Is This The Secret To Building Good Habits On The Court?

When it comes to developing drills that are really effective...

One thing I've noticed among elite coaches is this...

They're very good at creating constraints and rules/point systems within their drills...

So that they can incentivize the development of the habits that are most vital for their particular style of play... or just good habits in general.

That's because a well-designed drill is far more effective at developing long-lasting habits than simply lecturing or reprimanding players until you're blue in the face!

Let me give you an example of the kind of drill I'm talking about...

Last week, we showed you Coach Ryan Schultz's Attack & Finish Drill that's become a staple of his practices.

Even though this drill is a high-paced series of 2v2 and 3v3 mini-games where players need to get North-South with the dribble...

I believe the real key to this drill... is its simple rule and scoring system.

That's because a player will not get credit for a basket if they did not take a direct North - South line to the hoop.

If they dribble too far to the side (east-west), they get zero points... even if they make the basket.

As we all know, we can correct something verbally until we're blue in the face, but unless you give them specific rewards and consequences that enforce the behaviors you want, it's probably not going to stick.

And Coach Schultz's simple, yet highly effective rule and scoring system is what makes this drill work so well.

And I believe it's little details like this that make Coach Schultz such a great coach.

One of the core objectives of his Hybrid Attack Offense is to put constant pressure on the rim and this helps his teams do so.

It's also why he perennially has one of the best offensive teams in the state...

And it's why Coach Schultz's teams won back-to-back state championships and made it to the state tournament 6 out of 7 years... at a school with ZERO state championships in the last 100 years prior to Schultz taking over the helm!

So, when it comes to devising drills for your team, remember...

Whatever system-specific habits you deem most important for your unique style of play...

It's important that your players start developing these habits early in the season.

That's because the sooner these habits become second-nature to your players... the less time you'll have to spend correcting their mistakes as the season wears on.


As you begin thinking about new drills and concepts to incorporate into practices next season...

I would strongly encourage you to start developing creative drills to instill the right habits into your players early in the season.

That's all for now.

Let me know what you think.

Are there any drills you use that complement your particular style of offense or defense?


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Cindy Okusako says:
9/4/2023 at 6:43:37 PM

Thanks again for a great psychological tip for teaching your sport. It can be applied to any sport. I teach tether ball to Kindergartners and plan to use your idea of using a drill to teach a rule, instead of telling them the rule until I'm "blue in the face!"

They want to kick the tether ball and to hurl the tether ball by the rope, but these aren't allowed because they're dangerous. But some won't listen to me and do these things anyway despite my repeated exasperations. So I'm thinking up a procedure in which their opponent will play the next player instead of them if they break these rules. It's not exactly a drill, but a procedure would seem to have the same effect.

Thanks for pointing out this genius idea!

Cindy O.


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