Drills with Decision Making but No Defenders!?
We believe that this is truly an innovative way to train decision making.
I'm guessing that you'd agree that having smart players that are skilled is a key component to winning games! Players that can dribble, shoot, and pass while making good decisions.
Traditionally, you improve a player's technical skills by practicing without defense, at least at first. Then to combine skill development with decision-making, you incorporate drills with defenders like 2v2 and 3v3 drills or other small-sided games.
However, what if you're alone in the gym with a player and you don't have any defenders? How do you practice decision making then?
How do you practice when to shoot? How do you practice when to dribble? How do you practice when to pass?
And the drill can't be scripted! You can't use traditional drills where the player knows before the drill starts whether they're going to shoot, pass, or dribble. While this is fine to improve a skill, it's not going to help with decision-making. You need the component that trains the mind!
Well, that's the beauty of Chris Oliver's Basketball Decision Training System (BDT)...
As a coach, trainer, or parent, all you need is you! You can easily help a player combine skill development and decision making WITHOUT defenders!
One of the beginning progressions of Chris Oliver's BDT System is this.
A passer is under the basket. This can be a coach, trainer, parent, sibling, or even another player.
A shooter is on the perimeter.
Once the ball is passed, the passer does one of two things, they put their hands out or hands down.
Hands down means to shoot.
Hands out means to pass.
So now the player isn't mindlessly going through the drills. Just like a game, they don't know what they're doing prior to each repetition. They're training their mind to make a decision quickly while combining skill development!
After that, there are progressions that include driving, dribble moves, passing and relocating, reactions to dribble penetration, ball screens, and more!
And these BDT drills shouldn't just be limited to one player workouts. You can use them in team practices as they are effective because...
1 - It's a great way to warm up. Not only are you improving your skills, you are also waking up your mind for decision-making. When you start playing against live defenders, you will be primed and ready to go!
2 - It's a great connector to 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3 drills with live defenders. Some players need reps practicing just the decision-making aspect without a defender present. By having this connector between skill development and decision-making, it speeds up their development process.
3 - You can practice other situations like down screens, ball screens, etc. without defenders. That way, you can work on the decision-making aspect prior to live defenders. And...
4 - You get more repetitions in and shots up! With drills with live defenders, especially if you're doing drills with more than two players, you won't get nearly as many shots compared to the BDT drills described above.
And sometimes, a player just needs some reps shooting the ball! And this is a great way to do it because it combines shooting and decision making. It's as close to game-like as you're going to get without defenders!
And as the academics recognize, it's a great way to incorporate random practice which accelerates retention and transfer of skill development.
And this isn't to say you shouldn't use 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3 drills. These are all just a piece of the pie to speed up skill development!
In a workout or practice, you can progress from...
Traditional Drill (Block and Variable Practice) > BDT Drill (Random Practice) > 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3 drills.
Or you might even skip straight to BDT drills and start with them!
And Coach Oliver doesn't stop there. In his videos and ebooks, he shows you some of his favorite 1v1 and 3v3 drills!
You get the best of both worlds as you also get to see live coaching and teaching. He shows you how to stop, correct, and teach throughout the drills. That way, you know HOW to teach it to your players!
NBA Coach of the Year Said This About Coach Oliver's BDT Drills!
After watching Chris Oliver present at a coaching clinic, it caused 50 year coaching veteran and former NBA coach of the year, Del Harris, to stand up and address the coaches attending.
At the end, he said, "Nobody is teaching it (skill development and decision making) like that. That's wonderful!"
And this is certainly not limited to NBA coaches. Youth coaches, high school coaches, and college coaches have all had success using the system!
This is great for all age levels!
What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...