Basketball Drill Secrets….If you’re interested in basketball then this could be the most important message you will ever read. Since you’ve found this website I suppose it’s ok to let you know… “I am a crazy about basketball and want to learn how to play like an A grade pro.”
The truth is, I’m always on the internet looking for the newest techniques to help me improve my basketball skills. That’s what led me to put this website up. Let me explain…
While surfing around the internet, I stumbled upon something so fantastic that it immediately got my attention… In fact, I discovered something sooo amazing at first I thought it was “too good to be true” like most things are.
You see, a few months ago, I was actually doing some research on George A. Cellar who is one of the most lauded and influential basketball coaches in recent history. I noticed that most of his work was available and accounted for with the exception of one of his most important pieces of work, entitled: ‘The Young Sportsman’s Guide To Basketball’.
Well, this got me curious and so I started digging a little deeper and I started to send off a few emails asking questions… Unfortunately, every road I headed down was a dead end… until a couple of weeks ago that is…
By a stroke of luck, I emailed my story to one of my favorite site’s webmasters… as it turned out he had an old copy of this difficult to find book – it was right under my damn nose. After numerous emails I finally got him to mail me his copy.
By A Stroke Of Luck I Uncovered One Of The Most Important Basketball Drills Manuals Of All Time….Even through it was first published in 1963, this book has the best basketball information I have ever seen.
In the 11 chapters here’s just a snippet of some of the things I learned:
* The history of the game. Discover how back in 1891 Canadian Dr. James Naismith devised a game to keep young people occupied.
* How the ‘do-or-die’ attitude is essential to play a winning game of basketball. Learn how to develop a killer attitude that will ensure you’ll give all you’ve got to win.
* Learn different strategies on how to win a game. Discover the ways you and your team can work together to completely bamboozle the opposition.
* Learn the correct stance… this book will show you how you should stand in order to put yourself in the right position for a perfect defense.
* Tips and tricks on how to guard the man with the ball. A very important issue that you’ll be taught from start to finish, so that you’ll be able to conduct the best defense.
* How to guard the dribbler… and make sure he doesn’t get to the goal area. You’ll learn how to get the ball from the dribbler and stop a goal.
* The little-known technique on how to guard the ‘cutter’. Now you might not know this term, but once you do, you’ll be one of only a few who know how to do this.
Plus there’s loads more also to learn…At this point, you might be wondering how you can get your hands on a copy…well here’s the good news…you can obtain all that plus lots more on this website!.
The History Of Basketball
In 1891, Dr. James A. Naismith of Springfield College, Springfield, Massachusetts, devised a game to occupy the students in physical education classes during the winter months. He nailed a peach basket to the side of the balcony at each end of the gymnasium into which a ball was to be tossed. A janitor sat on a ladder to retrieve the ball from the basket after a player had made a goal.
From this primitive beginning came the game now played by thousands of people throughout the world. In the United States basketball attracts more spectators than any other sport. Moreover, more athletes participate in the game of basketball than in any other sport. Basket rings attached to a garage, tree or clothes-pole are not an uncommon sight.
In the early days of basketball the two forwards did most of the scoring. The guards very seldom took a shot, and the center was used mainly to get the tap on center jumps after each field goal. In 1937 when the center jump was abolished by the high school, college and professional associations, the nature of the game changed entirely.
The use of the fast break and the development of one-hand shots, particularly the jump shot, have made basketball a game requiring a degree of skill unknown in its early days. In a single game today individual players often score as many points as an entire team did before the center jump was abolished.
The way the game is played today the two forwards, the two guards, and the center all have many of the same responsibilities. All are expected to be good scorers and to play sound defense. Instead of having two scorers we now have five, so that many more shots are taken during a game. Consequently, we have a far more interesting game.
Required Basketball Attributes
One must have that “do-or-die” spirit and wholehearted determination to give his best at all times. A basketball player, no matter how good, is a detriment to the team [f he does not have a keen desire to play the game.
Several years ago an awkward, 6-foot, 7-inch boy with “disconnected joints” reported for the high-school basketball team. He could not run, catch a ball or shoot a basket. He had two left feet, and wore size fourteen shoes.
Everyone got a big laugh out of just watching the boy go up and down the court. He very seldom went the length of the gym without stumbling or falling down. No one could possibly predict that some day he would be a great basketball player.
He had a ready smile for everyone and he always accepted constructive criticism. He worked harder than any other squad member and no matter how many mistakes he made he always came back smiling. This was his way of covering up embarrassment.
He liked basketball so much that nothing was going to stand in his way in making the team. He practiced basketball all year ’round and was very seldom seen without a basketball in his hand.
