Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Practice with "Not Enough Guys"

Let's adopt the Geno Auriemma convention...all players are "guys", as in "let's go, guys." 

We won't always have ten or more players for practice, especially summer workouts. First, that means MORE REPS for the players who show. "Repetitions make reputations." Second, we have plenty of drills, games, and activities for conditioning and skill building. Let's develop the theme of "not enough guys." Just a few ideas to get the summer off to a good start...

1 player

The game is "168" or "Pitino 168." Shoot from seven 'radians' over four quarters, keeping score. 84 shots total. 

Alternative is "Celtics 32", 5 radians, 3 shots along each, finish with two free throws. Total possible points, 32 (ergo, the name), and 17 shots.

Bonus, 251, shoot from corner, elbow, opposite elbow, corner. Repeat. Continue until two consecutive misses. Score 1 point for each shot taken. Players love this.  

One player wing series development also great

Track your results to see progress. 

2 players

One-on-one (play from corner, wing, elbow, top, post). Two dribble maximum. Remember to finish off two feet from the corners. 

Elbow to sideline (with rebounder). Many ways to vary...elbow to half-court, alternate elbows. You can vary number of shots taken or time. Shooting and conditioning...

Bonus, every closeout drill invented (above). Keep score, one point for a score, defender gets one point for a stop. 

3 players 

Kirby Schepp (designated screener). 

Commando. 1-on-1-on-1. Game to five (by ones). 

Closeout option attack. 

2 on 1 (from halfcourt); Two dribble maximum. 

4 players

Two-on-two with constraints (the midline bisecting the court lengthwise is out-of-bounds). Teaches the 'two man game'. 

4-on-0 transition. 

1 on 1 into give-and-go with finish

"Dog drill." Turn the ballhandler in the backcourt and force from middle in forecourt. 

5 players

Thirty buckets (three shooters, three rebounders)...players have three minutes to make as many shots as possible. 

Coach "uncovers" player. 1 must read and attack. 

3 on 2 three-quarter court. Defense must protect the basket and 'shape up'. 

6 players

Rollouts. Ball is rolled out (to any player) and action goes live. Can add constraints like a screen must be set before a shot or scoring in the paint. 

"Stanford." Small-sided play. 


DHO with weakside post player. 5 should learn to cross into ballscreen off the DHO. 

Variant, DHO with "dribble at" into cross-screen.  

Shivek pass and cut drill, pass and forced cut. 

7 players 

"Ten seconds to glory." Coach enters ball to guard, and offensive player has "floppy" like set to score within ten seconds. Variant, allows 4 and 5 to score. 

Ballside cutters versus zone simulation...put defensive stress on the 5.

BOB America's Play simulation 

Blocks and elbows, passing and finishing. Ball movement is everything. "Make the ball do the work." 

8 players

Four-on-four half court (no dribble)...forces players to pass and cut. 

Shell drill. Emphasis on defensive positioning both on and off ball. 

Zone offense (versus box and diamond). One dribble limit and insist on scoring within the paint. 

9 players 

Five-on-four full court. A version of advantage-disadvantage. 


3 line shooting drill. Pass and run to the other free-throw line to shoot. Keep track of shooting percentage at both ends. 

And of course, we can use "subroutines" like 3 and 6 player activities with 9 players, 2 and 6 player activities with 8 players and so on. 

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