June 14

Walking Double Behind the Back Dribbling Drill

One of the biggest parts of being a great ball handler is being able to change up your speeds and keep the defender off balance. If you are consistently playing at one speed, you become predictable and easy for the defender to guard.

This ball handling drill is going to work on the double behind the back combo move, but it is really going to emphasize being able to pause, and then make a really explosive move. Once you can really start figuring out change of pace as a ball handler, you become exponentially harder to guard off of the dribble.

 

 

Drill Name: Walking Double Behind the Back Dribbling Drill

Similar Drills: Walking Between the Legs Crossover Dribbling Drill

Drill Goal: Work on selling the between the legs behind the back move and really changing up speeds.

Equipment Needed: 1 basketball.

Tips: Stay low in a low athletic stance the whole time. Don’t be a robot with your movements, really look to pause, sell your move, and change up speeds as you go through the drill. Keep your eyes up as you do the drill and also use your eyes to sell the move.

Directions: The player is going to start on the baseline with a basketball. The player will take a stationary dribble (the only one during the drill), pause, and then make an explosive double behind the back combo move leading themselves forward with the move. Without taking any stationary dribbles in between, the player is going to pause again and then execute the same move. Continue this pattern all the way to the free throw line and then retreat dribble back to the baseline. Repeat the same action, but this time starting with your other hand.

 

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June 14

Walking Double Between the Legs Dribbling Drill

As a ball handler, if you are really able to; pause your defender, read them, and then make an explosive move, you become so much harder to guard. A lot of the times though ball handlers get caught playing too fast at one consistent speed. The reason Kyrie Irving is such a hard player to guard, is because of his ability to stop and go at anytime he chooses.

This ball handling drill is going really focus on having the player change up speeds and from slow to fast as they are getting ready to set up a move. The move that this drill is working on is the double between the legs combo move, but it is really focusing on these other areas as well.

 

 

Drill Name: Walking Double Between the Legs Dribbling Drill

Similar Drills: Walking Between the Legs Crossover Dribbling Drill

Drill Goal: Work on selling the between the legs behind the back move and really changing up speeds.

Equipment Needed: 1 basketball.

Tips: Stay low in a low athletic stance the whole time. Don’t be a robot with your movements, really look to pause, sell your move, and change up speeds as you go through the drill. Keep your eyes up as you do the drill and also use your eyes to sell the move.

Directions: The player is going to start on the baseline with a basketball. The player will take a stationary dribble (the only one during the drill), pause, and then make an explosive double between the legs combo move leading themselves forward with the move. Without taking any stationary dribbles in between, the player is going to pause again and then execute the same move. Continue this pattern all the way to the free throw line and then retreat dribble back to the baseline. Repeat the same action, but this time starting with your other hand.

 

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June 14

Removing Excuses

This article was written by Basketball HQ co-founder Kyle Ohman

 

One of the easiest (and unfortunately one of the most common) ways to avoid potential situations where you might experience failure is to come up with excuses. It is natural as humans to use excuses to help us justify why we won’t be able to accomplish something. In life excuses come in all forms. With basketball though, they are pretty much narrowed down to; too short, not quick enough, not strong enough, not fast enough, low basketball IQ, etc.

Players are constantly being evaluated from a young age and are critiqued based on what they are perceived to be able to do or not able to do. Players allow themselves to be put into boxes created by other people’s criticisms, and even worse, they begin to place those same criticisms on themselves! Players become their own biggest doubter based on what other people are saying about them. A player’s limits are now being created by their own mind, and instead of figuring out a way to overcome them, they are using them as an excuse for failure.

Too many players (and people in general) allow different limitations to determine so much about them. Instead of working and overcoming being a little bit shorter, not as highly recruited, not built like the next LeBron James, etc. They allow these perceived limitations to define them and determine what they are capable of.

The goal of this article is to get you out of this type of fixed mindset and negative approach to your game and life as a whole. If you are able to have confidence in yourself and are willing to back it up with your best effort and hard work everyday there is no telling what you are capable of.

 

 

Personal Experience

One of the reasons I am so passionate about this topic is because of my playing history. To make a long story short, I went from not receiving a single college scholarship offer (from any level), to walking on at a division 1 school, earning a scholarship, scoring over a thousand points in my college career, being one of the best shooters in the country, and playing professionally in Europe.

If I would’ve listened to the limitations that others placed on me, I would’ve never even given myself the opportunity to have a chance at all of those things. One thought in my mind of, “I didn’t get any offers I guess I am not good enough to play” could’ve changed my entire life plan.

Not every player’s story ends up like mine, but if you allow yourself to come up with excuses, you will never even get the chance to prove what you are capable of.

 

The second reason I am so passionate about this topic is because I have seen way too many players in my coaching and training career that have allowed themselves to be limited by excuses. They allowed themselves believe that it couldn’t be done for one reason or another, and because they bought into this idea, it became true.

