Basketball coaches are always looking for the next awesome drill. You know, the one that is going to turn an average ball handler into Kyrie Irving or the average jump shooter into Steph Curry. A lot or these drills merely reinvent the wheel and in too many cases are over the top when it comes to their creativity. I have always subscribed to the K.I.S.S philosophy when it comes to basketball drills, that’s Keep it Simple Stupid and maintained the notion that it is what you do inside the drill that should count more than the overly hokie drill that you ripped off of YouTube. With that in mind, my basketball skill development workouts almost always favor the process over the results. Be damned with the makes and focus on why you are missing.
Two weeks ago I wrote a blog post titled, Do You Work on Form which stressed the importance of form specific basketball drills in your workouts. How many times, do we as coaches run drills where the first to ten wins the game? Or, make 5 and move. Far too often. These results based drills become an issue for basketball players, particularly younger basketball players because all they focus on is getting the basketball in the basket or touching as many cones as they can in a minutes while handling the ball. The result can often be glorified slop. Sure it’s competitive and fun, but is anyone really getting any better?
At our Elite Basketball Training workouts, we spend a ton of time focusing on form but also breaking down the form and teaching the players why bad reps are, in fact, bad reps. If a player is working on two ball stationary ball handling and the goal is to get 20 reps in 30 seconds but can’t seem to get the ball to bounce as well with their weak hand, then they need to know that and know why. This way when they are training on their own, they can make corrections without the aid of a coach. Yesterday, as I worked out a young female basketball player, she kept asking me questions when she missed as to why she missed. The reason, to learn from her mistakes, and it worked because towards the end or the basketball workout, she was telling me not asking me what she was doing wrong.
Basketball is a game of results, there is no doubt about that. That is why we keep score. But, don’t you think that the results would be a little bit better if players and coaches focused a little more time to the process? Keep your drills simple, and teach the game and the skill within the drill. Spend more time on breaking down players’ form and worry less about how many makes or how many speed dribble lines. In the end, this process will produce far better results.