Category Archives: Drills

Bob Hurley’s Thoughts on Practice

Hurley Basketball1. Shorten practice as the season progresses, but maintain intensity.

2. Alternate easy and hard segments of practice.

3. Only emphasize one side of a drill.

4. Don’t stay on one thing more than 10 minutes. Come back to it the next day.

5. Stress fundamentals early in practice and build to team play later.

6. Make the players keep a notebook.

7. Have practice gear for them to wear. (varsity only)

8. The group that finishes practice as starters start the next day.

9. Practice should be harder than the game. Make players confidently look forward to the next game.

10. Spend more time with the offense early since the offense will take more time to develop.

11. Practice should be tough but variety is essential.

12. Reward playing time to those players who practice well.

13. Don’t punish after a bad game – TEACH!

14. Stay with your practice plan. If things aren’t working move on anyway and return to the problem the next day.

15. Use peer pressure to elevate the practice mood. If that fails, throw someone out. (anyone)

Back to the Basket Workout

Back to the BasketDuring the course of the season when we are all worried a bout the next game it is easy to forget about skill development work and the process of getting better.

Over the next few posts I’m going to include some individual workout ideas that you can either use with your team or individually.

This particular workout will help you if you play with your back to the basket.

Start under the basket and spin the ball out to yourself so you catch it about the first hash mark above the block. Keep your center of gravity low and catch the ball out of a jump stop with your feet wide. Give a quick head and shoulder fake one way and drop step the opposite direction. Take no more than one dribble.

Drop step baseline from both right and left sides making (not shooting) 10 shots with the right hand and 10 shots with the left hand.

Drop step middle from both right and left sides making (not shooting) 10 jump hooks with the right hand and 10 jump hooks with the left hand.

Double drop step. Do a normal drop step one way, pick the ball up and drop the opposite foot in the opposite direction. Make 20 shots going in both directions.

Up and under. This is a great counter tot he jump hook. As the defense slides to one side show the ball, step through, and jump off two feet. Make 10 shots from each side.

Turn around jump shot. Make 10 shots turning to your right and 10 shots turning to your left. Do this from both sides of the floor.

Turn around up and under. Turn over your shoulder like you are shooting a jump shot, show the ball and then step through. Make 10 shots from both sides and in each direction.

Finish the workout with 25 free throws because as you do these moves correctly and become a bigger scoring threat you are going to be fouled more than ever before!


Viglione Ball Handling Part 2

Part 2Here is Part 2 of Coach Danielle Viglione’s high intensity ball handling workout:

Start by standing on the baseline under the basket facing half court or you can start on the elbow facing the basket. Use the line of the key from the baseline to the elbow to make your dribble move.

You will take one dribble and make your move midway between the baseline and the elbow. Start at 50% speed and shift gears on the crossover to 100% speed dribble.

Stop at the other side and turn around and do the same move on the way back, Change speeds and work on explosive bursts as well as your ball handling moves.

    • Crossover dribble: 10-15 moves in 30 seconds switching hands each time
    • Between legs dribble: 10-15 moves in 30 seconds switching hands each time
    • Behind the back dribble: 10-15 moves in 30 seconds switching hands each time
    • In and out right hand: 10-15 moves in 30 seconds with only your right hand
    • In and out left hand: 10-15 moves in 30 seconds with only your left hand
    • In and out crossover: 10-15 moves in 30 seconds switching hands each time
    • Bounce out one dribble and go: 10-15 moves in 30 seconds with only right or left hand
    • Bounce out one dribble and cross: 10-15 moves in 30 seconds switching hands each time
    • Retreat dribble with 2 dribbles back and then go: 8-10 moves in 30 seconds with same hand
  • Retreat dribble with 2 dribbles back and crossover: 8-10 moves in 30 seconds switching hands

Viglione Ball Handling Part 1

Ball Handling Part 1A couple days ago I posted some excellent advice from Danielle Viglione. Here is the first part of one of Coach Viglione’s ball handling workouts that she uses at The Sacramento Skills Academy:

Make sure you go game speed. If you get tired during any part of the workout, shoot free throws until you can go full speed again.

Stationary Dribbling: (keep your chest up, your eyes up, your hips down and pound the ball through your wrist and elbow. Never let any air between the ball and your hands!)