It was not until the middle of the season in his senior year that he started to blossom out. His “joints” became “connected” and he moved smoothly up and down the court. He snatched rebounds and pumped in goals with tap-ins, one-hander’s, and hooks. He blocked shots and broke up plays with his defensive ball-hawking.
He improved with every game. At first the other team members were reluctant to play with him but it was a different story now. The boys wanted to play with him; they wanted him in the line up. Because of his hustle and determination, the team won the state championship.
His basketball ability enabled him to secure a college education although success did not come easily to him. Many deficiencies can be overcome by a strong desire to achieve a goal—whether it be a position on the basketball squad or success in other fields.
Sacrifice for Success
You will find that your most successful basketball players are those who gave up many hours of their time to practice. They not only practiced during the season, but worked hard developing their game all year ’round. Working with a plan is a requirement of success.
In order to become an outstanding athlete the beginner must observe certain training rules. A diet of soft drinks, candy, and hot dogs cannot and will not build a strong body. Foods should consist of green and yellow vegetables, meat and eggs, which are high in protein. Fruits and dairy products, including a minimum of three glasses of milk each day, are important.
A boy needs eight to ten hours of sleep every night. Lack of sleep will affect his speed, stamina and skill, which are essential in athletics. Dates and parties should be reserved for weekends that have no games scheduled.
Smoking and drinking do not mix with athletics. Because smoking accelerates heart action and restricts blood vessels it may affect performance in sports which require endurance. Exhaustion and physical illness are partners of the smoking habit.
Alcohol reduces the power to judge distance and speed. Liquor affects coordination to the point where the drinker cannot even stand or walk.
It has been said by many coaches that the boys who drink or smoke are not dependable. When the going gets tough, they will let the team down.
There will be many times when a boy will be tempted to break training rules. One must have strong character to impose self-discipline when necessary.
Proper attitude, constant practice and strict training produce skill which may offset mere physical power.
It is an honor to play on a team. A player must remember that he is just a small part of it. It takes five players, all working together, to produce a winning team. When each boy plays his part well, a successful team is born.
The best players make the team. Players may not always agree with the coach’s choice of the starting five, but keep in mind that the coach wants to win as much as anyone. He will not permit personal feelings to interfere with the selection of squad members. It is up to you to prove to the coach that you belong in the line-up.
You can do this by reporting to practice on time and by working hard. Above all, be big enough to take constructive criticism. The desire to improve must come from within. No one can help you unless you have a healthy and respected attitude toward improving yourself.
Work hard to develop two or three dependable shots. Learn to use both hands. The player who uses both hands in shooting, passing and dribbling is more valuable to his team than one who uses only one. Master the defensive skills. A player who works only on offense is only half a player.
A player who learns early in his career that defensive skills are just as important as scoring ability will be going a long way toward eventual success. Work hard on the fundamentals, such as dribbling for speed and control, a variety of shots, good footwork and defensive balance.
There is no place on the squad for boys who use unsportsmanlike tactics. Play hard, but fair! Always play to win! A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins. If victory does not come your way, be big enough to accept defeat! Congratulate your opponents for their good playing, and do not offer alibis.
Accept the officials’ decisions. These men work hard and are above reproach. Blaming officials is a poor excuse for your defeat. Be a gentleman at all times!
Remember, athletics, like mathematics or history, is one of the skills in the field of education.
Basketball Questions & Answers
Players and coaches should have a thorough understanding of the solutions to the many problems which may arise during a basketball season. Listed below are a number of such situations.
1. What is the proper method of covering a shooter after a long shot?
Ans.— Do not turn your head to follow the flight of the ball. Make a quarter-turn and work in toward the basket with the shooter; meanwhile keeping yourself between him and the basket.
2. Do you think it safe to relax on defense after you have lost possession of the ball?
Ans.— No, because if a team uses a fast break, you will not be able to keep the play in front of you. The defense should return to their defensive positions as soon as possible after the ball changes hands. If any relaxing is to take place it should be done while you are waiting for the offense to arrive. This is the only time to rest, not while you are moving down the court.
3. Do you approve of batting or slapping a ball which bounds off the defensive basket?
Ans.— No, it is a dangerous habit to develop and may cause you to lose a ball game. The ball may be deflected into the hands of an opponent for an easy shot and a quick two points.
4. When scheduled to play two games per week, how many scrimmages do you hold between games?
Ans.— If games are played on Tuesdays and Fridays, I would hold a stiff scrimmage on Monday because of long layoff between Friday night’s game and Monday’s practice. A light practice would be scheduled for Wednesday. Thursday would be devoted to drills and shooting practice followed by five to ten minutes of scrimmage. Scrimmaging too often and for long periods of time can make a team too sluggish during games. Basketball methods can be taught by means other than a scrimmage.
