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Basketball Insight & Drills from Indiana’s Tom Crean

Notes taken from the 2012 Brayden Carr Foundation Coaching Clinic. Indiana University Men’s Basketball Coach Tom Crean spoke on numerous aspects of basketball and gave a few of his favorite finishing drills!

Introduction

  • When talking and/or thinking about motivation, remember that long-term memory with this generation of players is only about 3 days. You must inspire them to become self-motivated!
  • How do you get your message across / Keep your players’ attention spans? Recommended the book “100 Things a Presenter Needs to Know About People”
  • He likes guys that have worked their way up through this business. No silver spoons, just hard work!
  • One of this favorite quotes from Jim Calhoun, “Within the first 20 minutes of walking into your practice, I should know what you stand for”.

Expectations

  • Of His Staff (Each day in practice)
    1. Intensity
    2. Enthusiasm
  • Of His Players (Each day in practice)
    1. Come mentally prepared to work
    2. Come with energy
    3. Come ready to compete
The Will to Compete
  • If you think working hard is going to do it, you’re wrong. You need to compete!
  • It hurts more to lose than it feels good to win.

Being in an Offensive Stance

  • Everyone talks about the defensive stance, but you never hear how one’s body alignment  should be offensively.
  • Not sure you can do anything offensively with even feet. On the catch, you should always have staggered feet.
  • On the drive: Play low, drop your shoulders and push the ball out in front.

Finishing Drills

Finishers

Players start with the ball (Staggered Feet) and throw a bounce pass to the coach who taps it back to them (Sometimes a good pass and sometimes bad). Players must step into the pass, drop their inside shoulder and push the ball out and finish through contract from a pad.

Finishers

Under Finishers

Player starts with the ball and he passes it to the coach who passes it back. The player rips the ball baseline and drives underneath the rim (through the pad of the coach and underneath the rim) to finish on the other side of the rim as a coach whack down with an arm pad. The player puts back any misses (next guy in line waits for him to score).

Under_Finishers

 

Under Finishers with Weakside Defense

The player catching and driving now reads the Weakside Defense to see if X4 will help or not. If he does, then he throws a pass to 4 relocation to the corner. On 4’s catch, the pass will make a half-circle underneath the rim to get to the weakside for the rebound. If X4 stays home on 4, than 1 finishes the lay-up.

UnderFinishersDefense

 

Contact Drives

Players catch the ball and make their dribble move as they approach the coach with the pad (eyes up, shoulders dropped). He watches for shoulders, eyes and where the feet are when they make contact with the pad (getting the lead foot to face the rim). Drive at the defender’s body and off their shoulder.

contactdrives

 

Miscellaneous Thoughts

  • Yell when you get hit attacking the rim
  • For some reason players think they only need to jump high on dunks; Make sure they are fighting for air space (Jumping as high as they can on their lay-ups).
  • No saving yourself, practice with a high level of intensity.
  • If does not matter if you are open, it only matters if the ball handler can see you.
  • Pete Carrill: “The quality of the pass leads directly to the quality of the shot.”
  • Practice as many game-like dribbles moves as possible. At Indiana he stresses the Hesitation, Inside-Out, and Crossover moves.
  • If a player is struggling attacking with their weak hand, take a look at their shoulders. On left hand drives it is all about how low your right shoulder can get.
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Individual Instruction On-Court Workout 7/24/2014

Today was an exciting day as one of my usual workout guys got back into the gym after dealing with a minor injury the past few weeks. Knowing he would not be in his top conditioning I scaled back the intensity a little. I also did not want the player coming in and going full steam ahead coming off the injury and re-injuring him or causing a flare up.

This workout is fairly basic and is great for players 12 years of age and older.

3 Area Move & Shoot – 2 Levels

This drill was our warm-up for today. Using the three area of the court, Corner to Wing (Elbow) both sides and Elbow to Elbow, player had to move and shoot until he made six shots at each area. If he missed two shots in a row we started over at that area. We performed this at five foot range and 15 foot range.

Goal: Make 6 at each area without missing two in a row.

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Individual Instruction On-Court Workout 7/23/2014

I apologize the next two workouts I am posting does not include any video of the drills. I will explain them the best I can in detail and with diagrams. As usual, if you have any other questions (especially since there are no videos) please do not hesitate to shoot me an email or contact me on Twitter.

This upcoming weekend is the last tournament of the July recruiting period and I wanted to give my player a great workout with a ton of shots to get him feeling good heading to Panama City to compete.

3 Angle Perfection Drill

The purpose of this drill was to warm-up my player and also get them taking (making) perfect shots and find a rhythm and consistency in his shot. I started this drill with the player directly in front of the rim and he had to make 10 perfect shots in a row, then step beck and repeat the drill three more times taking a step back towards the free-throw line each time. Once the straight on series was completely, the drill was repeated at both angles off the rim for a total of 120 perfect makes. The player can become bored and frustrated with this drill, but only if you let them. Continue to encourage and give verbal cues to correct any minor imperfections (i.e.- “More legs”, “Finish higher”, “Elbow to ear”, “Hold the follow through”, etc).

Goal: Utilizing the 4 spots at each angle, the player must make 10 straight shots at each spot for total of 120 makes.

3 Angle Perfection

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Individual Instruction On-Court Workout 7/22/2014

After a few weeks off because I was out-of-town at Coaching U Live, and my players have been busy with the AAU circuit, we got back in the gym for a skill tune-up today before one of my players heads out to Panama City for his last event.

3 Area Move & Shoot – 2 Levels

This drill was our warm-up for today. Using the three area of the court, Corner to Wing (Elbow) both sides and Elbow to Elbow, player had to move and shoot until he made six shots at each area. If he missed two shots in a row we started over at that area. We performed this at five foot range and 15 foot range.

Goal: Make 6 at each area without missing two in a row.

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Individual Instruction On-Court Workout 7/2/2014

After evaluating my players throughout the entire month of June, I am going to be designing their July through October workouts to not only improve on their weaknesses, but also continue to make strides with their strengths. Today’s session was all about starting to improve on the quickness of the shot once the ball hits my player’s hands.

While the main key is training the fast-switch muscle fibers to increase in speed, it is essential the player is ready to shoot on the catch (feet and hands ready). However, one thing I have noticed is that when trying to push a player to release quicker, they tend to quickly jerk back on the follow-through and do not follow-through at all. Emphasize that while the shot needs to be quicker, the after-shot process should not change.

10 in a Row – 5 Spot Shooting Warm-Up

This drill is designed to get the player mentally locked into the workout by forcing them to make consecutive shots. We started in close to the rim and had to made 10 straight shots. After the 10 makes, the player takes a step back and must make 10 more shots. This is repeated (five times) all the way back to the free-throw line area.

Goal: Make 10 per spot.

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