    • Pound dribbles right and left hand without a mistake: 20 reps in 15 seconds
    • Pound dribble into crossover: 15-20 reps in 15 seconds
    • Pound dribble into between the legs: 15-20 reps in 15 seconds
    • Pound dribble into behind the back: 15-20 reps in 15 seconds
    • Pound dribble right hand into in and out dribble with left foot jab: 15-20 reps in 15 seconds
    • Pound dribble left hand into in and out dribble with left foot jab: 15-20 reps in 15 seconds
    • In and out dribble with crossover continuous without a dribble in between: 15 reps in 15 seconds
  • Pound dribble and mix and match any of the above for double moves (double crosses, between leg and crossover, behind back and crossover, crossover between leg, etc.)


5 Ways to Use a Ball Screen

1. PNR1Reject the screen.
Fake into the screen and when your defender starts to cheat over the top drive in the opposite direction

2. Attack the hedger.
If there is a hard hedge by the screener’s defender then attack his front foot. As soon as he opens up his stance you will have a clear path to the basket. If the defense likes to show and retreat then start by driving hard and stopping quickly to freeze the defender and then drive hard again.

3. Bounce back.
This is  an effective technique to use against defenses that want to trap on ball screens. Start over the screen and then bounce back dragging the defenders with you. As the defense extends more space is created making it more difficult for the defense to rotate and cover up.

4. Drive the screen.
Pictured on the right this is the most common method of using an on ball screen, especially at lower levels. Once the ball handler drives past the screen he can go to the rim, stop and shoot the ball, hit the screener rolling to the rim, or drive into the paint and then kick it out to an open teammate.

5. Stop behind and shoot.
If your defender goes behind the screen then stop right behind your teammate and shoot the ball. Just make sure you don’t go past the screen or your defender will be waiting for you.

Improve Your Passing to Get More Playing Time

Better PassingWithout a doubt, passing is the most under developed skill in the game today yet it is definitely one of the most important.

Because so few players can pass the ball really well, becoming a great passer is one of the quickest and surest ways to get a lot more playing time. If you can accurately deliver the ball to your teammates than you are an invaluable asset no matter what offense your team is running.

Here is a simple series of passing drills that you can work on by yourself – all you need is a wall and a ball. If you regularly stay after practice and spend a few minutes working on your passing (Who else does that? Probably no one else on your team!) not only will your passing skills improve but your coach will know you are serious about getting better and getting more court time!

  • Right hand and left hand behind the back pass: 12 reps in 10 seconds with each hand
  • Pound dribble into a behind the back pass: 12 reps in 20 seconds
  • Right hand and left hand fake high then bounce pass low: 12 reps in 20 seconds
  • Right and left hand fake low and air pass by the ear: 12 reps in 20 seconds
  • Fake right and pass left with a left foot pivot: 12 reps in 20 seconds
  • Fake left and pass right with a right foot pivot: 12 reps in 20 seconds
  • Dribble moves followed by right and left handed passes: 10 reps each, no time limit

Each pass above needs to be thrown hard off the wall and needs to be aimed at a specific target (use a piece of tape if necessary).

Just throwing the ball in the direction of the wall is not game-like and won’t help you improve!

Simple and Effective Jump Rope Workout

Jump Rope WorkoutFew basketball related exercises are as simple or as effective as jumping rope.

When used correctly,  jumping rope can jump start your cardiovascular conditioning, strengthen your feet and ankles, and improve your foot speed, agility, and coordination.

Here is a simple but very effective jump rope workout.

Start with 30 seconds for each set and gradually increase the time up to a minute.

The goal is to jump continually throughout the entire set without any “misses.”

    1. Jump on 2 feet
    2. Jump on 2 feet while moving side to side
    3. Jump on 2 feet while moving forward and backward
    4. Staggered jumps off 1 foot. Right, left, right, left, etc.
    5. X jumps with feet shoulder width apart. Cross right over left and then left over right
    6. Jump twice on your right foot and then twice on your left foot. Keep repeating
    7. Heel/Toe. Jump off the heel of one foot and the toe of the other foot

If you are really serious about your conditioning and want to make your workouts more intense and experience even better results, consider using a Heavy Rope.

Maya Moore Form Shooting Drill

 Form ShootingLast Sunday Maya Moore was named tournament MVP for her role in leading the United States to the Gold Medal in the 2014 FIBA World Championship in Istanbul, Turkey.