5. Is it wise to permit your players to witness other teams in action during the playing season?
Ans.— I would encourage the boys to see other teams in action provided it didn’t interfere with their studies and rest. If possible, they should try to see the better teams play. A study of their future opponents in action should prove valuable. It will give them a chance to observe their opponents’ strong, and weak points.
6. Which style of foul shot do you recommend?
Ans.— I don’t recommend any particular type of foul shot, but I do encourage the boys to use the shooting style that feels most comfortable to them. Once they have chosen a particular type of shooting approach and have become quite successful with it, they are discouraged from using any other type of shot.
7. What is the best way to cover the foul shooter defensively after he has taken his shot?
Ans.— As soon as the ball touches either the rim or backboard, the player assigned to cover the shooter should immediately jump into the lane directly in front of his opponent, facing the basket. He must position himself so that the shooter is unable to get any rebound. If, however, the opposition does get possession of the ball, the guard must turn immediately to follow the shooter. This must be done quickly to prevent the opposition from getting a return pass and a good shot at the basket.
8. Do you recommend use of the backboard for shooting?
Ans.— We use the backboard for lay-up shots from the sides and for shots either six or eight feet from the basket. Shots in front of the basket are completed without the use of the backboard. All long shots, whether shot from the front of the basket or from the corners, should be aimed at the front part of the rim. Foul shots should be made without the use of the board.
9. What are some of the most important things to observe when scouting a team?
Ans.— What kind of an offense do they use? Do they use the weave? Do they use the pivot play? Do they use set plays? Are they smart and aggressive as a ball club? Do they use the fast break? Is the team big? Do they shoot well from the outside? What are their jump-ball formations, out-of-bounds plays, foul-shooting alignments? What type of defense do they use? Do the players get back to defensive position fast? Is an all-court press used? Are they aggressive on defense? Do they rebound well defensively? What are the strong and weak points of each player? Who is their top scorer? Is he a good set shooter? Is he a good jump shot? Is he a good foul shooter?
10. How does a man cover two offensive men coming down the floor?
Ans.— You must stay in the center of the floor between the two men coming down whenever possible, feint in the direction of one player and keep the other player guarded at the same time. Do not leave the middle of the court. Keep your hands up and retreat gradually. This is a difficult situation, but bear in mind if a shot is taken try to make them shoot from the outside; don’t let them get in for a lay-up shot!
11. What is the best method of feeding a player who is cutting for the basket?
Ans.— Always make your pass ahead of the runner and time it so that he doesn’t have to break his speed in order to catch the ball. The type of pass to be used will depend on the distance the ball must travel. If you are close to the man cutting, a two-handed chest pass is most desirable. If a long pass has to be made, a sharp one-handed wrist pass or a bounce pass is recommended. Whichever pass is used, do not throw it too hard.
12. Some players shoot at the basket with a great deal of spin on the ball; others shoot with what we call a “dead” (no-spin) ball. Which do you recommend?
Ans.— I have always advocated the spin shot, since a spinning ball has a much better chance of finding its target than a dead ball. A dead ball must be absolutely true or it will hit the rim and bounce away. However, a spinning ball may hit the rim, hit it again, and drop through the hoop.
13. If one of your starting players has three personal fouls charged against him in the second quarter, is it wise to keep him in the game?
Ans.— Such a decision would depend a great deal on the score at the time he committed his third personal foul. If the game was close, I would remove him from action to save him for the second half. If we were far behind, I would let him stay in the game. Some coaches will immediately remove a player who picks up three personal fouls; others won’t take him out unless the score is very close to the end of the first half. Other coaches also believe in leaving a player in regardless of his fouls. They feel that a boy doesn’t play as well after sitting and cooling off on the bench.
14. What do you tell your players during the half-tune intermission?
Ans.— I have our managers chart the shots taken by the players of both teams. Working with the score book, I create a good picture of what happened during the first half. The shooting chart tells us where our opponents are hitting and enables us to make any needed defensive adjustments. I tell our players how many personal fouls they have committed and the number on each of our opponents. I check the number of points each opponent scored, and offer suggestions as to how we can stop the leading scorer. They are told the number of time-outs we have taken. We then go over our offense and defense and make any necessary adjustments.
15. What would you instruct your team to do when the score is tied and you have the ball with two minutes to go?
Ans.— I would instruct them to move the ball around carefully looking only for the sure shot. No long shots are allowed in this situation. A lost ball followed by a chance shot has spelled defeat for many a team. It is advisable to give the ball to the player who can drive well for that last shot.
16. If one of your regulars is off form in his shooting and passing at the start of a game, would you permit him to continue or would you substitute another player?
