play offense and defense the same number of times.

made baskets = 2's and 3's
1 point for each complete pass

2 points for a forced turnover
1 point for every touch of the ball. Even if the offensive player continues to gain possession of the ball and the defensive player touches the ball, it is a point for the defense.


Give the offense 1 or 2 dribbles each time the catch the ball.     

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


I'm always looking for different ways to incorporate shooting into my practices. I typically try to use drills that are as game-like as possible. But, there are occasions when I am looking to work on getting more shots up so our players can work on technique, confidence, shooting under pressure, or just getting some reps. 

The 20 SHOOTING DRILL will get your players a lot of shots with some pressure added.  

  • Put three players at each basket with one basketball. 
  • Players are competing against the other players at their basket.
  • First player to 20 points, wins. 
  • Each player keeps their own score, and calls out their score after each make.
  • Shot made inside the three point line = 1 point
  • Shot made beyond the three point line = 2 points.
  • All shots must be 15 feet and beyond.
  • Player shoots until they miss and when they miss a new shooter comes in. Shooter cannot shoot from the same spot two shots in a row.     
You can add other variations to this drill like:
  • Have players shoot from specific spots on the floor.
  • Put a time limit on the drill and when time expires, the player with the most points, wins.
  • Add a second ball to increase the number of shots
  • Give a bonus point for making five shots in a row