Her 16 points in the first half, including four three pointers, helped give the USA a 19 point lead at halftime and they never looked back while cruising to a 13 point win over Spain.

Below is the Maya Moore Form Shooting Drill that was taught in the Nike Skills Academy.

Do 50 reps of each shot.

1. Mirror shots – execute perfect form

2. Self shots – shoot the ball to yourself and freeze each finish
3. Knee shots – knees on the floor, keep your back straight and shoot to the rim

4. Chair shots – sit on the end of a chair, jump out of the chair right into your jump shot

5. Form shots – make 10 swishes while executing perfect game form from 5 different spots in the lane

Concentrate on each and every repetition and do not let your mind wander while shooting. Since there is no defense and you are shooting at your own pace there is no reason why every rep shouldn’t be perfect.

Frandsen Skill Development Workout

Frandsen WorkoutIn our last post we listed Casey Frandsen’s three step skill development plan. Today we have one of his actual workouts.

Frandsen, who was a two time Washington State Player of the Year in high school and went to be a 1st Team All WCC performer at the University of Portland, now runs Next Step Basketball.

Warm Up

1. Form Shots from under basket: Middle, right side, left side.
Keys: Nothing but net
Make 20, no rim, each spot

2. Mikans
Keys: Make 20 of each
Keep the ball high
Jump off of inside foot

3. Game speed layups
Keys: Make 10 right handed and 10 left handed
Spin out, catch on wing, rip through baseline
Individual one-on-one moves, shooting workout

Game Speed

1. Dribble Moves (make 5 jump shots after each move)
Key: As you approach the chair, break down and stutter step before you make
your move. Stay on balance.
– Cross over
– Behind the back
– Between the legs
– Inside out dribble
– Inside out cross

2. Make 10 Free Throws

3. Low Post Moves
Keys: Focus on your foot work, wide base, knees bent, make yourself big.
Guards need to be able to play on the post too in order to take advantage of size
and strength mismatches and make the defense adjust.
– Drop step baseline
– Drop step middle
– Drop step middle, lift fake, step through
– Catch face up, jump shot
– Catch face up, lift fake drive
– Catch face up, jab step drive

4. Make 10 Free Throws

5. One-on-one catch, pivot, and jab step moves
Keys: Use feet, eyes, and ball to sell every fake to the defense (lift fake, jab step,
pass fake).
– Lift fake, drive
– Lift fake, crossover step
– Jab, crossover step
– Lift fake, jab, crossover step
– Jab, lift fake, drive
– Jab, lift fake, crossover step

6. Make 10 Free Throws

7. Shooting
Keys: Catch ready to shoot. Shoot shots in your range at game speed.
-Five spot shooting (left baseline, left wing, middle, right wing, right
baseline) make 20 at each spot

8. Shoot 10 Pressure 1-and-1’s
– Miss the first, run set of lines
– Miss second run down and back
– Make both, move on to the next 1-and-1

3 Step Skill Development Plan

FrandsenThe following skill development plan comes from former D1 star Casey Frandsen who is the founder of Next Step Basketball.

  1.  Diagnose your game (Evaluate what you bring to the table)
  •  Strengths – Make a list of your strengths, the areas that you excel and things you do that help your team the most.
  • Weaknesses – Make a list of your weaknesses, the areas you most need to improve in order to help your team as much as possible.
  • Goals – Make a list of goals that you hope to achieve. Goals can take any form. They can be in-game statistical goals like points per game average or shooting percentage, or they can be practice goals for shooting and ball handling drills.

2.  Write a prescription (Design a workout/workouts)

  • Design workouts – Workouts should help develop your skills and reach your goals by perfecting your strengths and improving your weaknesses. You can design a workout yourself or ask for help from a coach, parent, trainer, etc…
  • Design workouts for how you work out – Be as efficient as possible, whether you work out alone, or you have a partner, rebounder, and/or passer.
  • Incorporate game situations – Shoot shots you will get in a game. For example, if your team runs flex, make sure you incorporate elbow jumpers off a flex down screen.
  • Design workouts to be successful – You don’t improve with repetition, you improve with successful repetition. For example, in shooting drills instead of shooting 20 shots, make 15 shots.

3.  Administer treatment (Go to work)

  • Game speed – To be able to execute at game speed, you need to practice at game speed.
  • Don’t go to the gym to shoot around, go to the gym to GO TO WORK.