The boys had a spirited practice tonight and put in some very good work!
Here is the breakdown of what we did and accomplished this evening:
DRILL: Shooting and Dribbling. Opened practice with having the boys shoot from three positions of the three goals we have to work with at game speed. I am pleased with the boys shooting - we have some good shooters and everyone is exhibiting pretty good form.
DRILL: Dribbling and Passing. We repeated the simple "down and back" dribbling drill we worked on last week and then added a dimension where the kids dribbled the court and passed to one another. Passing was good overall, but some of us are not quite as crisp as we need to be with "popping" the ball to one another. We will work on it.
TEACH and DRILL: Defensive Positions. I reviewed three of the basic defensive stances: on ball, deny and open. Afterwards, we scrimmaged a bit, then had another brief clinic on defensive sliding. By this point, I had gone a bit off my plan for practice and began improvising! The boys like to scrimmage, so I will adjust my planning to use scrimmaging as a "carrot" for reviewing and teaching techniques from here on out!
TEACH and DRILL: Defensive Position: Close-Out. Talked about how to "close" on an offensive player and assume a defensive position. Drilled the boys on this a bit by having them go up the court taking turns on offense and defense. This needs work.
DRILL: Free Throws. Got in some free throw shooting towards the end of practice before one last open scrimmage (boys really wanted one last go on the court).
Time REALLY flies in these one hour practices and the atmosphere in the Field house is VERY loud. These constraints make practice very challenging. I would LOVE to have a practice space of our own like we did last season, but things are what they are.
The boys are doing a good job paying attention (for the most part - I know it is hard, especially in these times), and you should emphasize to them that they are doing a great job listening and encourage them to keep it up.
Homework: Between now and the next practice, encourage the boys to continue shoot and dribble. Also, if they play with you or siblings, encourage then to show you good "on ball" defensive position: knees bent, body in an athletic position and arms bent and extended to their sides to widen their defensive stance. Keep encouraging the "goose neck" while shooting! Finally, if you have a favorite player that you would like your son to emulate, go over some film with them! For instance, I shared some footage of Kevin McHale for the mid-1980s with my eldest son, who is playing power forward for the West Middle School basketball team before his last game. Talking through highlight reels like this with your son NEVER hurts and can get them thinking of how they want to play the game...
That is all I have for now. Thanks for all your help and support, and I hope you have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!