Teaching points:  Week 1

In-bounds play – Make sure that you have taught at least one in-bounds play (from under your own basket) to your players prior to the first game. Keep them simple using the basic “stack” or “box” line-ups. Assigning numbers to the positions (point guard 1, wing guards 2 and 3, forwards/center 4 and 5) makes this easier.

Do not call for the ball – Teach your players not to call for the ball. Explain to them that calling for the ball attracts the defender to an open player. Teach them to put their hand up instead of calling and to cut to the basket. During practice if the players continue to call for the ball, after several warnings, it is sometimes effective to penalize the players with a turnover.


Teaching point:  Week 2

Three second rule – Please teach the student athletes the three second rule. Stress that they should move in and out of the area looking for a pass and make sure they understand that the rule only applies to players on offense.


Teaching point:  Week 3

Defensive position – Please teach the student athletes proper defensive position while playing man to man defense.  Back to basket, facing the player they’re guarding and over playing passing lane (ball, you, man). Make sure you teach the players to see the ball at all times and to know where their man is at all times, staying between man and basket. 

Three on three drill -- Have a coach with a ball just behind foul line. Spread three offensive players out on the floor and assign three defenders to them. Make sure defenders position themselves correctly. Instruct the players on offense to move and cut to basket while defenders guard. Emphasize seeing ball and man. The coach makes pass to open man and then resets. Rotate offense and defense and new players.


Teaching point:  Week 4

Offensive positions and spacing - Please make sure your team understands all the positions, the corresponding numbers and where they should start on offense. Point guard (1) bringing up ball, guards (2 & 3) foul line extended and forward/center (4 & 5) down in the blocks. Make sure they spread out on offense.


Teaching point:  Week 5

Traveling/Carry – Please teach the student athletes all aspects of what constitutes a traveling or carrying violation, including stopping and starting, dribbling with two hands, walking and turning the ball over (palming). Emphasize proper dribbling technique.


Teaching point:  Week 6

Two handed passes (chest/bounce) – Please teach the student athletes the proper form for both chest passes and bounce passes. Stress the importance of using two hands. (See drill on Sophomore coaches page.)


-         Pick out a target and hit it

-         Make pass easy to catch

-         Always use two hands

-         Pass, don’t throw

 Chest pass:

-         Ball is thrown out of the chest with two hands

-         Hands are on either side of the ball

-         Extend arms and follow through (thumbs down)

 Bounce pass:

-         Use two hands and extend like chest pass

-         Pick out spot on floor to hit so that ball comes up between thigh and waist level of receiver (usually two thirds of the way to target.)


Bounce/Chest Pass Alternate Drill -  Form two lines facing each other about 12 feet apart. One line throws a chest pass and one line throws a bounce pass. After throwing pass the player moves to the right and switches to the other line. This drill should be conducted at a rapid pace with the coach stressing proper form.


Teaching point: Week 7

Move without ball/Stay out of corner – Teach your student athletes to be active on offense, even when they do not have the ball. Make sure they do not just stand straight up in one spot but instead stand in “basketball position” with knees slightly bent and hands above the waist. Teach them to move in and out of paint ready to receive a pass, to cut to the basket, set screens and picks and in general to keep moving within your teams offense.

Also, at this age many players dribble into the corner and the offense stalls. Teach your student athletes to work the offense toward the basket and to stay out of the corner.


Teaching point:  Week 8

Setting a pick– Teach your student athletes the proper way to set a pick. Younger players often commit a foul while setting a pick by running into the opposing player; putting their arms up into the opposing player or leaning into the opposing playing. Teach them not to foul while setting pick, to let their teammate bring player to them and to keep feet firmly planted.

Follow these steps:

Step 1 - Plant your feet shoulder width apart.

Step 2 - Keep your arms at your sides or against your body in front of you.

Step 3 - Allow your teammate to lead the defender to you. 

Step 4 - Stand your ground without leaning into the defender, throwing a hip or putting your arms out. Do not move feet.

Teaching point:  Week 9

Using a pivot foot – Teach your student athletes the proper way to use a pivot foot.

When teaching your players how to properly pivot, follow these simple rules: 

  1. Keep their "fundamental basketball position." That is with knees flexed and feet a shoulder's width apart.
  2. Pivots should be made on the balls of their feet; therefore, lift up the heel of the pivot foot.
  3. When they make a full (360 degree) pivot, a half, or even a quarter-turn pivot, remind them to keep their body low and feet spread wide.


Pivot foot drillBreak players into groups of three, two passers and a defender (like monkey in the middle). Defender must converge on player with the ball who must use his pivot foot to create space to get pass off. Make sure passers are not to far from each other, rotate defender.


Teaching point: Week 10

Proper Inbounding/Back Court Violation - Please teach your student athletes the proper way to in-bounds the ball (two feet behind line) and make sure they understand that when bringing the ball up they must get it across half court in ten seconds.  Also, once the ball crosses they can not return to the back court with the ball.


Teaching point: Week 11

Pass and cut Please teach your student athletes to pass and cut to the basket ready to receive a pass back.  Stress the importance of moving on offence.

Pass and cut drill Two lines, one on top of the key and one foul line extended. Player at top of key has ball and makes chest pass to player in the wing, he cuts to basket and receives bounce pass back for lay-up.


Teaching point:  Week 12

Rebounding (Boxing out) - Please teach your student athletes the proper technique for boxing out the opposing player. Teach the players to locate the offensive player, rotate and assume a good box out stance (“butt in the gut”), and jump for the rebound. (Locate, Rotate, and Jump!)

Box out drill -  Have four pairs of players spread out around the perimeter about seventeen feet from basket. (The fifth pair waits under the basket to rotate in.) The four defensive players position themselves between the basket and the offensive player, back to the basket, facing the offensive player. The coach puts up a shot; the defensive players box out and go for rebound. Teach the players to Locate the offensive player, Rotate and assume a good box out stance, and Jump for the rebound. (Locate, Rotate, and Jump!) Have the players rotate position once around then switch offense and defense and repeat.


Teaching point: Week 13

Pick and Roll - Please teach your student athletes the proper execution of the pick and roll play.

1) Ball handler must bring defender to pick.

2) Player setting pick must set wide screen (feet more than shoulder width apart) and not release to basket too soon.

3) Player must roll to basket pivoting with foot closest to basket. Extend hand as target for a pass.

Make sure to teach proper location of pick, not too far from basket. At this age the foul line elbow is a good spot to set the pick. Also emphasize proper spacing on floor so pick is not set near congested area. See “pick and roll” under drills on main sophomore page for a suggested drill.