I look at similarly skilled players all the time. One player has the mindset to do whatever it takes, and the other has the mindset of limiting themselves with excuses, and the difference between the two similarly skilled players is night and day. You must have the mindset of anything being possible if you want a chance to do something great.

 

When the Rubber Meets the Road

At this point in the article I am hoping that I did my job and have you fully believing that you can overcome any perceived limitation that you may have, and that you are willing to run through a wall if need be. However, that is just the first part of the equation. Your mindset is a huge part of getting rid of excuses and it is definitely the first step, but without also following it up with action it doesn’t do much good.

I have always heard the saying, “when the rubber meets the road” and I thought this is the perfect time to use it. I looked up the meaning of the phrase because I wanted to use the exact definition and I really liked what it said. Here is what I found, “When something is about to begin, get serious, or be put to the test.” I thought that was absolutely perfect.

Believing in yourself is great, but if you are not willing to put the work in and; begin, get serious, and put yourself to the test, it really is for nothing. It wasn’t enough for me to believe that I was good enough to play in college, I had to work everyday and prove to people that I was good enough.

As a player you may find yourself in a similar situation with playing in high school, college, or professionally. It is up to you to prove what you are capable of. It doesn’t matter what others are saying about what you are able to do, it is up to you to work and show what you are able to do.

You don’t need to talk and complain about other people, just put in the work and there will be no doubt about what you are capable of.

 

 

 

Why Not You?

There are so many different stories of players that were doubted in college or overlooked coming into the NBA, but they believed in themselves, put in the work, and then proved that they belonged. From players like Steve Nash, who only received one scholarship offer and then went on to be a two time NBA MVP, or more recently, Stephen Curry who was told he was too small and slow to play, but is now a two time MVP and has two rings.

The list goes on and on, and the natural tendency is to see them as inspirational stories, but not really believe that you could do the same thing. Don’t fall into that trap! There is no reason why you as a player can’t be one of those exact same stories. It may not happen right away, and you may end up having a story like San Antonio Spurs Jonathan Simmons who took years to finally break into the NBA.

Not everyone’s journey is the same, so don’t give up on yours just because it looks different than everyone else’s. So I want you to ask yourself this question, Why Not Me? Ask yourself that question everyday and use it for motivation. Why can’t you be one of the player’s that has a story like Steve Nash, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Isaiah Thomas, or one of the other players that everyone said wouldn’t make it? WHY NOT YOU?

 

Conclusion

After reading this article you may be feeling invincible and that nothing can stop you from accomplishing your goals, and that is great! However, the reality is that you may fail and you may not make it, but wouldn’t you rather give everything that you have and know that you gave your best? I know that I would!

I cannot guarantee that if you believe in yourself and work your absolute hardest that you will accomplish everything you want, no one can. I can guarantee though that if you do not do those things you will never even get the chance.

 

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June 13

Made in the Offseason

This article was written by SUNY Canton Head Men’s Basketball Coach Ben Thompson

 

As coaches, we are constantly preaching to our team that players are “made in the offseason”. We say this because it is true, but also as motivation to inspire our student-athletes to grind and work harder at improving their game. I have used this comment several times with my guys and truly believe that it rings true with them.

However, as coaches, we are “made in the offseason” as well. What do you use your offseason for? We expect our student-athletes to put in the extra hours and early morning times in the gym or weight room; but, how much extra effort do we put in during the offseason to work on our craft?

 

Depending on your level, you might be able to work with your team some in the offseason. This is a great thing, but how many of us also work on ourselves. The offseason is a time for you to invest in yourself and improve as a coach.

There are many forms of this, but self-evaluating how you performed this past season, as well as your staff, is crucial. Going back to watch film on games, practices, workouts; whatever it is and helps you, how much time do you spend trying to evaluate your own performance?

 

This is a great time to review practice plans, does your practice flow, where would you tweak some things, do you need a complete overhaul? Do you reach out to boosters, alumni, parents? Getting with your own administration, picking their brains on things they see, areas you could improve.

Ask questions of those around you and those you trust; asking coaches that you play against or that have seen you play, but have a great rapport with or friendship with can be helpful as well. Meet with people in the community, run camps, do things that will get you more involved in your area.

 

Invest in yourself and your own growth. Find clinics, roundtable discussions, and forums to attend to get different perspectives and give your own perspectives. Sometimes explaining things you do to other peers/coaches and what you believe in, helps remind and refresh yourself of why you do what you do.

Networking is another key thing in the offseason; this can be done in many ways, but meet different coaches, meet with other administrators, meet others on your own campus that you do not know.

 

Lastly, do not forget to take some down time. Do not use the ENTIRE offseason as down time, but take some time with family/friends and refresh. Work on your health and your fitness; sometimes during the grind of the season, we lose sight of our own well-being and our health.

