GOAL: To introduce next levels of offense and defense and begin reviewing previous game and how to make adjustments during a game plus reviewing defense rotations.

First 10 Minutes

Talk to the players and encourage them to work hard and have fun. Concentrate on better technique today and tell the players what will be done during this practice.  Plus go over some new rule each practice, or something that might have happened in a pro or college game and how it applies to their level.  Also, review the previous games and ask the players what they think went well and what needs work and see if it matches what you were thinking.

Next 5 Minutes (Stretching)

Stretch legs for two minutes and stretch arms for two minutes. Stretching prepares the muscles to prevent injury. The last minute should be used to jog around the field once.

Some stretches:
  • Sit, with legs extended out flat on the ground in a V position. Lean forward, reach for the toes and pull back on the toes. Hold for a 10 count (have the girls count down from 10). Repeat. This works the hamstrings, calves and lower back.
  • Sit, with legs extended out flat on the ground in a V position. Reach and touch the right hand to the outside of the left foot. Mimic the other side. Hold for a 10 count on each side. This stretches the outside of the upper back.
  • Stand straight, bend a leg behind the body, grab the ankle and pull the heel toward the backside. Hold for a 10 count. Mimic with the other leg. This stretches the quad muscles.
  • Stand straight and extend the right arm behind the body. Grab the right wrist with the left hand and pull back and over toward the left side. Hold for a 10 count. Mimic with the other arm. This will stretch the front of the shoulder.

Next 20 Minutes (Ball Handling)

  • Great to be used in off the court or smaller areas.
  • Simple game of tag, without fouling.
  • Helps teach the player to look up while dribbling.
  • Best used for warm-ups or just before a break.

Next 20 Minutes (Defense Series)

Defensive Rotations

No matter what defense you play, man or zone, you will have to teach what help defense is and how players are supposed to rotate to help their teammates.  The best way to teach this is to start with 3 or 4 players on the court, on offense and defense and no post players.  Post help defense is different, so let's wait on that.  Remind them who is 1 pass away or 2 or more passes away.  Show them how the help defender has to get into the lane, put themselves on an angle where they can still see the ball and their man.  Teach them to stop a dribbler and recover to their man in the passing lane.  Also, make sure you cover the open man closest to the basket first and then those that can make shots out from there.

Next 3 Minutes (Water Break)

Before the break, while the players are tired, shoot some foul shots.  Give the players time to break for water. It is extremely important for the players to remain hydrated at all times. But have them hustle back to the court.

Defending the Post with Rotations

Since the low post is always going to be the easiest place to score from, we need to give it special attention for help defense especially if the player is a dominant scorer.  At this level, passing out of the post is hard to teach, so double teaming the post is the best strategy.  There are 2 effective ways to accomplish this;  first, simply, if your man passes the ball in to the post, you follow the pass and double down on it.  Force the post player to take a bad shot or put the ball on the floor.  Teach the help defense to 'dig out' the dribble and swat it or steal it from the post player.  If the post player is skilled enough to pass back out of the double team, then teach help to come from the weak side.

Defending Weak side Screening

Now that they have a concept of defensive rotations, go over what else can happen on the weak side, so that they stay alert for screening and cutting

  • Start the drill at a slow speed to check proper footwork.
  • Make sure your first move is around the screener
  • Younger players should always go below the screen.
  • Good drill to teach also proper screen and roll techniques

Next 3 Minutes (Water Break)

Give the players time to break for water. It is extremely important for the players to remain hydrated at all times. But have them hustle back to the court.

Controlled Scrimmage

Now that you have advanced to playing games, you should have controlled scrimmages where you can go over problem areas, reiterate new concepts and set up real game scenarios that they players try to figure out without the coach's help.  Go over certain scenarios only a few times, and move on even if they do not get it, and review again next practice.

End of Game Scenarios

If possible, put 1 or 2 minutes on the clock, and one team up by 2 or 3 points, and let them play it out on their own.  Put one player on each team with 4 fouls and give each team 2 timeouts and each team shooting the bonus.  After it plays out, review what went well and what needs work and replay the scenario again.

End of Practice

Introduce end of the game plays.  Begin to show them plays that can be used in the last 10, 5 and 2 seconds of a game or quarter.  Start from half court inbounding. Then, while the players are drinking water, huddle them together for a talk. Take this time to recognize the work that was done well, but also discuss what needs improvement. Always finish the talk in an upbeat, positive way. Tell the players the next practice time and follow up with an email to their parents.

Remember to place hands together and yell, '1, 2, 3 (with the team name)!'