A quick note before getting to the drills and some Q&As.

Sunday, February 17th, the 20% discount ends for our spring basketball camps. If interested, you can view the schedule at the following page.

View the Schedule: Breakthrough Basketball Camps



New: 22 Shooting Drills

Here is a new page with 22 shooting drills for coaches. However, parents, players, and trainers can use many of the drills on the page. You will find basic form shooting drills for beginners all the way to advanced shooting drills against defenders.

The page is broken up into the following sections:

  • 4 Types of Recommended Shooting Drills
  • Beginner or Youth Shooting Drills
  • 22 Shooting Drills

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Continue Viewing: 22 Shooting Drills



Question & Answer: Missing Layups in Games - Not Lack of Skill

“Hello, do you have any tips/drills for players who are good at making layups/shots in practices but tend to miss a lot more in game situations? It seems to be a bit of panic in game situations, not a lack of skills or practice. Thank you!”.

Joe Haefner’s Response:

When it comes to problems with making a layup during games, at times, it can be that we’re not practicing how we play. This article does a great job of summarizing this.

Here are some of my favorite 1v1 drills to use when improving lay ups.

1v1 Finishing with Speed Dribble

1v1 Hip Finishing Drill

1v1 Break Finishing


Question & Answer: Open Post Offense - Delaying Fill Cut & Taking Advantage of Double Gap

I started thinking of the details of our open post motion I want to run this year. I will have a 7th grade girls team that is still rather raw but has tons of potential. I had them last year as 6th graders so they have a foundation of pass and cut already.

Just thinking about the initial action of the PG passing to a wing and cutting through. I want our players to take advantage of that double gap more this year. So I was wondering if anybody teaches the weakside wing to wait to fill the point until they see what the player with the ball is going to do from the wing.

So PG passes to the wing and cuts through. What I'd like to emphasize this season is that wing taking advantage of the double gap created by the cutting PG. But things can get clogged if you're trying to drive middle and the opposite wing is filling to the point. I'm thinking if they hesitate, then fill once the wing has committed to the drive then it can turn into some good drive and kick action if the drive is cut off. And if they kick it back to the point spot, that player should have a good angle for a strong downhill attack of their own.

Thoughts? Considerations?

Jeff Haefner’s Response:

Lots of ways to go about this. Here's what we emphasize (works amazing with our 8th grade girls but took awhile):

- Spacing - Share the ball (pass to open players)
- Take good shots
- Have an idea what you'll do before you catch (shoot, drive, or pass in less than .5 seconds after you catch) -- quick decisions!
- If you're one pass from the ball, get open (pop, cut, or screen)
- When you pass out of the corner, cut and continue for back screen (this opens driving lanes)
- After you pass, screen or cut
- You can temporarily post anytime (be smart and of course keep space)

Beyond that, we just teach fundamental concepts. We teach spacing, how to screen away, how to ball screen, how to face cut, how to read the defender, etc. And of course, we teach dribbling skills, triple threat skills, shooting, etc.

We practice a fair amount of catch and rips (Don Kelbick & Jay Wright) because the best scoring opportunities usually come away from the pass.

The quick decisions really helped us this year. The ball and players move so fast the defense can't keep up and continually gets distorted. They are always chasing and trying to catch up.

I toyed with the double gap concept last year. Maybe it will work better for others. But I found, it just complicated things. I just tell players to see space. If you have the lane, you take it. The more rules and concepts I added, the more things slowed down. Quick decisions is what worked for me. Getting them thinking about double gaps was too much to think about for our kids. But if you focus on it and simplify other things, it might work for you.

Another thing that really helped us tremendously is teaching players how to move on the dribble drive. This simple drill worked wonders for us:

- Play 3v3 or 4v4. Coach has ball. Players are spaced on the perimeter. You pass to an offensive player. The person guarding that player has to get two feet outside of 3pt line before they can defend. This turns into constant advantage situations and amazing teaching opportunities and IQ development.

First, the player driving needs to make a decision to score at the basket or kick to an open teammate.

Next, you teach players off the ball how to get open. I just teach:
1) Open windows (go where you can open passing windows.... often times on baseline drive you want a player drifting to corner. etc.)
2) Go where you'll force the defense to make as long of a close out as possible (while staying in shooting range)

This works amazing. Emphasize those two things. Players develop all the passing skills extremely well and they figure out how to get open. Just think how difficult this is to guard! You have to guard a player driving to the basket and worry about four players moving to open spots. Very hard to do both.

In 5v5 setting, I usually allow one player to cut to basket area, especially if their defender loses vision. The other three players need to space and force long close outs.

But that is just something to consider for them. I keep it very simple and just emphasize those two things. Combine that with quick decisions on every catch. That’s tough to guard.


Also, do you like our question and answer section that we recently added? Is it helping you? Do you want more?

And please let us know if you need anything else!



Joe Haefner 
Breakthrough Basketball

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