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PostPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 08:35 

Posts: 14
I coach a 6th grade boys travel basketball team with one of the other dads. We are having a disagreement as to what drills to use during our pre game warmup time. Or more specifically, how to practice shooting during warmups. We mostly agree about what non shooting drills to use, and will do a couple of things to get the blood flowing and to reinforce good passing, catching, defense, and offense. But for shooting, he likes to do layup lines or one of various catch and shoot drills with one or two balls. I like to just have a shootaround type period in warmups. I feel that, as with most skill based training, the more touches the better. During a shootaround, the kids get to take at least 5 times as many shots than they would in layup lines. And I think taking many shots can make a big difference between a shooter bring rusty, vs being in the zone during games. I've seen first hand many times when one of our best shooters starts off clanging every shot, then after a few minutes they find something that works and are swishing everything.

My partner feels that a shootaround is too unstructured, and is like "giving the keys to the zoo animals".

I agree with him that structured warmups are better at enforcing discipline, but feel with proper coaching supervision, a shootaround can work.

So what do you think?

PostPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 11:24 

Posts: 14
Depending on how much time you have for warmups, why not do both?

We often had only 10 minutes between games to do warmups, and if we were at one of the gyms that didn't have a secondary court for the kids to shoot around on (which was over half of our games), that was all the time we'd have with a hoop for warmups. If we only had the 10 minutes, we'd let htem shoot around for the first 2 minutes, then we'd do pass and cut layup lines from each side (two lines, one at top of key, one on wing - ball at top. Top passes to wing and cuts the lane, gets the pass back for the layup or short pull up. Wing crashes after the pass for the rebound) and free throws (in the league we were in, each game starts with every player taking a free throw, points count towards the score).

With that sequence, we got them warming up with shooting, passing and rebounding in a short time.

PostPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 18:29 

Posts: 899
Andy has a good point about how much time you have for warm-ups. I find that leagues and tournaments vary on how much time you get to warm-up. We've had times were we only get 5 minutes if the games are running behind. I like having a routine that I can modify easily for just that reason.

I definitely think getting the kids warmed up on shooting is important, but I try to incorporate several skills they'll use in the game during warm-ups. If I can combine dribbling, passing, and working on defense (block outs, close outs, movement) in a few short drills, I feel better about things going into the game. If we have more time to warm-up, I definitely let them shoot around after we go through a few organized warm-up drills.

I also keep it consistent with drills they've done a hundred times before. I want to build their confidence going into the game, so the routine portion helps them do that.


PostPosted: 11 Mar 2014, 19:14 

Posts: 14
Thanks for the replies. Agreed it's good to work on more than just shooting, and we do. And agreed it's good to do both organized and free-form shooting. But like you say, we have limited time - maybe 10-15 minutes. So if we're going to focus 5 minutes or so of that on shooting, it has to be one or the other - some kind of shooting drill that limits touches but is more organized, or just a general shootaround, which has a lot more touches, but is more chaotic.

So if you had to choose one over the other, which would it be?

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