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Open Practice: Individual and Team Skill Development

Open Practice: Individual and Team Skill Development

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  • Create a challenging, diverse skill development workout that covers every element of offense
  • Learn how to improve footwork on a daily basis regardless of players' current level of experience and expertise
  • Learn drills that train players to move without the ball and change speeds on cuts to get open when being heavily pressured
  • Learn passing skills to enable your players to deliver the ball whenever it's needed versus a tough defender

with Bob Hoffman,
Mercer University Head Coach, over 450 career wins;
back-to-back Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year (2013-14);
2014 Atlantic Sun Conference regular season and tournament champions;
coached the first NCAA tournament victory in program history (2014 over Duke);
2012 CollegeInsider.com Tournament Championship

This Open Practice look at skill development will show you how to build players who can take care of the ball and finish at the rim. Coach Bob Hoffman demonstrates drills to enhance footwork, passing and ball handling, cutting and screening, and position specific skills; all shown in a live practice format.

Ball Handling
For ball handling, players work on improving their ability to use both hands to dribble and pass. This segment includes individual and partner drills. In groups of two, players work on their footwork for both offense and defense. A major defensive topic in Coach Hoffman's philosophy is proper closeout technique. In this partner setting, one person works on closing out under control while the other person works on straight drives, crossover drives, jab steps, lifts and front pivoting.

Triple Threat
A good offensive player must have a solid, diverse arsenal of moves out of the triple threat position. Here players work to improve, solidify and automate jump stops, jab steps, rips, shot fakes and the first step. Eliminating wasted motion makes your players harder to guard as they explode out of their triple threat to attack the rim.

You'll see how players work on a variety of different passes through their Partner Passing drill. In groups of two and each player with a ball, the team works on a variety of entry passes with either hand, as well as overhead skip passes. Being able to deploy the pass from different angles enables your players to deliver the ball whenever it's needed versus a tough defender.

Position Play
While each player should have an all-encompassing skill set, a heightened position-specific skill set is a must. Guards and forwards are separated for this segment. Guards work on the perimeter to improve cutting, filling and fanning. Spacing and timing are big topics here, too. At the other end, forwards work on sealing the defender in the post, dives and duck-ins, Mikans and power moves.

Coach Hoffman also emphasizes finishing lay-ups with three different drills that work on attacking the rim in half-court and full-court situations. Train your players to make strong drives into the paint and use different finishes at the basket with the Live Ball Lay-Ups drill. In the Full Court Lay-Up drill, players simulate bursting out at full-speed for a fast break lay-up. The 2-on-0 Lay-Ups Off the Glass drill teaches players to complete quick outlets and sprint lanes in transition to score.

Regardless of skill level, teaching the basics is an open-ended challenge. Footwork and ambidexterity with the ball are essential components of success. This presentation offers plenty of short drills you can easily implement in your practice or use as an hour-long workout.

44 minutes. 2015.