Make sure you get back to your work/life balance. Take some trips, have some staycations, refill your tank, but then get back to work. We cannot tell our players that they are “made in the offseason” if do not rebuild and re-tweak ourselves in the offseason as well.

 

 

Ben Thompson
SUNY Canton Head Men’s Basketball Coach

“In his first season as a head coach, Thompson led the SUNY Canton Men’s Basketball team to a 20-9 record. They also won the first conference championship in NCAA program history and competed in the first ever NCAA sponsored post-season tournament in program history with a win in the ECAC tournament. It was the first NCAA sponsored post-season win for any sport in SUNY Canton history.”

 

 

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June 11

Box Drill Jab and Go

Having an arsenal of basketball moves makes you hard to guard and unpredictable to the defense. It is important to have counters to all of your moves, because if the defense takes away one move or is over playing you, then you need to exploit that and make them pay. The box drill is great for making you very hard to guard in the mid post and on the wing out of the triple threat position. This basketball drill is going to work on selling the jab step and then going opposite.

 

 

Drill Name: Box Drill Jab and Go

Similar Drills: Box Drill Jab Step Shot, Box Drill Face Up ShotBox Drill Shot Fake Drive

Drill Goal: Work on your foot work and be able to make a move with either foot being your pivot foot, as well as be able to pivot forward and backwards.

Equipment Needed: 1 Basketball.

Tips: Really sell your move and imagine the defender in front of you. Don’t waste any movement and really push the ball out in front of you when you make your move to the basket.

Directions: Start on the right block with the basketball in your hands. Spin the ball out to the elbow and then run out jump stop and grab it with both hands. You are going to use 1 of 4 pivot moves at the elbow. The moves are left foot reverse/forward pivot and right foot reverse/forward pivot. Make your pivot move and square up to the basket. Jab at the imaginary defender and then drive hard to the basket for any finish that you want. Get your rebound and then go to the opposite block and repeat the same move. You are going to do a total of 8 moves, 1 type of pivot move on each lane line. Change up your finish each time.

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June 11

Fake Hand Off Shooting Drill

Being able to read the defense and make them pay for cheating a play can add so much value to an offense. So it is important that you take time to work on teaching different situations that a player can make a defense pay for cheating. This drill is going to work on a hand off action where the defense gets out of position by trying to anticipate the hand off too early. It is going to allow the post player to get lots of repetitions at selling the hand off and then making an explosive move to the basket for the finish.

Great basketball drills keep all of the players involved as much as possible, so this drill is also going to have a shooting action for the guard after they come off of the fake hand off. It is a great drill that you can use with your team or with a small group.

 

 

Drill Name: Fake Hand Off Shooting Drill

Similar Drills: Game Situation Post Flash Quick Attack DrillGame Situation Hand Off Shooting DrillGame Situation Fake Hand Off Backdoor Finish Drill

Drill Goal: Work on selling the hand off action and then keeping it for the finish. Also, the player coming off of the hand off action is going to get a shot as well.

Equipment Needed: 2 basketballs, 2 players, and a partner.

Tips: Really sell the hand off, try to hide the ball to keep the defense from seeing what you are doing. Push the ball out on the dribble to the basket and be explosive with the move. The guard coming off of the hand off needs to set their imaginary defender up before coming off, must take a great angle; the same goes for using the down screen.

Directions: The guard is going to start on the left wing with the ball and the post player is going to be on the right block. There is also going to be a passer at the top of the key with a ball and a chair on the opposite elbow. When the drill starts, the post player is going to flash to the left elbow and receive a pass from the guard. The guard will then set up their imaginary defender and cut off the post player like they are going to receive a hand off. The post player is going to fake the hand off and then take one dribble to the basket for a finish. As this is happening the guard is going to use the chair on the opposite elbow as a down screen and come up for a shot at the top of the key area. Once the post player makes their finish, they will get into rebounding position and look to tip in the guards shot if they miss. This completes on repetition, reset and repeat or have the next group in line go.

 

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June 11

Bob Knight Mid Range Shooting Drill

Being able to shoot on the move is a different feel from simply just catching and shooting. It is important to be able to do both so that you are a complete shooter. This basketball shooting drill is great because it works on so many things at one time. It improves your footwork, mechanics, form, gives you repetitions, and also builds up your conditioning. Being able to shoot when you are tired is mental as well as physical. This drill will help you break through both of those barriers.

 

 

Drill Name: Bob Knight Mid Range Shooting Drill

Similar Drills: Bob Knight Mid Range to 3 Point Shooting Drill, Bob Knight 3 Point Shooting Drill, 50 Makes Shooting Drill

Drill Goal: Improve your shooting and learn to shoot when you are fatigued. Be able to shoot on the move and build your mental endurance.

Equipment Needed: 2 Basketballs and 1 Partner.