Ans.— I would let him stay in the game until he has a chance to get thoroughly warmed-up; if he shows no sign of improvement then it may become necessary to take him out of the game. It’s not a good policy to have your players worried about making mistakes in fear that they will be taken out of the game. Coaches who make a practice of removing players from the game because they do not make a good start, place their boys under too much pressure. If a player has been doing a good job in the past, there is no reason to believe that he won’t straighten himself out. The less pressure you put on a boy, the better he will perform.
17. What do you consider the qualifications of a sound player?
Ans.— Generally, the qualifications sought are speed, good mental attitude, natural ability, willingness to cooperate, agility, aggressiveness and desire.
18. What system of attack do you recommend to penetrate the one defense?
Ans. — In attacking a zone I believe in the following:
1/ Follow a definite plan and make your pattern work.
2/ Dribble only when absolutely necessary.
3/ Use sharp accurate passes—the bounce pass in close quarters, and the two-hand chest pass on the outside.
4/ Pass quickly to keep the defenders moving.
5/ Don’t be in a hurry; take only good shots.
19. Do you believe a player should be able to play both the forward and guard positions, or do you think it sufficient to train him in the position of his choice?
Ans.— It is desirable for a player to be able to operate at either the forward or the guard position. This will not only give him a chance to play more, but will make him more valuable to the team. A boy, however, should be permitted to play his favorite post when conditions are favorable.
20. Do you approve of any special diet for your squad?
Ans.— It may be difficult to follow a definite diet, but I would advise a balanced diet avoiding excessive greasy foods and sweets. Regular meals should be eaten each day with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
It is not desirable to eat closer than three hours to the time you are going to play. Before a game at night it is a good idea to eat the heavy meal in the middle of the afternoon. The safest maxim to be applied then is—eat lightly and early enough before game time.
21. Who is responsible for the defensive position of the team during a free throw?
Ans.— The free thrower is responsible for the defensive positions. Before he takes his foul shot he should check to see that the two smallest men are back court and the two tallest players are stationed along the foul lanes.
22. Should there be some organized methods of getting possession of the ball on held balls with an occasional scoring play used?
Ans.— I don’t know how many held balls occur during a game but all teams should have some organized method in gaining possession of the ball. Offensively, a good team has a play or two to use on held-ball situations with which they may score or gain a scoring position with the ball. Many games are won in the last moments by a successfully executed held-ball play.
23. Is it advisable to change a player’s improper shooting form even though he has a good shooting average?
Ans.— It has been my experience not to change a boy’s style of shooting if his shooting average is good. It is not necessary that all players shoot exactly alike in basketball just as baseball players shouldn’t have the same form at the plate in swinging the bat. Only the results are really important.
24. How much time do you spend on fundamentals during the course of a season?
Ans.— Fundamentals are stressed in every practice session. Other things being of equal value, the team that has mastered the fundamentals will win. Every coach has a task in selling his players on the value of fundamentals, so that they will want to work hard until the correct fundamental procedures have been learned.
25. Do you allow your players to play outside games during the season?
Ans.— No. I believe two games per week and three practice sessions are enough basketball for any high school boy. The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, which governs high school athletics, permits only two games per week. Playing outside ball, in my opinion, weakens the boy and takes too much time away from his studies.
Practice sessions are carefully planned so that the boys are not worked too hard. Outside ball games will prove disastrous to the boy and to the team.
26. How do you defend against the fast break?
Ans.— Basically, the most effective method in stopping a fast breaking offense lies in the ability of the defense to slow down the first offensive pass. While this is being done the defense must quickly come down the court to their defensive positions.
27. What things do you emphasize before a game?
Ans.— The following things are emphasized: Type of defense to be used, strong and weak points of the opposing players and types of offense we will use. I remind the boys of how important it is to fight the opponent off the boards, and to take charge of the game at the opening whistle.
28. Do you believe in the use of “gadgets” to help develop your players?
Ans.— I do, to a certain extent. We use medicine balls to develop wrists and arms, jumping rope for coordination and footwork, deflated basketballs to curtail dribbling. We practice rebounding and jumping by placing a lid over the basket, we strengthen leg muscles by climbing stairs. Blacked-out glasses are used to help keep the head up while dribbling.
29. What do you do to enliven your practice sessions?
Ans. — We give our drills an element of competition. We line up a defensive man against an offensive player; the desire to out-maneuver the opponent and score generates a lot of spirit.
We choose two teams at the beginning of the season for engaging in shooting contests, and relays. Scores are kept to keep the competition keen. However, care must be taken not to stay on any one drill too long.
30. What do you expect from your squad during the season?
Ans.— I expect the boys to attend all practice sessions and to be on time. I expect them to be loyal to me, to their teammates, and to their school. They are expected to wear coats and ties to all home and away games. I expect them to be courteous and cooperative to the faculty, the captain, and to their teammates. Positively no smoking or drinking of any alcoholic beverages is allowed at any time.