Defensive Drills

In Drills by Coach Brock

Here are some drills that can teach a progression of defensive skills, expanding beyond the ubiquitous Shell Drill. 1-on-4 Defensive Skills (Defense Phase A) Learning Goal: Improve major defensive skills each player should know. Points of Emphasis: Ensure players use proper technique while playing defense at high intensity. At one basket, players take turns playing defense. The defender starts with the ball & initiates the drill by passing to an offensive player on the wing. The defender closes out & shifts positions as the ball is swung, finishing by taking a charge as the last player drives. The defense works …

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Pick and Roll Drills

In Drills by Coach Brock

In F.I.B.A. play, offenses often go to a pick & roll situation as the shot clock winds down. The action can also be used in transition & half-court offensive systems. Players must not only master the dribbling, passing, screening & finishing techniques but also understand how to read the defense & make sound decisions. Two-Player Game (Phase A) Learning Goal: Understand the basic techniques & tactics required for the two-person game. Points of Emphasis: Move without the ball & dribble at game speed. Two players start in each corner and the remaining players start in the centre jump circle. The …

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Thank You Tim Duncan

In N.B.A. Basketball by Coach Brock

Tim Duncan retired this month, ending a nineteen-year N.B.A. career. Duncan was not a compelling superstar because of his style on the court or controversy away from it, but because of his excellence and consistency. The outcome – five N.B.A. championships – cannot be easily duplicated but players from all levels can learn about the process behind it all. Like the rest of the San Antonio organization, Duncan was about doing the right thing as often as possible. He let himself be coached. Gregg Popovich has been known to coach hard or “Go Serbian” and the three players who anchored …

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Tryout Success

In Basketball by Coach Brock

During the spring and summer season, basketball teams roam the continent, pursuing elusive scholarships, hype and respect. Camps, travel teams and training camps hold tryouts to determine which athletes should be selected and parents and players attend these sessions en masse. Consternation abounds but is this energy directed in the appropriate direction? Following some simple guidelines and putting forth one’s best effort will enable athletes to make the programs that they desire. Athletes succeed not only because of their bodies but also their minds. It’s not necessary to solve any mystery in order to make a basketball team but a …

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Follow Your Shot

In International Basketball by Coach Brock

“Don’t get caught watching the paint dry.” Wilbur “Shooter” Flatch A screen and roll play continues after the shot is released. The defense must still secure the ball and the offense still has some high percentage scoring opportunities on the offensive glass. Defense: Cory Joseph goes over the screen so Facundo Campazzo cuts back and uses Luis Scola as a rescreen. Anthony Bennett stunts to stop the drive and Campazzo must pass the ball. Scola pops and Kelly Olynyk, who was playing under the screen closes out the shot but does not make contact on the box out. After the …

Being Tony Allen

In N.B.A. Basketball by Coach Brock

Guarding Klay Thompson and the rest of the Golden State Warriors, Tony Allen has demonstrated tenacious effort and modelled solid defensive skills for younger players to follow. The Grizzlies have played competitively so far and forced the N.B.A.’s highest scoring team into some poor shooting performances. Guarding the Ballhandler: Allen turns Thompson to the left and keeps his hands active. However, he is not riding his man or reaching down. Instead, Allen reaches for the ball between Thompson’s hand and the floor. He pops it loose from below as it is on the way up, avoiding a foul. Allen is able to tip it …

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Make the Most of Gym Class

In Training by Coach Brock

To maximize the benefits a period or workout, teachers and students (or coaches and athletes) have responsibilities to keep the class (or team) focused and engaged. Teachers must design meaningful activities that develop athletic abilities and simulate game situations. Students should perform the drills as best as they can, in order to improve their personal fitness and prepare for competitions. Part of this focus comes from understanding the purpose behind the exercise. Ideally, a teacher would clearly explain their reasoning beforehand but sometimes students must think critically and figure things out for themselves. Teachers and coaches rarely fill classes or workouts …

