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Meaningful Drills

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Meaningful Drills

As a coach, you need to constantly improve your drills and work to get the most out of them. All coaches have their own sets of drills that work in concert with their individual basketball philosophies, but there are many ways that you can create more intensity, enthusiasm, discipline, et cetera, among your team. Start by evaluating all of the factors involved in a drill. Believe in what you're doing and practice things you'll be trying to do in actual games. Design them so that all of your players are working and take full advantage of the gym's side baskets and your assistant coaches. You can often use players who are not involved in certain drills as outlets or feeders, or you can have them shoot free throws. There will also be times when you'll want them to just watch and listen to all instructions and criticisms. Always do drills on both sides of the court so that footwork, ball-handling, and vision are properly developed. 

Give each drill a name so that players can identify the procedure and purpose of each one. For example, the "two-ball power-ups" drill works on inside power moves, using two balls in the lane area. Don't waste time on the floor going from drill to drill. Discipline your players to sprint to the next drill station. You also don't want to find yourself spending too much time explaining how to run a drill. You might demonstrate all new drills on chalkboard prior to practice or give the players a page for their playbook the night before to avoid confusion on the floor. Never allow your players to become bored with a drill or to lose their intensity by staying with it for too long. Come back to that drill the next day rather than have your players lose interest. Talk about critical mistakes made in the drill in pre-practice chalk talks, rather than on the court.

Add options to all drills that will give each one a different look and a different emphasis. These additions will generate enthusiasm among your players because they keep the drills fresh. This will also allow you to work on different things while preparing for different teams. Never allow players to complete a drill without having done it properly at least once. Coaches must demand proper execution before progressing with any amount of success--having players do a particular drill right a few times builds the confidence that they can do it. Repeat all drills throughout the season. Repeating drills correctly and with intensity develops good habits that are hard to break.



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