Drills to Start Practice

Basketball Practice Drills

Coaches are always looking for effective drills to start practice. Drills at the beginning of practice should get the players loose and prepare them for the mental and physical grind of a typical practice.

3 Line Lay-Ups

This drill is a great drill to encourage focus, timing, and teamwork. The goal was to make as many shots as possible and to move the ball quickly and efficiently. To start out the season, the goal for makes was 50 in 3 minutes on the right side and 50 in 3 minutes on the left. This would increase as the season went on.



3 Man Weave Scoring Drill

This drill was used at the NBA combine over the summer. It incorporates the classic 3 man weave drill with additional scoring options. Two coaches are needed to pass to shooters.


4 Corner Shooting

The drill gets the players used to calling out cuts and making game-speed cuts for a shot. We had the players practice curling, popping, and flaring on the screen.

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4 Man Transition Drill

This drill is great for building habits in transition offense. It encourages speed and precision. The 5 and 4’s in your program need to be able to keep up in this drill for your team to run consistently.


5 Minute Full-Court Shooting

This is another great drill to get your players running the length of the floor and shooting a bunch of shots at the beginning of practice.

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Post Drop Drill

This drill was used in a USA basketball camp and is great for building chemistry between point guards and bigs.

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Team Shooting Drill

This drill is a good drill for getting up a lot of shots and working on scoring moves. This drill can also easily be used in pre-game warm-ups.

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Fast Break- Transition Offense Drill

This is a drill used by Fred Hoiberg. The drill develops quick instincts for offensive players to find the open man while in a numbers advantage.

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3 Line Pick

This drill is from Coach Don Showalter, head coach of the USA U16 team. This drill puts players in game-like pick & roll situations and gets shots for 3 players on each repetition.

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Below you will find the PDF link to download the Drills to Start Practice Playbook.

To download the PDF, click here!




Thankful to Be Called Coach

Thankful to Be Called Coach

This past summer, I started my blog. One of my first posts was called “My Name is Coach.” That post has been making its way around various coaching blogs and sites for the last few months, and I am very grateful to everyone for their kind words about it. In that post, I talked about how being called “Coach” has been one of the greatest joys as well as one of the greatest responsibilities of my life. Today, as part of my posts on things to be thankful for, I want to expand on the concept a bit and talk about why I am so thankful to have been a coach for over 30 years.

Coaching has provided me with some of my highest highs and lowest lows throughout my life. Certainly, championships and “big wins” are part of the highs, and lost championships and “big losses” are part of the lows. However, the greatest of my highs in coaching revolve around the people whose lives I have been fortunate enough to be a part of along this journey. Today I want to thank some of those people who have been part of this incredible experience.

First and foremost, I am grateful to all the student-athletes that I coached through the years. They are the reason why I chose the profession and, without a doubt, the reason why I stayed in it so long. While so many of them have expressed their appreciation to me for some kind of impact I had on them, I want them to understand that their impact on me has been far greater than any impact I may have had on them. I learned so much from my student-athletes. I learned a lot about dealing with people in team settings, individual settings, and emotional settings. I also learned a lot about myself through my time working with my student-athletes.

The single greatest joy I have had in my professional life has been the chance to develop positive relationships with so many young people through the years. While I have loved the challenge of motivating them to be the best they can be in all that they do, they have motivated me to be the best I could be at teaching and coaching them. It is the combination of my love of trying to bring out the best in them and their capacity to bring out the best in me that has been the source of so much of the fulfillment I have felt from teaching and coaching.

The next group of people that I am so thankful for in my professional life are other coaches. I have been fortunate to work with incredible people. They have been great coaches and even better people. I have learned so much from so many coaches through the years that it would be impossible to name them all. The coaches who I am the most grateful to are those who I worked alongside of as either a head coach or an assistant. They have helped shaped my philosophies on teaching and coaching more than any other group of people. Also, my fellow coaches at the schools where I worked who coached in other programs in our athletic department had a profound impact on me as well. Finally, the many coaches at other schools who I observed coaching and working with their teams helped me learn the profession, as have the college and professional coaches who I have studied through the years. The coaching fraternity is an amazing wellspring of knowledge, passion, and motivation, and I have drunk deeply from as much of it as I could. I am so thankful that I have had such a fantastic pool of people to learn from.

Next, I am thankful to the administrators with whom I have worked who have been so supportive of me and of our teams during my career. While I have worked with some administrators who just didn’t get it, the majority of the administrators in the schools where I have worked have been great proponents of activities and athletics and the importance of a strong relationship between the athletic side and the academic side of education. I thank those administrators who had it figured out and who realized that education happens in many more places in their schools than just the classroom.

I am also thankful for the parents of the athletes I have coached through the years. While the relationship between parents and coaches can be testy at times, even adversarial, most of the parents I have dealt with through the years have been wonderful supporters of what we tried to do. This experience called youth athletics has a three-pronged element to it comprised of student-athletes, coaches, and parents, with the student-athletes being the focus. When parents and coaches work together to help raise strong, confident kids, we all win. When parents and coaches don’t work together, ultimately the children are the ones who are stuck in the middle, and their experience can be compromised. Thankfully, the majority of parents I have dealt with through the years have been extremely supportive, positive people who have worked well with coaches to help create a great student-athlete experience for their kids.

Of course, my coaching career would not have been possible if I did not have an extremely understanding family who supported me in my endeavors. However, I am saving my feelings on my thankfulness to my family for the final post of these Thanksgiving posts.