Fouling at the End of Games

In N.B.A. Basketball by Coach Brock

The Lakers experienced an awkward play at the end of of Friday’s game against the Grizzlies. Memphis was up a single point with under twenty seconds remaining but Los Angeles elected not to foul immediately. Eventually, Kobe Bryant ran over and fouled Mike Conley. The Lakers eventually lost by three points. Some areas for improvement: L.A. did not seem to discuss who they would foul if this situation arose. Conley was the best free throw shooter on the court and it might have been possible to trap him in order to steal (hopefully) or force him to give up the …

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Game 1: Hopes for the Remainder of the Series

In N.B.A. Basketball by Coach Brock

Since the Toronto Raptors have made the playoffs after a six year drought, fans want them to do well so a lacklustre fourth quarter and a copious moments that can be most optimistically linked to inexperience was frustrating. It’s not that beating the Brooklyn Nets in a playoff series is an impossible dream but that there is a way the series must unfold for Toronto to win whereas other storylines may better suit Brooklyn.

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Determining Responsibility for Improvement

In N.B.A. Basketball by Coach Brock

Last night’s Toronto Raptors – Sacramento Kings game proved very controversial as fans, coaches and players were disappointed by the loss and eager to designate an appropriate culprit to focus their frustration. Ultimately, the team aims to improve and while a loss can serve as a powerful motivator, they need to target their efforts appropriately. Discontent breeds disillusionment but dedication and determination lead to progress.

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Late Game Defensive Strategy

In Basketball by Coach Brock

Great teams prepare for critical situations on the practice court and in the video room, discussing what will happen ahead of time and debriefing what actually occurs. It is easy to coach offensive plays and decisions but often less time is devoted to the defensive component. There are a number of ways to handle each situation so all players must have a sturdy grasp of what the team will do at this moment in time. Misunderstanding and miscommunication leads to mistakes. Below are a handful of late-game scenarios that result in stops because of solid play and sound strategy. No …

Protect the Rim

In N.B.A. Basketball by Coach Brock

Not only did the outcome (a buzzer beater to win the game) suggest that Indiana should have defended Miami’s last shot differently but the process behind the Pacers defense was also flawed. Michael Jordan may have said that he would force LeBron James to the left (however, I think that he would have cut him off before the rim). The zone shooing percentage of the Heat players suggested that the Pacers should have used 7’ Roy Hibbert, helped from anyone but Ray Allen or double-teamed the ball to force LeBron to pull-up or pass. Indiana could not have been surprised …

Toronto Raptors Clutch Defense

In N.B.A. Basketball by Coach Brock

We’ve seen this before. A hot shooter pulls up at the top of the key, given plenty of room, and drills the winning shot as time expires. The remaining defenders could have helped by closing the paint but they were standing still, out of the way and unable to help if they wanted to. During the preceding the team should have discussed how they would guard a game-winning shot attempt and prioritized who should stay on their check and who should help. I think the team should have focused on Kyrie Irving and Wayne Ellington and forced Dion Waiters and Shaun Livingston …

When Duke Doesn’t Rebound

In N.C.A.A. Basketball by Coach Brock

Duke lost to North Carolina State 84-76 on Saturday, their first loss of the season. Although there were some injuries, the Blue Devils were too focused on the outside and not aggressive enough, as has been the case in many high profile losses. Many times, the Blue Devils were out of position and Richard Howell and C.J. Leslie pounded Duke inside and on the glass.

Bad Help Defense

In N.B.A. Basketball by Coach Brock

Sometimes, you have to avoid the easy play early in the possession (bad switches) so you aren’t under the gun later (mismatches). Sometimes, you have to anticipate what will happen next so you can prioritize what to guard. Sometimes, you have to closeout better than Courtney Kirkland. BTW: Joe Johnson hit one of his four threes on this play.

Bad Habits on Defense

In N.B.A. Basketball by Coach Brock

The Toronto Raptors have some bad habits which have really hurt their performance this year. A lack of ball pressure is allowing penetration into the paint (drive and pass) and demanding help. These shots close to the basket and open looks become high performance scoring chances for the opportunity. On the ball, players could improve their quickness (footwork and hands).  Away from the ball, team members could be in better position, be more aware of the opponents around them and rotate in anticipation, not reaction. Screen and roll defense is very passive. A ballscreen can be an opportunity for the …