Tips: Shoot the ball the same every time, jump straight up and down, and hold your follow through. Fight through the fatigue and stay mentally strong.

Directions: The shooter is going to stand at the right elbow and get down ready for the shot. The passer/rebounder is has both of the basketballs in the paint. He/she is going to pass one of the balls out to the shooter and they will shoot the ball. As soon as they land they will run to the opposite elbow for the next shot. The rebounder must pass them the ball before they go get the first rebound. Shooter continues back and forth for the set amount of time, between 1-2 minutes is recommended. Once the time ends the players will immediately switch spots and repeat the drill.

This drill can also be done from the corner to wing, and wing to top of the key. Also you can make this drill into a competition between your team and see which two players can get the highest score.

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June 7

Hold Off the Defense Finish

This move is going to be used in a situation where you are coming off a ball screen and your defender is on your back trailing the play and the post help defender is in the paint. The reason you would want to hold off the defender is to create space and have better timing for the rolling offensive post player who just set the screen.

The video in this breakdown is going to work on finishing with a floater, but this is also a great move to force the help post defender to step up so that you can either dump the ball of the to rolling post player or lob it up to the basket. Checkout our basketball training groups for more videos like this breaking down different game moves.

 

 

Drill Name: Hold Off the Defense Finish

Similar Drills: How to Do a Euro StepHow to Do a Rondo FakeHow to Do a Pro Hop

Drill Goal: Work on coming off of a ball screen and holding the defender off to open up space and time to finish.

Equipment Needed: 1 basketball, a chair (something to use as a ball screener), and a dummy defender (optional).

Tips: Really stay low and athletic when holding the defender off. Really use your eyes to help freeze the help post defender. If you are able to look at the rolling post player, you will freeze the help defender and put them in no mans land.

Directions: Set up an object as a screener on either wing/lane line area. The player is going to start with the ball on the wing and come off the ball screen attacking to the paint. As they come off the screen, they are going to simulate a defender on their back hip and slow up to hold off the defender for a brief second. They will then make a quick dribble forward and finish with a two foot floater.

 

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June 7

Walking Double Crossover Dribbling Drill

A lot of the times it really isn’t about how fast or quick of a player you are when trying to breakdown a defender off of the dribble. Yes those things are important, but it is really about being able to change up speeds, sell your move, and then read the defender.

This double crossover dribbling drill is going to work on a specific move, but it is really about learning to be able to change up your speeds and sell your moves. Add this drill to your training plan today, or checkout our basketball player training groups for a details breakdown of this drills and many more.

 

 

Drill Name: Walking Double Crossover Dribbling Drill

Similar Drills: Walking Between the Legs Crossover Dribbling Drill

Drill Goal: Work on selling the between the legs behind the back move and really changing up speeds.

Equipment Needed: 1 basketball.

Tips: Stay low in a low athletic stance the whole time. Don’t be a robot with your movements, really look to pause, sell your move, and change up speeds as you go through the drill. Keep your eyes up as you do the drill and also use your eyes to sell the move.

Directions: The player is going to start on the baseline with a basketball. The player will take a stationary dribble (the only one during the drill), pause, and then make an explosive double crossover combo move leading themselves forward with the move. Without taking any stationary dribbles in between, the player is going to pause again and then execute the same move. Continue this pattern all the way to the free throw line and then retreat dribble back to the baseline. Repeat the same action, but this time starting with your other hand.

 

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May 22

Tony Parker In and Out Crossover Pull Up

The reason this is called the Tony Parker move is because he is one of the players that has given this move notoriety, but it is used by a lot of different players. This move is really good for smaller players that need to create some space to be able to get their shot off.

The goal of this move is to sell that you are attacking with the in and out move, but then as soon as the defense shifts their weight to cut that move off, you snap the crossover back using the cross to also create more space from the defender so you can get right into your shot.

The more you can sell your move and then use the crossover to create space with, the more time you will have on your shot. Checkout more great moves like this in our basketball training groups app.

 

 

Drill Name: Tony Parker In and Out Crossover Pull Up

Similar Drills: How to Do a Euro StepHow to Do a Rondo FakeHow to Do a Pro Hop

Drill Goal: Work on coming off of a ball screen and holding the defender off to open up space and time to finish.

Equipment Needed: 1 basketball and a dummy defender (optional).

Tips: You are not stopping on the in and out move, you need to be attacking forward. Really use the crossover to create space into your shot. Sell the move with your eyes, face, and body positioning. Really make the transition from your in and out to crossover really quick.

Directions: The player is going to start at top of the key 4-5 feet off of the 3 point line with the ball. They will begin to attack down hill towards the dummy defender (if you have one). At about the free throw line they will make an in and out move selling that they are attacking one way, but then they will immediately cross the ball over the other way leading themselves into their shot.

 

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