2-Minute Improvement Drills

Loose Ball Drill

As coaches we constantly stress the importance to our players of getting on the floor to obtain loose balls. We praise the one player who consistently dives for the loose balls.

Yet how many times does that one player make the great save to obtain the loose ball, only to turn it over again to the opponent, often for an easy score?

Imagine a team where all of your players dive for loose balls AND they never turn the ball over to the opponent!

This can be done by a great one or two minute drill you can insert in practice to crank up the intensity level.

This simple ball and a partner drill is called appropriately enough “loose ball drill.”

For safety, spread all of your players out around the court and make sure there is plenty of space between pairs. Explain and EMPHASIZE the need to watch for each other for safety reasons.

The drill actually begins with the command to pair up with a partner and a ball. Partner’s sprint to an area on the court and start on their own.

The first player rolls the ball on the court for the partner to dive on (teach your players how to do this correctly – I suggest talking to your school’s volleyball coach about techniques for this) to obtain the loose ball.

The player who rolled the ball must cut 15-20 feet to “get open” and call for the ball. The player who obtained possession of the loose ball, without rolling or traveling, passes the ball to the cutting partner and hops up.

The cutter passes the ball crisply to the diver, who rolls a loose ball for the cutter. Roles are now reversed.

The drill should continue for 45 seconds to a minute and then progress to another high intensity drill.

This drill teaches:

1) toughness – players learn they can get on the floor without getting hurt
2) being constantly aware of the possibility of a loose ball
3) only half the play has been completed when the ball has been obtained, a teammate must get open so possession can be maintained.
4) intensity
5) communication
6) awareness
7) it also places actual emphasis on a concept coaches teach but do not back up with actual action in practice.
8) pride in being a gritty team.