OFFENSIVE WORKOUT FOR GUARDS/FORWARDS

by

ADAM WALSH

An offensive workout for guards and forwards should include the following individual skills: dribbling, shooting, passing, and footwork. Footwork is something that can be worked into every drill that your players execute. Passing is also a skill that you can include in most of your drills if you are willing to keep the ball in your players' hands during the drills.

To begin a workout, use chairs or cones to set up ball-handling work. Set up six cones down the middle of the floor from one 3-point line to just outside of the other 3-point line. Each player has a ball and will complete a total of 16 trips. The first set of four is the basic crossover, then between the legs, followed by behind the back, and then finishing with spin dribbles. You can alternate how the players finish the cone drill, whether with a hard take to the basket or a pull-up jumper. Other than the footwork and the technique of the dribbling, the most important part of this drill is the way that the players come off the cones, especially the last cone, as if it were a defender. It is very important to come off with a nice big step towards the basket and then finishing with the appropriate move.

A set of shooting drills can be used to emphasize V-cuts and hard cuts off of the cones. The cones imitate screens. The players should learn the footwork required to come off of screens and be ready to attack off the dribble or shoot. Have the players line up on the baseline at the end of the free-throw lanes. They start the drill by stepping inbounds and passing the ball to a coach at the top of the key. The player then takes a step toward the middle as if setting up his man to come off a screen. As each player comes off and makes the catch on his inside pivot foot, he should be in position to take the immediate shot or to make a good shot fake, sweep, and attack off the dribble to either side of the cone. In fact, the player should alternate which side of the cone he attacks each time. There are four different actions that can be performed off of this drill. The first one is the basic catch and shoot. The second acion is the shot fake, sweep, and shoot the pull-up jumper off of one long power dribble. The third and fourth actions that the shooter performs are the same as the previous two, except that they are done after a catch-reverse pivot. The reverse pivot on the perimeter is a great addition to a player's repertoire. All of these actions can be done in sets of seven per side.

The next part of the workout is to shoot 10 shots at three perimeter spots. This drill is best executed with three players or two players and a coach. The player that is shooting has a couple of actions to compete. The first is to step into the first shot as he calls for the ball to receive the pass. Then the player should stay in full motion by following the shot with two or three steps as if he is actually following the shot in a game condition. The third step is to backpedal to about six feet beyond the three-point line to be back into position to step into the next pass. To make this a little bit tougher, make him shoot all 30 in a row and place a cone in front of the player and behind the player to give him designated spots that he must touch on the back pedal and on the follow.

Another good drill includes a mixture of shots. The player starts on the left block facing out-of-bounds. The coach at the top of the key has two balls and there should be a rebounder underneath. The coach gives the player a command word for him to turn around and receive a quick pass from the coach. The player should perform a turnaround jumper or any designated post move. Once the first shot is made, the player immediately imitates setting an up screen at the elbow and then opens to receive a pass for the jump shot. As soon as he releases the shot he should be sprinting around the basket to receive the last pass in the short corner area for the third shot in this set. This drill utilizes quick cuts to take realistic game type shots.

THANKS to BASKETBALL SENSE, The magazine for Winning Coaches, for permission to use this article. For information on Basketball Sense, go to
www.basketballsense.com