It's middle of August and most of you high school coaches are probably itching to get at it when school starts. Though formal practices are still at least 3 months away, it's never too early to start thinking of skill development drills.

I was looking through some notes the other day and found some gems from a coaches notebook from France. I've seen similar team drill work stuff at a college practice I was at once. The great part of these drills is that if your kids are motivated, they can practice these on their own in open gyms, at the playground, backyard, etc..

2-4 Ball Pass Dribble:

These are great at working hand-eye coordination as well as team work with your partner. You can have 3 sets of pairs, working on different things and after 5-10 minute intervals switch. Best to pair up like players, guards with guards, forwards with forwards,

(a) 2 Balls Back & Forth. Players face each other & with one hand pass the ball back & forth, keeping the ball on the same side.

(b) 2 or 4 Balls Circle around. Players face each other & pass ball with one
hand, catch, skip the ball across to their other hand, then pass.

(c) 2 Balls 1 Bounce & 1 Chest Pass. Players face each other, 1 player
throws a 2 hand chest pass, the other a 2 hand bounce pass. Alternate hands (direction) for all categories.

Station Work:

Here are some more ideas to use in your breakdowns during practices. Working on foot quickness, 1v1 jab series, balance and dexterity. You can specify 3-5 minutes each station then rotate and repeat each drill 2 or 3 times.

1. Player makes quick 2 foot jumps across the line & back working along the length of the foul line. Coach & player pass the ball to & fro. This can progress to the player jumping & passing the ball around the waist as they jump.

2. Player is in triple threat stance and with one lead foot makes as many jab steps as possible. Wrap through the legs next time through.

3. Player stands on one leg and rolls the ball on the floor around the 4 pylons in a figure 8. Swap legs next time through.

4. Player balances on 2 H shaped blocks or workout balls whilst coach passes ball back and forth. The cross beam being a 4cm dowel.


The dribble pass drills are also great during extended warmups, the kind where kids are waiting in the hallways and stuff. I love checking out other coaches practices simply to pick up new drills and stuff. Though I think that in-season it's important not to vary the drills too much so that the kids can commit them to memory and focus on the little things, I do think as coaches, the more drills we can go to, the better.

If you're looking for some more skill development stuff, dribbling drills, etc..., take a look at Tom Crean's new DVD on Dynamic Skills which has some excellent stuff on post skills as well. Coach Crean of course is the new head coach for Indiana University. As always, be sure to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to discuss this and more of your favorite basketball topics.