How to Develop Players that Can Finish at the Basket

As a coach, I want multi-threat scorers on the floor. This makes a tremendous difference in our offensive attack and our efficiency.

Just imagine if you have 2, 3, or maybe even 4 players on the floor that can shoot outside, hit a mid-range jumper, drive to the basket, and finish in the lane. It doesn't matter what you run offensively, that will make you really tough to guard. If they take away your shot, you drive and finish. If they take a way your drive, you shoot.

It's such a simple concept, but how many coaches take the time to develop multi-threat scorers? Instead, coaches will spend time getting kids to memorize plays.

Personally, I think coaches should spend more time developing players. One aspect of this development is teaching players how to finish near the basket.

Traditional Lay Up Drills Are Not Enough

Let's face it. Just because a kid can make lay ups in drills without defenders doesn't mean they can score and finish at the basket in game-like situations. In a game, almost all drives to the basket are contested and come from different angles. So players need the ability to finish at the basket, use either hand, make adjustments, handle contact, and maybe have a mid range runner against bigger help defenders.

The Key To Developing Better Finishers

One of the best ways to develop a player's ability to finish at the basket is through competition.

Put players in competitive game-like drills, then let them play. With enough repetitions, players will adapt and start to discover ways to finish in the lane against the help defenders.

Not to mention, players will get tougher, improve ball handling, improve conditioning, and just become better scorers.

Some of the drills we really like include corner finishing, wing finishing, chair rip with help defender, 1on1 escape with help defender, and ball screen finishing. All of these drills can be found on 30 Competitive Skill Building Drills DVD.

You'll also find that fast break drills (3on2, 2on1, etc) will also help with finishing lay ups and contested drives to the basket. And you can of course use your imagination to construct your own competitive game-like drills.


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Bob Heidkamp says:
5/30/2013 at 1:40:13 PM

To develop kids who know how to finish, you make it clear to them A) they do not call fouls in a pickup game when taking it to the hole. B) Everything inside the paint is jump stop, gather with a power base on two feet C) pump fake (or two) D) explode to the hoop and score off the glass. In practice every single day, you drill everyone, guards and big men on this, and have your players knock the hell the out of each other in the paint. No fouls called... get it in the hoop. Furthermore, we''''re not happy with just a basket, we want to score and then get to the FT line and nail it for three the old-fashioned way. When they develop this mentality, you''re going to win a lot of games. FT practice is extremely important. Shoot ''em each day in practice as if you''re down a point with no time left and you have a one-and-one. Go through your whole schedule of opponents... "Down by one, no time left, one and one..."

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Jason Durham says:
5/30/2013 at 10:15:44 AM

I like Jeff Young''s ''25 Explosive Concentration & Conditioning Drills''. Coach Young (NAIA Walsh College) really emphasizes finishing in his practices. It''s a pretty solid dvd & Walsh''s success under Young speaks for itself.



Good Moring Joe, says:
5/30/2013 at 9:17:13 AM

Good Morning Joe,

Congrats to the Chicago Blackhawks great win last night!

Joe is their another DVD on finishing. The DVD I purchased is great ( 30 drills).




Jeff says:
5/30/2013 at 8:54:54 AM

The 30 competitive skill building DVD is excellent. We implemented the finishing drills this past season and have continued over the summer. Definitely helpful.


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