What Makes a Drill a Good Basketball Drill?

When I was a young gun coach, more years ago than I really want to count these days, I simply used the drills my college coach or high school coach used. It was better than nothing but it was based more on what I could remember and what I liked as a player, not what my team needed.

I quickly learned the need for drill specificity to what I was trying to teach in terms of offense and defense. The need for an emphasis on teaching, repeating and mastering fundamental skills also became quickly evident.

What makes a good drill? For me it includes the following:

  1. It fits the the system I am teaching and serves a distinct purpose in improving our offensive or defensive systems.
  2. The drill always places an emphasis on fundamental skill development.
  3. The drill must be simple in its organization and easy for players to learn.
  4. Small groups of players are needed for the drill to be executed, allowing multiple small groups to execute the drill at one time, utilizing the space available.defensive drills
  5. Competitive drills are good and some should certainly be utilized.
  6. Drills that include offensive or defensive transition as part of the drill are excellent.
  7. Drills should have a clear focus of what the primary skill, strategy or tactic being practiced is.
  8. Includes some form of communication, either verbal or visual.

What makes a drill a poor drill? For me it includes the following:

  1. Nothing in the drill correlates to the system being taught.
  2. The drill does not emphasize fundamentals.
  3. The drill is organized in such a way large numbers of players are waiting in line instead of performing repetitions.
  4. No clear focus of the primary goal and focus of the drill is evident.
  5. Basic organization of the drill is overly complicated.

Careful selection of drills is essential to plan and create effective, efficient practice sessions.

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