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Communication is critical in basketball

How to teach communication through drills

When coaching a basketball player, you will often recognize that they will think about what skills they would like to acquire. Whether that means to be a great passer, shooter, slasher or all three, each person fails to miss one important aspect of basketball. While wanting to shoot like Steph Curry or pass like Steve Nash is admirable, there is one thing that many players miss. That one important thing is communication on the court. Communicating on the basketball court is something ALL good teams do on every possession. Whether on offense or on defense “communication is key” in basketball and that’s something any reasonable coach can see.

No offense can function without a guard communicating properly to his teammates but it goes so much deeper than that. Screens cannot be set, players who are open will not be found and even worse that means players will play “Hero Ball” and go in a crowd to shoot a low percentage shot. This also contributes to turnovers as passes can go awry if players are not on the same page. As a result, the offensive execution of a team depends on communication of some sort. As important as communication is on offense, it is perhaps even more important on defense.

Coaches, how many times did you look on with anger in your heart as you saw your own team get mercilessly destroyed by an opposing team’s player cutting to the rim? How many times did you want to throw the poor clipboard to the ground as your team’s rotation was not properly executed and a player was wide open for an easy layup or jump shot? Now how many times did you think in that instance “They gotta talk!!”? If your answer to all three questions was “a lot” then you do not need me to tell you what not communicating on defense can do. The result of a team not talking on defense is catastrophic.

“So how do I get them to communicate?” you now ask?

Unless you are coaching a team of telekinetics, you have to get them to talk while on the court to one another. Luckily there are some drills for that. Here are a couple that are paramount to having your team communicate.

Teach Communication in Offensive Drills

There are actually quite a bit of drills that a coach can use to get a team to talk. A coach can even modify simply drills like a “3 man weave” or a “2 on 1 fast break” drill into a communication drills by making players call ball. However, personally the best way to get a team prepared to communicating on the court is to have the team run through the offensive sets or plays but to have them talk about their jobs during the run through. This sounds silly for every experience basketball player and coach, however, if a team calls out what they do on a play during their run-through of the play in practice then more often than not they will execute on offense in a game better.

Teach Communication in Defensive Drills

There is one drill that I particularly like and that is the 3 on 4 contest drill. Here is a video of a version of that drill courtesy of Championship Productions:

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOkNFXkStuk
This drill emphasizes the important of team defense rotating and talking while doing it.

Trust me, communication on the court will make your team better. Take a look at how important communication is to Team USA.[/fusion_text][/one_full]

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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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!

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