Basketball Playbook-Drills to Make Your Team More Aggressive

by Tom Kelsey


One simple basketball coaching technique made one of my teams much more aggressive.

As a coach have you ever had a time in the season or an aspect of the game, you knew a shift was necessary to have better practices?

One season I felt our team was stagnant and not aggressive at the beginning of practice. Also, we were not getting what we needed defensively. I knew them more engaged at the beginning of practice we would have a much better chance of sustaining the energy.

During this time, I read an article on Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints. He was trying to find ways to make his team more aggressive. He wanted specifically to convert turnovers into scores for his team.

As I read, I thought, "How could do the same thing in basketball?" So I wanted to find a basketball coaching technique where we could replicate ways to get steals and convert them into turnovers.

We began to implement a 10-minute section at the beginning of practice designed to turn steals or aggressive plays into baskets. We thought of ways within our defensive system and how to take advantage of our player's skills. As much as we could think of we wanted to replicate game-like situations.

Almost instantly our guys became more engaged. We saw a dramatic impact how our team competed, and they did a super job of carrying it over to games.

As coaches, often use drills we have always used. Drills we think may work well, and one's players know how to run.

To change the old way of thinking find drills to resonate with your team.

Here are some specially designed ways to help your team be more aggressive and turn a big steal into a game-changing basket.



The Coach


Tom Kelsey

Helping players, teams and coaches improve how they play and how they teach


Tom Kelsey's career has spanned from coaching Professional teams to players just learning the game.

Working with the NBA, Women's Professional Basketball, High Major College Basketball, Small College Basketball. High School, Middle School, and Elementary School Kelsey knows how to communicate his message, ensures his teaching is understood, and how to measure improvement.

Kelsey has traveled all over the world teaching and coaching the game of basketball. Playing legendary coaches Don Meyer (college coach) and Rick Torbett of Better Basketball (high school coach) gave Kelsey a solid base in teaching the game.

As a player at Lipscomb University, the team averaged 30 wins per year his last three seasons.

Kelsey was the senior captain of the Lipscomb team, which won the NAIA National Championship.

At 26 Kelsey was the youngest Athletic Director and Head Basketball Coaches in the country. Before the age of 30, Kelsey's team at Faulkner University made college basketball history by going from 4 wins to 23 wins the following season. By his third year, Kelsey was named Coach of the Year and taking the school to their first trip to the National Tournament and team set a record for wins in a season.

At Murray State, Kelsey helped recruit the #11 Ranked recruiting class, set a conference record for wins and team received the highest seed in the NCAA National Tournament ever for the Ohio Valley Conference.

At Belhaven University, Kelsey took his teams to two national tournaments in three seasons after the school had not been to the tournament in 37 years. Kelsey was named Coach of the Year and team set a school record for wins.

As an assistant coach at Alabama and LSU, he was part of recruiting and signing three #1 players in the country:
Schea Cotton
Gerald Wallace
Ben Simmons

While at both (Alabama, and LSU)  they were able to sign top 5 recruiting classes. And Kelsey was named one of the top 20 recruiting coaches by HoopScoop Magazine.

Kelsey has worked, organized, and directed basketball camps in Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Poland, Greece, Belgium, Singapore, and China.

At Ensworth High School team state finalist each year on staff.

NBA (National Basketball Association) China
Camp Director/Lead Trainer 
Camp Director for Junior NBA all-star camp in Beijing.
Lead Instructor for Train the Trainer program for teachers and coaches across China in the cities of Beijing, Guiyang, Lanzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Wuxi.
NBA Cares guest clinician.

Served as Head Coach for the Music City Icons, Women's Professional Basketball Team in 2017
Directed the process of selecting team members, practice plans, and game plan organization. 

NBA Asia
Camp Director/Lead Instructor 
Conducted 7-week camp for 1800 athletes. In charge of training coaches, camp staff and developing daily plans.
At the conclusion of program directed and developed curriculum or National Training Camp which selected the top 30 boys and girls for the national team.

Sport Singapore-Active SG
Ran weekly clinics for basketball coaches and developed drill and play notebook.
Developed and taught a course on how to implement values into each practice session and game for the national soccer team coaches.
Helped rewrite curriculum and manual for coaches certifications.
Worked with secondary and primary school physical education teachers on how to use Game For Life curriculum.
Spoke to students groups and conducted practices for area schools.

Coaching Career

Coach Tube-Basketball Ambassador
NBA China-Lead Instructor/Camp Director
Music City Icons (Women's Professional Basketball Team)-Head Coach
NBA Asia-Lead Instructor/Camp Director
Ensworth School-Assistant Coach
Louisiana State University (LSU)-Director of Basketball Operations
Belhaven University-Head Coach
Greater Atlanta Christian School-Head Coach
University of Alabama-Assistant Coach
Murray State University-Assistant Coach
Athletes in Action-Assistant Coach
Lipscomb University-Assistant Coach
Faulkner University-Head Coach
Franklin Road Academy-Head Coach
Brentwood Academy-Assistant Coach

Ratings and Reviews (2)


Interesting but limited, wish there was more depth and video coaching points

Oct 25, 18 08:03 AM

Todd O'Neal

Good Course! Thanks for the work Coach Kelsey.

Apr 3, 19 10:31 AM

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Course Info

Rating: (2)
Caterory: Basketball/Defense
Bookings: 294