GOAL: Man-to-man specialty plays

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 (Quick Man-to-Man offenses)

By now you have used your creativity to build your man-to-man offense, but there are plenty of times you will need to score quickly or early in the possession.  The most used and simple play is the screen and roll and at this level the hardest to defend.  Develop creative ways to get the ball in the hands of your best scorer and have the best screener screen for them and see what comes of it.  Also, clearing out one side of the court for your best dribbler will provide an easy opportunity for them to get a quick basket.  I always liked to have a few fast plays that get a quick look, but you can only run these a few times a game, so pick your moments to run them.

Next 20 Minutes

Zone Offenses for quick shots

A simple screen of the top man of the zone can create a quick shot.  Overloading one side of the floor with 4 vs. 3 players creates advantages and mismatches for quick shots.  Sealing off a player on the low post and bringing a cutter from the weak side around it for a curling shot.  Dribble penetration into a seam in the zone and passing it out to where the defense comes from should create and easy jump shot.

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.  Foul shooting after break.

Zone Offense (20 minutes) versus a trap

To start, try to teach them where on the court to avoid traps, especially the corners in the full and half court.  Do not turn your back to the trap.  If you have your dribble still, try splitting the trap or reversing the ball around the trap.  This is where all the skills from the man in the middle drill will come in handy.

Coaching Points
  • Keep the ball moving either by passing, dribbling or using fakes.
  • Keep dribble alive until you have someone to pass to.

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

Foul shooting when tired is the best way to simulate end of game.  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)!'