Pre/Post practice and pre/post game were my favorite part of coaching. Taking a player or group of players to get them warmed up is great when it flows well. I think the most important part of your pre game is having a set routine. What should you be working on?
First off understand where the shots of that particular player or position will be getting the bulk of shots in their offense first. I think the majority of things covered should be done in the context of your offense that is run. Don’t waste time on showing off with drills or taking shots that are unrealistic in what needs to be done in a game.
Part 1 Warm-Up
Before players step on the court make sure they get a few jogs up and down the court to get loose. Don’t get on the court and start running around going a million miles an hour. Keep your pace and treat your workout like you are building a house, build your foundation first and then crank up the intensity.
Once you are warmed up get on the court and get shots up very close to the basket. I think all players should work on finishing around the basket with a variety of different shots. They should be comfortable taking different shots with both hands to be comfortable finishing. Shoot lay-ups, hooks, floaters, and weak hand reverse layups to get loose. Spend a little time on some stationary ball handling again to build up a sweat as well as to get warm.
Spot up Jumpers
Get comfortable getting 12-15 foot jumpers from 5 different spots. Work on stepping into your shot and getting rhythm. Don’t worry about putting the ball on the floor or anything just work on catching and getting your shot off quickly making sure your feet are set and you are focused on the basket.
Get 10-15 shots up from 7 spots- Both Corners, Both Elbows, and the free throw line. Add the last 2 spots shooting 15 foot bank shots from both wing areas.
Jumpers Off The Dribble
Same thing get shots up from 7 spots putting the ball on the floor 1 dribble and taking the shot from 12-15 feet after the dribble.This will get your rhythm and focus in check before your game.
I think any position can do all three drill sessions as I think every position should be able to shoot the ball from 12-15 feet on spot ups as well as off of the dribble.
Ok so this is where you have to take over this workout and I can only give limited help because every team is different as well as their philosophies on how each position get their shots. Set your drills to how you get shots in game.
With wing players come off pin downs in all different ways- Curls,Fades, Tight Curls, Catch put the ball on the floor and pull-up/finish.
Post up players work establishing position on the block and taking different types of shots going over both shoulders- Turn around jump shots, turn around hooks, jump hooks off the dribble, up and unders, spin base line, and face up offense.
Point guards should get 1-2 dribble jump shots going in both direction. If you are a pick and roll team get 4-5 reps in each direction on both sides on both wings and high pick and roll. Work on changing speeds and taking shots from mid/deep range as well as in the paint.
I think its great to incorporate multiple positions in your workouts. Have multiple passers so that you can go through a game action and both positions should get a shot. For example you can have your big et a wide pin down for the wing in the corner. The wing can come off catch and shoot their shot at the elbow area and then the post player can dive to the opposite post and can get the ball and make a move.
Have creativity in your multiple position workouts put them in real game situations that mirrors your offensive sets. Get them comfortable with being in position and work on their timing. I think it’s healthy in player development to put multiple positions on the floor and have game situations covered.
Incorporate passing in your workouts first just individual passing to work on form an then put situations into your drills where all of your positions are forced to pass. Let them understand help defense and who will be open. I think it’s natural to have wing players dribble down the sideline make a move tot he middle and have another wing in the weak-side corner.
Have the ball handler work on changing speeds and incorporate the importance go playing at 2 speeds and getting in the paint. Have dummy defenders on both players have the first defender get beat and then the help defender from the weak corner. Make sure they understand the importance of forcing 2 defenders to guard one and make different passes to different spots on the floor.
For post players you can work on having inverted posts one at the elbow and the other on the block have the elbow post player double down and the offensive player can cut to the rim. Have the low post player make the pass to the cutting post. This just has the post player aware of double teams on the court and can make passes out of the post.
These are just examples of situations. You can add different situations to your drills, but I think getting your players focused on reading defenses before a game is a great way to get engaged.
Three Point Shooting
I think it’s important for all positions to get repetitions up before games behind the three point line even for just a few minutes. You never know when they have to shoot them, and it will get them comfortable shooting shots outside their comfort zone. Obviously for big men you dont want to get the idea in most of their heads, but shooting the ball from 20 feet will help in their shots from 15 feet.
Well I hope this helps and look forward to writing another article for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.