Coaching has been one of my greatest passions for the last 30+ years for a variety of reasons. Without a doubt, though, it is the people who I have been fortunate enough to have in my life due to coaching that have made it such a joy. Thanks to all of you who have been such an integral part of my coaching journey.

My Name is Coach

My Name is Coach…

Coach is a title we all love to be called, but here Scott Rosberg shares his most important title and how John Wooden impacted his life.

Scott Rosberg – 2015

My son, Morgan, calls me, “Dad.” It is my favorite name that I am called.

I love hearing him call me “Dad.” I also realize that it is the most important name that I am called. While to just about everyone else in the world my name is “Scott,” I am “Dad” to Morgan, and I take the responsibility that comes with that name very seriously.

Other than “Scott,” “Dad,” and probably a few choice names people have called me through the years, the other name that I am most often called is “Coach.”  Many years ago John Wooden wrote a great book called They Call Me Coach. The book is filled with many lessons that he learned throughout his life that made their way into his teaching and coaching of young people. The title, They Call Me Coach, is a good title, for it makes the reader zero in on the concept of who he is and how the title that people called him shaped his life. While this post is titled “My Name is Coach,” I am not claiming to be able to make John Wooden’s title or his ideas better or even add to them. Rather, this is my response to a thought that hit me numerous times over my career, and it has hit me hard recently. A few months ago, I was told by our school’s athletic director that I would not be re-hired as the varsity boys’ basketball coach. This post is about one of the thoughts I had as I realized that, for the time being, I am an “ex-coach”

As this new reality hit me, I realized that there is no such thing as an “ex-coach.” Once you are a coach, you are always a coach. This has been made clear to me at other points in my life when I stepped away from coaching for short periods of time. I started coaching at age 20, and for over thirty years, there have only been a few years where I have not coached in some fashion. Each time I stepped away from coaching for a while, I never felt like I was out of coaching. I was constantly watching sports with a coach’s eye, reading books by coaches, watching videos, and even attending coaching clinics. So the fact that I wasn’t coaching at those particular times didn’t make me feel that I wasn’t a coach.

But there is something even more powerful that hammers home the concept of “once a coach, always a coach.” People call me “Coach” whenever they greet me. Other coaches, teachers, administrators, parents, community members, and of course players who I have coached through the years all address me as “Coach.” When I talk to former players, the greeting is always, “Hey, Coach.” This happens often with players who have graduated. To them, I am not “Scott,” I am “Coach.” I have only had a few ex-players in my life ever address me by my first name, even those who are in their 30’s and 40’s now. I would have no problem with them calling me “Scott” – it is my name that everybody else calls me. However, just about every one of my players still calls me “Coach.” There are a few reasons why this happens. One is that they are uncomfortable calling me anything but “Coach” due to the respect that they have for me. Another is that they also have a level of respect for the title of “Coach.” Finally, one of the main reasons players still call me “Coach,” is that is my name to them. That is all they have known me as, and that is all they would ever consider calling me.

I still remember the first time I was ever called “Coach.” I imagine the young man who called me “Coach” for the first time doesn’t even remember me, but I have never forgotten the moment it happened, and I even remember the young man’s name – Matt Schuning – because of how powerful the moment was for me. I was student-teaching, and I was helping coach the freshmen boys’ basketball team. Matt was on the freshman team, and he was in my freshman English class. It was the day after our first practice, and Matt walked into the room and said, “Hey, Coach.” I was stunned. Here was a kid calling me, “Coach,” after one day of me being his coach. I thought, “That’s cool! I’m a Coach!” And then it hit me – “Whoa! I’m a Coach. These kids are looking up to me. They are taking their cues from me. They are listening to what I have to say and watching how I act. Holy Cow! I better do things the right way. I better behave properly. I better be a good role model. I better not screw this up!” I was 20-years-old, and the concept of “responsibility” had just hit me in the face with one 15-year-old boy calling me “Coach.”

That was 1981. For 34 years, I have never taken the title, the responsibility, or the importance of what I do for kids as a teacher and coach lightly. I have never taken the name that I am known by to so many people – “Coach” – for granted. Whether or not I ever coach again, I know that my name is “Coach” to thousands of people out there, and I have a huge responsibility to live up to being called “Coach.” Other than “Dad,” there is no greater name that I will be called. I have always loved and will always love being called “Coach,” and I will always keep in mind the great responsibility that I owe to that name. I hope any of you who are called “Coach” love being called “Coach” as much as I do. I also hope that you, too, will treat the name “Coach” with the dignity and responsibility that it deserves.

Do you remember the first time you were called “Coach”? Do you remember how that made you feel? I would love to hear from you in the comments section here or below this post on my website – www.coachwithcharacter.com.

About the Author of this Article

Scott Rosberg has been a coach (basketball, soccer, & football) at the high school level for 30 years, an English teacher for 18 years, and an athletic director for 12 years. He has published seven booklets on coaching and youth/school athletics, two books of inspirational messages and quotes for graduates, and a newsletter for athletic directors and coaches. He also speaks to schools, teams, and businesses on a variety of team-building, leadership, and coaching topics. Scott has a blog and a variety of other materials about coaching and athletic topics on his website – www.coachwithcharacter.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

Scott is also a member of the Proactive Coaching speaking team. Proactive Coaching is dedicated to helping organizations create character and education-based team cultures, while providing a blueprint for team leadership. They help develop confident, tough-minded, fearless competitors and train coaches and leaders for excellence and significance. Proactive Coaching can be found on the web at www.proactivecoaching.info. Also, you can join the 200,000+ people who have “Liked” Proactive Coaching’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/proactivecoach. Scott can also be reached through Proactive Coaching at [email protected].